The Dynamics, a gospel quintet from Baltimore, lived up to their name in concert yesterday afternoon in the Smithsonian's Black Gospel Music Series. With one member at the piano, their five male voices delivered a program of originals that blended the traditional with the contemporary.
One number might be a thoughtful, almost somber, ballad, four voices riffing softly beneath the lead, bringing tears to the eyes of performers and spectators alike. A joyous house rocker would follow, lifting some in the audience to their feet.Interspersed were sermonettes by Douglas Howell over the blues comping piano of Jerry Caesar.
A transformation took place when the local Norvus Miller & Co. took the stage. The brash and gutsy trombone of the leader along with trombone trio, baritone horn, amplified harmonica and rhythm section could, without straining, lift the roof of Union Station. Needless to say, in Baird Auditorium, they tended to overwhelm, submerging their vocal quartet in a sonic tidal wave. But it was spirited and sincere and it had its moments of swinging mayhem.
And when the Rev. Herbert Whitner led a rousing call and response, the ensemble stomping to beat the devil behind him, all hell broke loose as the congregation clapped and swayed to his earthy shouts and gestures heavenward.