Before I call out my bonny lad on a couple of his more recent musical choices that have been bugging the hell out of me, I think it’s only fair to share the best of the John Wilson Orchestra, which out of over 200 clips(!) on YouTube in nine years comes down to about 3 or 4, spread out through 2009-2017.
So here’s the first. This is from their 2012 show “Broadway Sounds” at the BBC Proms in Royal Albert Hall in London, which seats 5200, with standing room for 1300 on the ground floor (tickets for which go for only 6L and for which people camp out overnight at the box office like it was goddamn Winterland). This is pertinent, because it seems that the JWO only does its best work when they can blast the roof off.
I had the old Ben Bagley recording of the Rodgers & Hart show On Your Toes—which of course includes the climactic ballet “Slaughter on Tenth Avenue”—but producer Bagley, being a purist, put on disc the 1936 Robert Russell Bennett orchestration rather than the 1954 one by Don Walker. John, being John (I’m starting to get into his “ear”), chose the Walker score, and for once he was entirely right.