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Daryl Sherman: Johnny Mercer: A Centennial Tribute

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Six years ago, Arbors Records released Daryl Sherman’s centennial tribute to Richard Rodgers, A Hundred Million Miracles, with the focus, naturally, on the music. Ms Sherman is back with another loving tribute, this one concentrating on the witty, sophisticated words of Johnny Mercer. That says volumes about Daryl in matters of taste, curiosity and the willingness to explore the archives of the Great American Songbook — hallmarks of a dedicated cabaret singer. What makes Daryl Sherman unique is her jazz heritage: musical DNA that can be traced back to Blossom Dearie, Mabel Mercer and Mildred Bailey. Of course when you bring up DNA you can’t overlook her very early exposure to her dad, trombonist Sammy Sherman, who fronted a big band during that golden era, nor can you ignore the fact that Artie Shaw, when he unveiled his post-retirement orchestra in ’83, hired Daryl to be his band vocalist.

With this latest release, Sherman has strengthened her jazz credentials and widened her cabaret purview with 14 diverse tracks and outstanding jazz players: trombonist/singer Wycliffe Gordon; altoist Jerry Dodgion; guitarist/banjoist/arranger Howard Alden; bassist/singer Jay Leonhart; vibist/drummer Chuck Redd; and special piano guests Marion McPartland and Barbara Carroll.

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