Daryl Sherman

One of my favourite CDs from last year was a tribute to the songwriter Johnny Mercer by a woman who is something of  New York institution: Daryl Sherman.

She has been performing in the city’s swankiest spots for years and has amassed a phenomenal knowledge of the Great American Songbook, especially some of its lesser-read pages. On this lovely CD she was joined by such A-listers as Wycliffe Gordon, Howard Alden and Marian McPartland for a Johnny Mercer tribute with a laid-back, joyful feel to it – and with several of the lyricist’s more obscure songs (among them Little Ingenue and The Bathtub Ran Over Again) as its highlights.

Whether she’s managing to include these numbers in her repertoire during her current UK tour I’ll find out on Sunday, when she makes her debut in Glasgow (visit www.jazzinternational.co.uk for details), but with such top-notch musicians as guitarists Nigel Clark and Dave Cliff and vocalist Todd Gordon joining in the fun, I’d say there’s a good chance..

* For information on Daryl’s tour, visit www.darylsherman.com; Daryl Sherman – Johnny Mercer Centennial Tribute (Arbors Records, £12.99)

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