Live Review: Les Lankhorst in Red, Hot & Swing

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Les Lankhorst in Red, Hot & Swing featuring Susan Roberts Knowlson, Charlotte’s own small Big Band, Phil Tompson, Tim Gordon, Doug Burns, Mark Munson, Noel Friedline, Tom Hildreth, Rick Dior and Stephen Westerfield

Booth Playhouse

Feb. 13, 2009

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The Deal: Musician Les Lankhorst, who portrayed Frank Sinatra in the Las Vegas production oh The Rat Pack Is Back teamed up with other musicians to perform a set of legendary swing/jazz covers.

The Good: The band played more than 20 classic songs, including those by Frank Sinatra (I’ve Got The World On A String,” “Come Fly With Me,” “South Of The Border” “One For My Baby,” “My Way,” “That’s Life”), Peggy Lee (“You Give Me Fever”), Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini (“Moon River”), Don Mclean (“Vincent”), Dean Martin (“Ain’t That A Kick In The Head”), Bobby Darin (“Call Me Irresponsible,” “I’m Beginning To See The Light”), Billy Joel (“In Every Heart”), Harry Connick Jr. (“A Wink and a Smile”), Roger Miller (“King of the Road”), Kenny Loggins (“Rainbow Connection”) and even a track from Phantom of the Opera (“All I Ask of You”). The band was small in comparison to the big sounds they put out. Susan Roberts Knowlson, who performed with Les Lankhorst on a couple numbers used vocal skills to capture the crowd on songs like “All I Ask of You.” In addition, another special guest included Davidson college student Stephen Westerfield who impressively played the cello on selected songs. Throughout the night the covers were well done and along with the venue’s cabaret-style set up, the show made for an interesting and relaxing evening.

The Bad: Les Lankhorst talked a good deal in between some of the songs, but in turn it made the show a bit more intimate.

The Verdict: Covers varied, as you can see from the above. I had expected mostly Frank Sinatra songs, but was impressed with the variety Lankhorst played. I’d recommend seeing the show, if swing/jazz music is your forte or if you just want to go out and do something out of the norm. Continues through Feb. 22.

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