After 40 long years on the road as the former frontman for Blood Sweat and Tears, David Clayton-Thomas and his all-star 10 piece Canadian big band joined the 66-piece Toronto Symphony Orchestra on the historic stage of Massey Hall for two incredible nights (Feb. 12 and 13). This multi-Grammy winner and Music Hall of Famer dominated the stage and proved he still has the chops to wooo an audience off its feet.
Clayton-Thomas performed such classics as “Spinning wheel,” “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” “And When I Die” and material from his new CD The Evergreens. He shared tales of his time living and performing in Toronto in the 60s including his early years hanging out in Greenwich Village and of his present life in Toronto (having returned in 2004 after decades living in New York City.)
The concert rocked from beginning to end; the veteran blues/jazz singer received stellar support from both the Orchestra and The Clayton-Thomas Band; Musical Director Brigham Phillips (flugelhorn), Colleen Allen (saxophone, flute, vocals), Bernie LaBarge (guitar), Paul DeLong (drums), Rob Gusevs (keyboard) and Michael Stuart (saxophone). The encore performance of “God Bless This Child” tore the house down; it was a memorable evening full of nostalgic pop hits showcasing one of the finest pop voices of all times.
Having played thousands of shows in many international venues, including Carnegie Hall, Clayton-Thomas had a dream; to play Toronto’s stately and ornate Massey Hall. “It only took me 50 years … and here I am. Hey, every musician wants to play here – it is truly an acoustic marvel.”