The best of Bond Boris Brott’s National Academy Orchestra and Peter Brennan’s Jeans ’n Classics band celebrate 007
You know all the catchphrases.
“Just a drink. A martini, shaken, not stirred.” “The things I do for England.” You know all the villains. Dr. No. Goldfinger. Blofeld. You know all the henchmen like Oddjob and Jaws.
And you know the gadget meister, Q.
And ’fess up. You also know all the girls from Honey Ryder to Solitaire and the suggestive double entendre names of each one in between.
And, of course, you know who we’re talking about. The one and only James Bond 007. .
Besides pinning its success on urbane actors, smart one-liners, uproarious bad guys, groovy gadgets, and eye-popping eye candy, the Bond franchise, from 1962’s “Dr. No” to 2015’s “Spectre,” has been underscored by unforgettable ear candy. Monty Norman’s 1962 “James Bond Theme,” orchestrated by John Barry, is a case in point, offering the listener a perfectly precise précis in music of the suave secret agent.
Back in a 2008 interview for the trade rag, Variety, British film composer David Arnold, who scored four Bond flicks, described Norman’s theme as “bebop swing vibe coupled with that vicious, dark, distorted electric guitar ... it represented everything about that character you would want: it was cocky, swaggering, confident, dark, dangerous, suggestive, sexy, unstoppable.”
Next Friday, Aug. 11 at 7:30 p.m., you can hear some of the best music from the Bond films as arranged by Peter Brennan when his Jeans ’n Classics band bonds with Boris Brott’s National Academy Orchestra for “Shaken not stirred — The Music of James Bond” under the aegis of the Brott Music Festival in LIUNA Station, 360 James St. N. Not surprisingly, the opening set will begin with Brennan’s take on Norman’s “James Bond Theme.”
“It’s where it all comes from, isn’t it?” asked Brennan rhetorically over the line from his London, Ont., home. “It’s the signature piece, which is a joy to play.”
The two sets won’t follow the chronological order of Bond movies. So, vocalist Rique Franks will chime in with “You Only Live Twice” from 1967 then “Skyfall” from 2012. Thereafter, vocalist Neil Donell will let loose with “Thunderball” from 1965 and the 2006 David Arnold-Chris Cornell tune, “You Know My Name,” before ceding to Franks for “For Your Eyes Only” from 1981 and “Tomorrow Never Dies” from 1997.
After intermission, “Bondoverture,” a potpourri of Bond themes assembled by Brennan will be followed by Donell doing Sam Smith’s “Writing’s on the Wall.” Brennan and Brott will then divert into a mini-set of “Daydream Believer,” a hit originally for The Monkees, Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” Burt Bacharach-Hal David’s “The Look of Love” from the 1967 Bond spoof “Casino Royale,” and The Zombies’ “Time of the Season.”
“We decided a few years ago to lighten it up just a little bit, and to include some Austin Powers themes,” said Brennan. “It’s 15 minutes of pleasant diversion.”
After that brief diversion, Brennan and Brott will get back to Bond, taking aim at “A View to a Kill,” “Nobody Does It Better,” and to end, Paul and Linda McCartney’s “Live and Let Die.”
On paper, things look to be entertaining. But it’s not an easy show to play for Brott’s NAO or Brennan’s Jeans ’n Classics — Brennan on guitar, John Regan on keys, Mitch Tyler on bass, and Jeff Christmas on drums — because they’re constantly shifting gears from song to song, from style to style, time travelling from era to era.
“That’s what makes it such a cool show to perform,” said Brennan. “But it does make it difficult because you gotta turn around and be able to pull off Alicia Keys having pulled off Nancy Sinatra. The band has to have a very good overview of, you don’t play a 60s tune the same way that you play a ’90s tune, a 2000s tune, an ’80s tune. You have to have your head into those decades and use your experience and your chops and your ears, big time. And that goes for the orchestra.”
For their encore, Brennan’s band and Brott’s bunch will rock out like its 1964 with “Goldfinger.”
“That’s just in case anybody thought we’d forgotten it,” chuckled Brennan.
Tickets are $41, senior $38, Brott35 $25, student $15. Call 905525-7664.
Leonard Turnevicius writes about classical music for The Hamilton Spectator. email@example.com