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The Park Avenue Whirl with Vince Giordano and Daryl Sherman

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

The Park Avenue Whirl
A Musical Toast to the Twenties and Thirties

Daryl Sherman on Piano and Jazz Vocals
(See A Review of Daryl Sherman)

Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks Orchestra
(See a Review and Photos of Vince Giordano and His Nighthawks)
Dave Brown, Brad Shigeta, Dan Block,
Mark Lopeman, John Gill, Nick Russo

Marion Cowings, Vocalist
Alexander Cowings, Tap Dancer

Press: Karen Greco

59 E 59 Theater A
59 East 59th Street

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
December 20, 2005

What a Holiday treat! Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks Orchestra, six musicians, plus Vince on steel bass, tuba, bass saxophone, and vocals. Plus, the effervescent Daryl Sherman, usually seen at The Waldorf, singing and playing Cole Porter’s piano, and here, singing and playing a 1948 Model M green (with gold flowers) Steinway & Sons piano, lent for the occasion by AC Pianocraft, Inc. To add to this ensemble, in a “Musical Toast to the Twenties and Thirties”, are Marion Cowings, on vocals, and the youthful and energetic, Alexander Cowings, a tap dancer. For almost two weeks, this seasoned group of performers takes the stage at 59 E 59 Theaters to invoke the memory of Arlen, Gershwin, Fred & Ginger, Bing, Bobby Short, Ambrose, Mayfair, Ellington, and The Cotton Club. The sized-down but sensational orchestra is featured in generous solos throughout the evening, and singers harmonize, sing solitaire, and even partner dance; that is, Ms. Sherman steps away from her elegant keyboard to add a two-step or foxtrot with Vince or Marion. Tapping is reserved for Alexander on his private dance board.

Dave Brown’s dazzling trumpet was featured early, followed by Ms. Sherman leading Slumming on Park Avenue and I Want to be Bad, a song that replays often in the listener’s head, long after the stage lights have dimmed. Daryl, in a long, bright red, silky dress, sang with vivacity and verve, her vocal volume and richness increasing as the first set continued. She winks at her audience and tells partial or total fantasy anecdotes, always in a hearty, Holiday mood. Vince, too, sometimes takes the mike (an antique big band microphone on a stand), and gives every song his enthusiastic interpretation, all the while exuding mirth and joy at participating in this seasonal series. Daryl Sherman's interpretation of Let’s Misbehave was performed in rousing swing, and her How Could We be Wrong and her Why Shouldn’t I were a tribute to Cole Porter, as were Just One of Those Things and Begin the Beguine.

Marion Cowings, a tall, taut figure with a voice like honey and milk, and Alexander Cowings, with curly hair and limbs that dance on a moment’s notice, performed Street of Dreams, while the green Steinway sang its own notorious notes in songbird style. Nick Russo on guitar and Vince on steel bass added resounding rhythms and buoyant blending to the proceedings. Soon The Cotton Club was invoked, and Mark Lopeman on perfectly pitched and smooth tenor sax added depth to Mr. Cowings’ mellow vocals. Ms. Sherman sang next, of an aching heart and a longing for love, and the theater was warm and full of emotions. Alexander tapped to Happy Feet to close the first set.

The second set opened with Did You Mean It?, with the talented, Brad Shigeta featured on trombone and black megaphone. Dan Block and Mark Lopeman, on alto and tenor saxes, were thrilling in this rousing swing. Soon Dan Block switched to clarinet, and Ms. Sherman lowered and raised her vocals with sensitivity and sensuality. Jeepers Creepers changed the mood, and Marion Cowings sang to Daryl with smooth shifts in octave and key. Irving Berlin’s Cheek to Cheek, in a Quickstep or Peabody beat, was enhanced with Dan Brown’s tempting trumpet. Arlen’s Get Yourself a New Broom invoked Astaire and those much more elegant times.

I Found a Million Dollar Baby and Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams suddenly sounded like Rumba or Merengue, thanks to a Latin infusion by John Gill on drums. Bing Crosby was now remembered, and Vince came front stage with his bass sax and did a few steps with Daryl. These Foolish Things, Daryl’s shining solo, with vocals and piano, was followed by The Very Thought of You, sung by Marion Cowings. Another shift in singers, and A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and Cheek to Cheek were performed to a fancy foxtrot rhythm.

Back to Manhattan, and a very New York medley began with the entire ensemble of singers, tap dancers, and orchestra to close this Opening Night performance, but another highlight, and a surprise, was an audience sing-a-long to Berlin’s White Christmas. It felt good to sing, and it felt good to be there, in a space that usually houses a different theatrical genre, but, this time, showcased a multitude of music and songs and a bit of dance in a Holiday “Musical Toast to the Twenties and Thirties”. Hopefully such upbeat, warmhearted events will be produced more often and for new audiences, as well as loyal fans. Kudos to Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks, to Daryl Sherman, to Marion Cowings and Alexander Cowings, and to 59 E 59 Theaters for a bubbly start to the Holidays. In fact, this being Opening Night, a champagne reception followed this two-set performance in the 59 E 59 Bar.

Daryl Sherman will be the featured performer at the - AC Pianocraft, Inc. Piano-Plus Jazz Benefit on April 3, 2006.

Daryl Sherman and Friends at the Reception
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Daryl Works the Bar
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Daryl Sherman and Vince Giordano
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Daryl, Vince, and Jimmy Roberts
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Vince, Roberta, and Daryl at Leisure
Photo courtesy of Jimmy Roberts

Model M Steinway & Sons 1948 Green Piano at AC Pianocraft, Inc.
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Model M Steinway & Sons 1948 Green Piano at AC Pianocraft, Inc.
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at