Swing Time



Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in a Tribute to Frank Sinatra
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Missouri
Sept. 8, 2019                 2:30 p.m.
Band members---Band Leader/Tenor Sax Terry Myers, Vocalist as Frank Sinatra Bryan Antony, Alto Sax: John Orsini, Alto Sax: Ben Reece, Tenor Sax: Hugh Jones, Tenor Sax: Mike Buerk, Baritone Sax: Elsie Parker. Trombone: Josh Torrey, Trombone: Steven Frioux, Bass Trombone: Wayne Coniglio, Trumpet: Brian Scanlon, Trumpet: Ed Gaston, Trumpet: Daniel Smith, Trumpet: Greg Grooms, Drums: Rudy Petschauer, Bass: Adrian Moring and Piano: James Navan.

There is nothing quite like getting out of your car in an underground parking garage and walking to an entrance next to Darth Vader on one side and a Storm Trooper on the other side. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is quite large, so at the same time the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra was doing “Frank Sinatra,” the Kansas City Symphony was on the other side of the building doing music from the “Star Wars” movies. The audience there was invited to come in costume.  What fun. 

Tommy Dorsey and brother, Jimmy Dorsey, were two of the famous band leaders of the WWII era.  Tommy’s specialty was the trombone and the Band went on to introduce new singers through the years, including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Connie Haines and Jo Stafford. Tommy Dorsey’s music career went from the 1930’s into the 1950’s and part of the “Big Bang Swing Era.”  The Dorsey group worked with Frank Sinatra for a long time, and many songs that Sinatra performed were from his time with them. 

Director Terry Myers kept the mood light with anecdotes and, also,  plays great tenor sax. Vocalist Bryan Antony has the Sinatra range and diction.  The romantic pieces were fine, but stand-outs were the rhythmic ones, such as “My Way” in which Antony could perform in his own style. 

There are 17 traveling musicians on this Tour. Dressed in formal attire, this is music and showmanship. Along with music, the band leader, Terry Myers, provides information on songs. The Sinatra hit “Nancy With The Laughing face” has lyrics by the comedian Phil Silvers, with half of the money earned---for life---going to the young Nancy Sinatra.  Drummer Rudy Petschauer gave “Hawaiian War Chant” new meaning when he bought down the house with his performance. 

Frank Sinatra wrote seven songs and one of then was “This Love of Mine” which was sung at this afternoon’s performance.  The one that the audience appreciated most was “Night and Day,” which is now a Sinatra classic and was arranged by Nelson Riddle.  Other favorites were “Come Fly With Me,” “Georgia On My Mind,” “On The Sunny Side of the Street,” “Pennies From Heaven,” “New York, New York” and “My Way.” My favorite---“Marie.” 

The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra is now on tour around the world, so be sure to check your local theaters and colleges for information on their tour plans.  

Copyright 2019 Marie Asner