Sammy Sherman, the father of the great singer Daryl Sherman, was a very talented swing trombonist. His obscurity is due to him choosing to spend his life in Rhode Island, where he raised a family, worked for the family restaurant business and played locally. He passed away at the age of 89 in 2003, but not before hearing the music that is on this CD, his only one as a leader. With the exception of a solo trumpet feature by Russell Devuyst in 2004, the music dates from 1994-1998 and is mostly comprised of private recordings of Sherman performing at Chan's in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. The recording quality is fine and the playing, particularly by the trombonist (who was in his eighties), is generally brilliant. Sammy Sherman had very impressive technique, the ability to hit surprising high notes, an original tone and a very fluent swing style. Among his sidemen are such notables as guitarist Howard Alden, cornetist/trombonist Dan Barrett, tenor-saxophonist Loren Schoenberg and cornetists Warren Vaché and Dick Sudhalter. Not to be overlooked is his daughter Daryl Sherman, who plays very effective piano throughout and takes two vocals, including on a trombone-vocal/bongos duet "All of Me." A special bonus is hearing Sammy Sherman play his first instrument, violin, on four swinging tracks. Although this release is a labor of love, the music succeeds on its own terms and serves as a heartwarming tribute to Sammy Sherman.
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow