Since Nat Adderley doesn't get around much anymore--not, at least, in this part of the country--the Florida-based cornetist was a particularly welcome visitor to Concerts by the Sea, where he began a brief run Thursday (closing Sunday), heading a group of local musicians.
The occasion was a double reunion. Roy McCurdy, the drummer, played for a decade in the quintet of the late Cannonball Adderley. Victor Feldman, the pianist, was another colleague of Nat Adderley in an earlier incarnation of that unit.
With the dependable Andy Simpkins on bass and a versatile reed man, Bob Sheppard, on tenor, alto and soprano saxes, the five men took a little while to settle in but were in full swing after a few numbers. Adderley, who has been on vacation for a few weeks, seemed hesitant at times, although his muted solo on "Bye Bye Black Bird" found him tackling the racehorse tempo without problems.
Often compared to the early, pre-electronic Miles Davis, he has retained the characteristics that brought him to fame in his brother's band. Cannonball also was a witty, engaging speaker; Nat's badinage in his introductions had some of the same offbeat charm.