In the cultural desert that characterizes so much of today's electronically revved-up musical entertainment it is gratifying that here and there can be found an oasis of calm and sanity. Such a haven is the Marquee Lounge of the Shoreham where, Tuesdays through Saturdays, the Doug Sorensen Orchestra plays the popular music of yesteryear for dancing and listening.
Sorensen deserves to be commended for not bending to the current and pervasive fashion of replacing acoustic with electric instruments. Thus his nine-piece unit has a sound as natural as the models from which it draws its materials and inspiration.
Sorensen played a strong and confident lead trumpet on a recent night in an opening set that included the ballads "Pennies From Heaven" and "Stardust," a cha cha, "Tea for Two," a bossa nova by Jobim, arrangements by Les Elgart and Lawrence Welk, and rousing readings of "S'Wonderful" and "In the Mood."
Basically, this is a dance band and the emphasis is upon smooth ensembles and tight textures. But those behind the horns gave good indications of solo talents. C.P. Landry's tenor sax sound was full and confident and altoist Marty Nau projected a charming 1930s tone. Mark Weigel's trumpet was bright and biting and pianist Charlie Barnett cut through with Basie-like economy.
The orchestra will stay through Dec. 31.