With the coolness of a sea breeze and the storminess of hot jazz, the Commodores of the U.S. Navy Band blew into the Carmichael Auditorium of the Smithsonian's Museum of History and Technology yesterday, for the first in a series of big band concerts.
The Commodores are a scrappy band of salty sailors who can swing with the best of their civilian counterparts. From the slow, bluesy, "I Can't Stop Loving You," to the clanging, fast-paced, "Zip City," the band was tight and well-drilled.
Bassist Lou Hinds and drummer Leonard Cuddy anchored the ensemble with a crisp, rhythmic accompaniment, while the horn section played harmonies that were as smooth as a calm sea. Tenor saxophonist Barry Weinstein was impressive in his solo work, as was singer Bob Drummond, whose deep, rich voice navigated the various musical leaps of "Willow Weep for Me."
The concerts, which will be featured from noon to 1 on Nov. 10 to 17, and Dec. 1 and 8, will complemented those of the U.S. Navy "Sea Chanter" which will be held on Mondays, starting Nov. 6 - Dec. 4. They are presented in conjunction with the opening of the Hall of American Maritime Enterprise and are free to the public.