Gary Williams, star of the West End’s The Rat Pack, recording artist, cabaret performer, soloist with leading Big Bands and concert orchestras throughout the world and author of the book Cabaret Secrets, has launched his latest CD at the Langham Hotel, London.
Having sung in concert with several Big Bands, Williams dreamt of recording an album with one. The dream was expensive, so to help finance it he looked to crowdfunding to raise about half the sum in 30 days. In the event it only took three days to reach his target, thanks to the generosity of friends and fans.
The album, Big Band Wonderland, is a delightful mix of Christmas evergreens together with some lesser-known ones – ‘The Christmas Waltz’ and ‘(Everybody’s Waitin’ for) The Man with the Bag’. It has guest contributions from the Patriot Girls, Clare Teal and the legendary Michael Feinstein.
The disc has been described by Tony Hatch as “a fabulous feast of seasonal songs”.
Williams entertained his guests at the launch with a taster of three songs from the album. Not with the Big Band backing, but with the talents of Joe Pettitt on double bass and Clive Dunstall on keyboards. Dunstall, incidentally, was responsible for all the choral arrangements on the album.
Although Christmas is still a while a way, the evening allowed Crazy Coqs artistic director Ruth Leon to issue an early invitation to join Gary Williams for his cabaret A Swingin’ Christmas at the London cabaret room from 15 to 19 and 22 to 23 December.