The Great American Song Book – Vol 2 : Summer Wind, Leroy Brown and more | Sunday Observer

The Great American Song Book – Vol 2 : Summer Wind, Leroy Brown and more

Nineteen years ago today, May 14, the velveteen born baritone Francis Albert Sinatra left behind a legacy of songs that cannot be beaten nor forgotten.

He was the bad guy with a big voice and the nights always belonged to him. He took the craft of music seriously and as he always said “When I sing I believe I’m always honest”.

He couldn’t be more right when you consider the way he sings every song when he is recording in a studio.

His phrasing is subtle, he does not go back to fix a note here, a phrase there, its all or nothing at all. At the end of one song he would turn round and ask the band “What’s next?”

Frank Sinatra commanded respect and demanded professionalism. In Sri Lanka, he never was forgotten and never will be forgotten.

Vocalist and saxophonist Dr Gananath Dasanayake, an ardent fan of Frank Sinatra is busy putting the finishing touches to his presentation “The Great American Song Book Volume 2” which will be on stage at the British School Auditorium on Saturday May 27. “This time around new and different flavours will emerge” says Gananath because he’s chosen songs that were hits of Sinatra and which were not featured in his two earlier concerts.

“Quite naturally, most of the songs will focus on Sinatra and jazz standards from the pen of Cole Porter and composers of his calibre.

What’s more, we have planned a few surprises that should not be missed by swing fans of the 50s and the 60s, especially, those who enjoyed the Sinatra sound and also youth, because Frank Sinatra fought on the side of youth”. En Route, Gananath Dasanayake’s band are gearing to pull off another successful show, what with Debbie Arnolda on piano, Maxie Pietersz on double bass, Niroshan de Silva on drums, Ramesh Nonis on guitar and Dilip Seneviratne on organ.

The program will not only feature swing ballads, but will include spirituals, and songs from the The Great American Song Book like Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Summer Wind, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Amore, Bad Bad Leroy Brown and You’re Too Marvellous. Tickets for the show will be available at Park Street Mews and all proceeds are in aid of Music Project headed by Shalini Wickremasooriya.

The Project provides infrastructure for musical instruments for children, ‘band rooms’ for rehearsals, mainly for children in Jaffna, Kurunegala and Mullaitivu. Email www.music project sri lanka.

So far in Sri Lanka, it is only Dr Gananath Dasanayake who is making Frank Sinatra’s songs a happening scene in the industry, fulfilling what Sinatra once said “You know it took me a long, long time to learn what I now know, and I don’t want that to die with me.

I’d like to pass that on to younger people – that’s my real ambition.” 

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