Discovering Discover and Doing a Double-Header
That first set ended in time for me to get cross-town to Feinstein's at the Regency for one of those special Late Night Jazz events, when the price tag turns quite reasonable. This one starred vocalist Daryl Sherman, with two frequent associates, tenor great Houston Person and bassist Jennifer Leitham. There was a good house, and Sherman was in fine fettle, doing what she does so very well: Establishing rapport with the audience from the first note (or cheerful welcome) and maintaining that special contact throughout. There was a happy, spontaneous interaction between this musical threesome of the kind so special to jazz. Nothing preplanned here, but everything worked just fine.
"Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me," part of Sherman's rich store of Ellingtonia, was a bright opener, Houston right at home. "Get Out Of Town" changed the mood. Sherman is also a Cole Porter expertin fact, she has the Great American Songbook under her thumb, vocally and pianisticallyPerson again in there and the bassist providing firm support. We never missed drums, perhaps the most expendable of instruments and seldom employed by Sherman. "Too Late Now" was a vocal highlight.
Leitham was a convincing soloist on "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and even more so on "This Can't Be Love," with a swinging piano bit as well. Person's special ballad warmth came to the fore on "Polka Dots and Moonbeams," while he proved himself a real trouper on this most entertaining and thoroughly musical evening's finale, Sherman's own special (she ought to feature her own things more), "Tropical Belt." This was clearly virgin territory to the veteran tenor man, but he has great ears, and by the time he felt ready, contributed a properly caloric solo. We should also mention Sherman's commentary, humorous but informative, and an additional ingredient in making this little recital a truly feel-good experience. If I owned a club, I'd install Daryl Sherman in a minute.