The first time I saw Doc play... was before Harrelson Trumpets was even a figment of our imagination. That was at Orchestra Hall for his annual Christmas Show... If there is one thing that Mr Severinsen knows how to do... it's to put on a show.... and how to wear a suit :)
His jacket was flashy as ever... and as he walked to the edge of the stage... flirting with the women in the front row... he said... you ladies like this jacket? Well, you can't have it! The crowd erupted in laughter. Doc is a living legend... and I couldn't help but notice his set was full of sentimental pieces... introducing each with a tinge boyish defiance at aging. Before launching into September Song... he said... when you get to be my age you're in the autumn of your life... and this song is very sad and sort of talks about slowing down and quietly fading away... he said, well, we're going to do a different version of this song... and it was, very much full of life, a wild and loud september for sure... and then he added... i am going to soft shoe all the way to my grave and they'll have to push me in... the crowd roared again.
My other favorites included a beautiful tune with a time stopping Ernie Watts solo... pure magic... and I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face... something Doc recommended the men use on their wives as a miracle cure all phrase...
I had a hard time getting a lot of good shots... because Doc Severinsen simply does not stand still. Did you know that Doc auditioned to play with Tommy Dorsey when he was 14 years old... he said Tommy laughed at him, gave him one of the best seats in the house to that night's show and told him to come back when he got a little older... well, he did... and he did tour with Tommy Dorsey's band after he served in the army. After the show I did a little more research about Doc... Even though I used to watch him on the Tonight Show as a kid... and have seen him live quite a few times... the performance at The Dakota was a lot more intimate than any other I have ever seen. He seemed to genuinely want to share his stories... and wow people... like never before... It was by far my favorite Severinsen performance... you should read his bio... he's lived quite a life... and at 83... he can still dance, joke, dress, flirt... oh yeah... and play the trumpet... with more spunk than any young man I have ever met. BRAVO DOC! http://www.docseverinsen.com/about/
He was practicing in the hallway during the introductions... and I have it on good authority that you can often find him in stairwells before he goes on stage... that's where the best acoustics are of course...
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