Celebrating Sinatra in swell style
THE music starts, lyrics kick in and whether you like it or not, you find yourself in a pivotal moment in time.
Emotion takes hold as the memories flood in and you’re met with the pang of heartbreak, surge of lust or twinge of teenage angst.
Most of us can think of a song that has this effect.
For Sydney vocalist-trombonist, Dan Barnett, that tune is Frank Sinatra’s In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, and the moment is embracing his significant other.
“I’m in the middle of a long-distance love affair with a French woman and that song holds a special place for me,” Barnett said.
“The lyrics are about thinking of a person in the wee small hours of the morning.
“When Sinatra recorded it, he was going through one of his infamous marriage break-ups (with second wife Ava Gardner) and that comes out in the song.
“Communicating the feelings you were having in your life at that time is a pretty special thing to be able to do through song.”
Commemorating the centenary of Sinatra’s birth, Barnett performs classic big-band hits of the ’50s and ’60s with the WA Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) and WAYJO Strings.
“This is such a classic era of song writing, when a lot of the great American songwriters were in their prime,” Barnett said.
“And that’s why a lot of that music keeps getting recorded – it has a timeless thing going on.”
A renowned trombonist, Barnett took up the instrument during his high school years.
“Although my father was a great jazz musician, he said to me, ‘Whatever you do, don’t bring a trombone home’,” the muso said.
“I brought home a euphonium and didn’t really like it that much, so the next week I thought, ‘Stuff it, I’m going to bring a trombone home’, which I did.
“To his credit, about three weeks later my father brought me my own trombone because he could hear immediately that it was something I could play.
People attending A Swell Affair should dress in vintage garb.
Barnett will don his finest suit.