When you come to a Brad Leaver and Swing Central show, you come in excited anticipation of a go-to-whoa performance of power-packed, swing band arrangements, and a front man with honey-smooth vocals, charm and humour.
And they never disappoint.
Swing Central’s line-up was Ian Macrae on piano, Shannon Marshall and Rod Shephard on trumpet, Leon Wensley on alto sax, Darren MacPherson on tenor sax, Shane Hannon on trombone, Thierry Fossmalle on double bass, and Dave Sanders on drums.
And at the mike, of course, one-man Rat Pack, Brad Leaver.
For the first set, while Brad hydrated his vocal chords in preparation, Ian Macrae in quartet and quintet combinations, set up the audience with their classy, classic jazz-strumentals.
Then, as smartly and immaculately attired as the rest of the band, up stepped the dream weaver; Mr. Brad Leaver.
In two sets of ever-loved, singalong standards, Brad schmoozed, joked, smiled, cajoled and flirted his way through another faultless performance of his Rat Pack-plus repertoire; Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and Bobby Darin, to mention a few.
After bringing the curtain down, and the audience to its feet, with ‘My Way’, to avoid a riot, Brad and this great band just had to be given an encore. They brought a wonderful night’s entertainment to a close with ‘The Lady is a Tramp’.
Thanks guys. I said it the last time I wrote a review of Brad Leaver and Swing Central; this is the local jazz scene at its very best.