Jools Holland 2015

Jools Holland 2

Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra: BIC Friday 18th December 

With some boogie here, some bluebeat there and a tip of the musical hat to everyone from BB King to Glenn Miller and beyond, Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra took Bournemouth by storm on Friday

The 16 piece big band and their guest vocalists whipped up a great atmosphere as they steamed through a repertoir that defied pigeon-holing except perhaps in a  slot labelled “great music”.

Of course to call singers like Louise Marshall, Mabel Ray and even the Boogie-Woogie Queen herself, the peerless Ruby Turner, “guests” is something of a misnomer. They are part of the band.

No matter. Jools Holland may be a virtuoso pianist but he’s also an accomplished showman. Selling the product is part of the job and he does it exceedingly well.

So we had, as always, superb musicianship from the R&B Orchestra with Jools leading fleet-fingered from the piano, Mark Flanagan on guitar, Dave Swift on bass, Christopher Holland on Hammond organ, the inimitable Gilson Lavis on drums and a wonderful 11 piece brass section. After an astonishing solo from Gilson, Jools revealed he had first met the drummer - originally his bandmate in Squeeze - exactly 39 years ago on this very night.

It was a good reason for more celebrations helped along by their real guest vocalist KT Tunstall who bounced on stage delivering first one of her own hits Suddenly I See before singing the Cole Porter standard Night and Day and then The Jackson 5 hit I Want You Back.

Ruby Turner brought the show to a climax with a series of numbers that peaked with Peace in the Valley. A great evening!

Jeremy Miles

© Jeremy Miles 2022