Guess Who's in Town
It’s easy to forgive Daryl Sherman’s consistently dreadful taste in cover art (demonstrated here with a cheesy bicycle-cum-rickshaw motif) because the former big-band canary has such exceptionally good taste in songs. Album after album, you can count on Sherman to augment well-chosen standards (here represented by the likes of a flawlessly tender “Then I’ll Be Tired of You,” a superbly haunted “Angel Eyes” and a gently roiling, non-vocal treatment of “Lullaby of Birdland” in which Sherman the pianist proves herself worthy of Marian McPartland) with a handful of unexpected but always interesting surprises. This time around, such treats include the age-old British music hall anthem “Underneath the Arches,” the lovely Mercer rarity “Dream Awhile,” and the eminently clever “Like a Puzzle” from the team of Nancy Winston and Roger Schore. Rounding out the generous 15-track set is Sherman’s self-penned addition to the New York songbook, “Welcome to Manhattan,” a laudable nod to the great city that can hold its own against Frank Loesser’s “My Time of Day” and Cole Porter’s “I Happen to Like New York.” Through it all, the former Rhode Islander, with her old-school Blossom Dearie-meets-Teddi King warmth and crisp, Jo Stafford-esque enunciation, remains as estimably listenable as ever.