Born to Swing
Daryl Sherman is resilient to the passage of time. The former Artie Shaw chanteuse, who remains the toast of several of Manhattan's most sophisticates boites, has never sounded better than she does on Born to Swing (Audiophile). I've always detected a hint of Blossom Dearie insouciance in Sherman. Unlike the ever-delightful Dearie, whose childlike playfulness defines much of her charm, Sherman also evokes a sensuous maturity that is irresistibly sexy. When, for instance, she explores the soft folds of "The Kind of Man a Woman Needs," there's no question as to what "needs" are being sermonized. Sherman's slinky treatment of "I Found a Million Dollar Baby" is likewise charged with a barely subdued lustiness. Elsewhere on this thoughtful, 13-track collection, Sherman unearths a bounty of buried treasure, including Mary Lou Williams' "Pretty Eyed Baby," Kern and Orbach's lovely "Try to Forget" and, served up with a honky-tonk sassiness worthy of Dietrich, Hoagy Carmichael's tangy "What Kind o' Man Is You?" It's also worth mentioning that Sherman is given some first-class support from guest clarinetist Kenny Davern on five of the tracks and reunites with her old pal Jay Leonhart for a madcap medley that manages to shoehorn some two dozen Bing Crosby tunes into seven-and-a-half minutes.