February 28, 2000
The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, under the direction of band leader and ex-Dorsey trombonist Buddy Morrow, took audiences on a sentimental journey down memory lane for four nearly sold-out concerts at Benaroya Hall.
Though Dorsey died years ago, his music has lived on, and in recent years, there has been a real revival of the swing era. It was a pleasure to hear this authentic and professional band make their instruments jump, jive, and wail.
The fifteen-member group, plus Morrow, got the mostly senior crowd tapping their toes to favorites like "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You," "Opus One," "Boogie Woogie," "Song of India," and "Night Train."
Vocalist Walt Andrus accompanied the Orchestra, singing with a velvety smooth voice that could easily be mistaken for that of a young Frank Sinatra. Andrus alternated between belting and crooning a series of crowd-pleasers, including "I'll Never Smile Again," "When Somebody Breaks Your Heart," "Chicago," "A Foggy Day," and "On the Sunny Side of the Street."
Morrow, who is eighty-one now, played trombone on several tunes, but had major assistance from the talented Steve Duncan. Flea Campbell, the only other original member of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, had a great trumpet solo on "Boy Meets Horn."
The show closed with the well-known "Hawaiian War Chant" number, which included some spectacular drumming. Smiles lingered on the faces of the audience as they left Benaroya Hall, toes still tapping and voices still humming tunes of love from an era gone by.
Upcoming events at Benaroya Hall include the Seattle Youth Symphony, "Itzhak Perlman in Concert with the Seattle Symphony," The Moscow Soloists conducted by Yuri Bashmet, Seattle Men's Chorus with the Northwest Girlchoir, and "Monica Mancini Sings the Movies."
For program and ticket information, call 206-215-4747.