Brian Setzer
"Wolfgang's Big Night Out"

(Surfdog Records 2007)Brian Setzer - Wolfgang\'s Big Night Out

At this point in his musical career, it seems that Brian Setzer has just about done a bit of everything. Along with his catalog of original songs, the nearly 50 year old guitar player has covered Christmas, big band and rockabilly, among other genres. Now Setzer sets his sights on a real standard -- classical music. With a swinging big band sound, Setzer and his orchestra remake twelve classical pieces on "Wolfgang's Big Night Out."

While it is certainly not a who's who of classical music composers, "Wolfgang's Big Night Out" is certainly full of compositions that you will recognize. Electric guitar speeds on "Honey Man," an adaptation of "Flight of the Bumblebee," while horns put a leisurely yet classy spin on "Yes We Can Can" ("The Can Can") and "Swingin' Willie" ("William Tell Overture") comes over as a relaxed lounge track. Perhaps most unexpected is a jazz style rendition of "Für Elise" entitled "For Lisa" that lets acoustic guitar, violin, and horns each have a go at the famous melody.

From time to time throughout "Wolfgang's Big Night Out" you will catch pieces of the classical pieces. The rest of the time it is about listening to Setzer and his band jamming. And while the band is great at what they do, "Wolfgang's Big Night Out" could have used a bit more of Wolfgang, Beethoven, and the other musicians in Setzer's rockabilly interpretations. But regardless of how untraditional the songs are performed, the largely instrumental album is still well executed, fun and full of life.


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