McKenna accompanied Sherman in her first album in 1983. Their return encounter mirrors a successful duo engagement last summer in the Oak Room of New York’s Algonquin Hotel. With her light soprano, musicianly phrasing and focused time, Sherman is a contemporary Mildred Bailey. McKenna supplies just the right pulse, chords and fills for her style, nowhere better than in “Memphis in June.” Bassist Frank Tate, drummer Terry Clarke and guitarist Joe Cohn participate in a few tracks. In four pieces, Sherman takes over the piano from McKenna, leading the rhythm section in a Latin vamp as she applies the hint of a Spanish accent to the lyrics of “Perdido.” She reflectively accompanies herself in Hoagy Carmichael’s “Moonburn.” Sherman is a first-rate interpreter of lyrics, whether they have the sunny quality of Stanley Adams’ in the old Louis Armstrong hit “Jubilee” or the longing in Noel Coward’s ballads. In addition to rare Carmichael and Coward songs, she sings four obscure Duke Ellington pieces, “Tulip or Turnip,” “It’s Kind of Lonesome Out Tonight,” “C’est Comme Ca” and “Swingtime in Honolulu.”
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