Sunday, January 22, 2012

Daryl Sherman - Jane Stuart

Daryl Sherman Mississippi Belle (Audiophile ACD 342)

One of the most entertaining of musicians, Daryl Sherman has a fully deserved worldwide reputation as a fine jazz pianist and singer. On this, her latest CD (released late December 2011), she delves into a trove of music with which she is wonderfully familiar, the songs of Cole Porter. For many years, Daryl has played and sung regularly at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel; what’s more, she has done so seated at the piano Cole Porter had in his suite when he stayed there, a Steinway given to him by the hotel. This CD is subtitled ‘Cole Porter in the Quarter’, that being, of course, the French Quarter of New Orleans, which is not only home to Audiophile Records but also where Daryl has often chosen to perform, particularly after Hurricane Katrina. Among the songs Daryl sings here are the familiar, which include Let’s Do It, Rosalie, Get Out Of Town, You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To and From This Moment On, and some that are less so, including Ours, Tale Of The Oyster, Use You Imagination and Looking At You. To her interpretations of all the songs, Daryl brings her unmistakable charm and wit, cloaking everything in her superb musicianship. Daryl’s instrumental collaborators here are clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Tom Fischer and bassist Jesse Boyd. The always admirable New Orleans-based singer, Banu Gibson, joins Daryl for By The Mississinewah. This is lovely stuff, a CD that will have very wide appeal.

Jane Stuart Don’t Look Back (Jane Stuart Music JSM 002)

Jane Stuart’s debut CD was 2007’s Beginning To See The Light, which won the Blue Chip Award for “Best Jazz Vocals” from the International Association of Jazz Educators. By now very much appreciated for her live performances, sometimes solo and sometimes as leader of her band, Airtight, in the New York and New Jersey area, Jane has built upon her very good start in the tough world of jazz singing and her new CD shows just how far she has come. This is a mature and confident performance, and her repertoire shows the breadth of her musical appreciation; among the songs here are Cole Porter’s Experiment, Dave Frishberg’s Wheelers And Dealers and You Are There (co-composed by Johnny Mandel), Lennon and McCartney’s Eleanor Rigby and I’ll Follow The Sun, Rodgers and Hart’s I Didn’t Know What Time It Was and an especially attractive version of the Gershwin classic, Summertime. Jane’s accompanists are pianist Rave Tesar, tenor saxophonist Frank Elmo, bassists Kermit Driscoll and Sue Williams share tracks and drummer Rick De Kovessey (who is her husband). Also on hand are percussionist Emedin Rivera and background vocalists Orlando Quinones and Paige Sandusky. There are also guests in the very welcome form of guitarist Dave Stryker and saxophonist Dick Oatts. This is a singer who deserves your attention.

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