The clock was turned back in the Shoreham's Blue Room Saturday night as couples crowded the dance floor to the mellow and swinging arrangements of the Trux Baldwin Orchestra and the combo spontaneity of Billy Butterfield and the Eddie Phyfe quartet.
Butterfield, in bygone days with Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Tommy Dorsey, was in top form and lent '40s authenticity that grew some to the bandstand's edge to stare at the legendary trumpet star. A musical poet, the components of Butterfield's lyricism are a fluent improvisational craft, clarity and beauty of tone, and a mastery of choked half-valve sonorities that convey a variety of emotions. He and tenor saxophonist Al Seibert turned down the lights on an elegant and seductive "Lover Man," and with drummer Phyfe leaning on the throttle, the dust never settled on "Undecided," "Lady Be Good" and other races. Lewis Powers was on bass, Herman Dorfmann at the piano.
Jitterbuggers tore up the rug to Trux Baldwin's "American Patrol" and the band's spacious-voiced and polished songstress Deater O'Neill lazed along on "Sentimental Journey" and enchanted with "That Old Black Magic." A remote broadcast over Big Band WEAM carried these songs of the past.