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Paulanne Simmons

The Anderson Twins Meet the Dorsey Brothers
“The Anderson Twins Play the Fabulous Dorseys” is both a tribute to the famed Dorsey Brothers and a showcase for the talented Anderson Brothers.


The Anderson Twins Play the Fabulous Dorseys
Written and directed by Pete and Will Anderson
59E59 Theaters
59 East 59 Street between Madison and Park
Opened Sept. 11, 2012
Tues. thru Thurs. at 7:30pm, Fri. at 8:30pm, Sat. at 5:30 & 8:30pm and Sun. at 3:30pm
Additional performances Sun., Sept. 23 and Sept. 30 at 7:30pm
Tickets: $25 (212) 279-4200 www.59e59.org
Closes Oct. 7, 2012
Reviewed by Paulanne Simmons Sept. 12, 2012.

Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, two brothers born a year apart, are legendary jazz musicians. Tommy (trombone) and Jimmy (saxophone) had their first hit as The Dorsey Brothers Band in 1929 with “Coquette for Okeh.” Subsequently, they hired the likes of Bing Crosby and Glen Miller. Despite their success, they argued over who would lead the band and how. In 1935 they split the band and did not play together until ten years later.

Pete and Will Anderson are twin brothers. They started playing clarinet on the same day in elementary school and within a year, both added the saxophone to their studies. At only 13 years of age, they toured the United Kingdom with the Capitol Focus Jazz Band, performing the classic jazz of Jelly Roll Morton, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong. Since moving to New York City, they have taken the jazz scene by storm. And they’re still playing together.

Clearly the similarities between the two sets of brothers is not lost on the Andersons. Their show at 59E59 Theaters, “The Anderson Twins Play the Fabulous Dorseys,” is both a tribute to the famed Dorsey brothers and a showcase for the talented Anderson Brothers.

The show begins with a segment from an old T.V. quiz show, “What’s My Line?” in which the Dorseys unsuccessfully attempt to conceal their identity from a panel of blindfolded stars. There follows a series of clips from the 1947 biopic, “The Fabulous Dorseys,” for which the Dorsey Brothers played themselves. At the very end, the audience is returned to “What’s My Line,” when the panel triumphantly identifies the brothers and rips off their blindfolds.

All this may sound rather tame. But it does not account for the extraordinary jazz numbers played by the Anderson Twins and their band: Jon-Eric Kellso on trumpet, Ehud Asherie on piano, Kevin Dorn on drums and Clovis Nicolas on bass. These include smoking interpretations of “Tangerine,” “After You’re Gone,” “Sunny Side of the Street,” “Ooodles of Noodles,” “Flight of he Bumble Bee,” “I Got Rhythm” and much more.

The twins go through a little fiction of arguing (like the Dorseys) and breaking up the band at intermission. But not to worry; the trumpeter claims he has found a new sax player on the street (conveniently wearing sunglasses to hide his identity as one of he twins) and the band goes on better than ever.

Make no mistake. This is serious jazz. Many of the solos are breathtaking. And jazz aficionados are taking note. The seating is bistro style and every seat is taken. Book early!

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