Songs of Jule Styne, Jimmy Van Heusen
and Sammy Cahn
Written by Nicholas Christo
Music Direction by Mike Nelson
The timeless words and music of Sammy Cahn are certain to make hearts swell at this swinging tribute to the legendary American songwriter. Laura Bernay the leading interpreter of Cahn’s songs in Australia, along with her six-piece band, brings a poignant, fresh interpretation to some of the 20th century’s most enduring classics such as Come Fly With Me, Bei Mir Bist du Schoen, Three Coins in A Fountain, The Tender Trap, Time After Time and All the Way.
Sammy Cahn (born Samuel Cohen, 1913-1993) ranks among the best-known lyricists in American popular culture, with an expansive songbook that contains such hits as Love and Marriage, All the Way, My Kind of Town and Three Coins in a Fountain. Throughout his successful career, and inspired collaborations with composers like Jimmy Van Heusen and Jule Styne, Cahn received an astonishing 26 Oscar nominations and four wins. One of his most musically rich partnerships was with Frank Sinatra, who recorded The Tender Trap, Time After Time and High Hopes, among many other chart-toppers in the 1950s at Capitol Records.
“Highly entertaining and informative. I’ve come away wanting to know more about Sammy Cahn!”
“A fantastic show, what a voice! And an entertainer to boot- she keeps the audience involved and entranced with her humour, those sultry tones , and her easy engagement with the rest of the band. We’ll be back for more!”
Noosa Jazz Festival Review of ”The Sammy Cahn Tribute Cabaret Show”
Not many people would connect Mario Lanza’s ”Be my love” and Frank Sinatra’s “Come fly with me” as having a common thread….but thanks to the ingenuity of Perth songstress Laura Bernay, a delighted audience at the 2014 Noosa Jazz Festival were presented with a unique 90 minute’s insight into the writing talents of Mr Sammy Cahn ,who wrote many of the great lyrics that have become the standard bearer ,and source of inspiration to so many jazz and other singers over the last 50 years.
The Sammy Cahn tribute linked together a musical history, that would probably go unnoticed, except for the background information, and snippets of insight that Laura Bernay conveyed in her interpretation of the Cahn legend.
It is one thing to sit and listen to a jazz singer reeling off one song after another, but when the songs are linked by a story line that maintains your interest, then an entirely new perspective awaits the audience.
Laura Bernay is fortunate to have one of the most polished backing groups around, including the talents of a saxophonist who (without doubt) was the highlight of this years jazz festival, I refer to Paul Millard, and Paul together with Mike Nelson on piano, Murray Wilkins on bass, and Peter Evans on drums provided a richly satisfying support to the very versatile Miss Bernay.
Sammy Cahn has written enough material to enable any artist a choice of titles, but in this instance Laura Bernay was careful to chose those Cahn songs that she felt she had a historical and emotional connection to, thereby allowing her to further engage the audience with her own memories that Sammy Cahn’s lyrics had on her evolution both as a singer and person.
In a jazz festival that this year was marred by the appearance of a number of artists who had almost no connection to the real world of jazz, it was a revelation to hear a jazz tribute, to a great song writer, perfectly executed by a professional and highly talented quartet, headed up by a singer who loved and enjoyed what she was doing.
This show deserves a wide audience!
Peter Wakeford ex presenter of ”Jazz ,Swing and other good things” on Perths Capital Radio 101.7fm.