Review: Algonquin Oak Room


by William Wolf
Wolf Entertainment Guide

The Oak Room at the Algonquin is too much of a gem to waste a night. Especially if it can have “Mondays with Daryl Sherman,” currently the weekly attraction apart from the regular Oak Room schedule. Sherman began March 16, and her remaining shows are March 30 April 6, 13 and 20, 2009. The set-up is dinner at 6, Sherman at 8 and jazzy memories of her thereafter. With Sherman softer is louder. That is to say she makes her impact with easygoing piano playing and lyrics sung quietly rather than blasted with force. The effect is intimacy, accentuated by her chatting about her music and experiences. Sherman’s forte is jazz. She riffs on a variety of songs that offer her range to roam freely, and she doesn’t seem obligated to select trendy hits.

Sherman smiles a lot and tries to enlist her audience in having a pleasant time by cozying up and listening carefully to what she does with a melody and a lyric. She’s also a good pianist, and she is working with two excellent musicians, James Chirillo on guitar and Boots Maleson on bass, each of whom is capable of providing a strong solo when not blending with Sherman to enhance the overall impact with the effect of a good combo. Her program will vary according to her moods or preferences, On the night I went, for example, she gave her own pleasing interpretation of “Mr. Bojangles. ” There was a creative rendition of “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” with a fine solo by Maleson. Sherman did a lot with “Mardi Gras,” and recalling the show “Jumbo,” she did her own thing with “Little Girl Blue,” the Rodgers and Hart number from it. Count on her to sing about anything ranging from love to cats. On occasions the enunciation of her lyrics can get lost in their adaptation to jazz, but then it is the jazz that distinguishes her style and creativity.

Posted in Reviews

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