“The Park Avenue Whirl” at Feinstein’s at the Regency is a politely mannered program of vintage tunes. The breezy hour of songs by Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and Irving Berlin offers ample foot-tapping opportunity but except for a few moments carries precious little in the way of emotional depth.
Daryl Sherman, a mainstay at the Waldorf Astoria (where she plays Porter’s historic Steinway), has moved a few blocks uptown to join Vince Giordano & the Nighthawks, the band that seldom strays from tunes born in the roaring ’20s and flirty ’30s.
Sherman, who possesses the key to unlocking the intimacies of a lyric, offered a beautifully reflective take on “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” the song by Eric Maschwitz and Manning Sherwin that eavesdrops on a world turned upside down and the few sweet stolen moments of a couple in wartime London.
Her light, beautiful voice nicely complemented the band’s rhythmic exploration of the past. Historically accurate, the frisky Nighthawks peppered the set with some flavorful period sounds on banjo and tuba, re-creating savory jump tunes from the Cotton Club days.
From the old Jimmie Lunceford band theme to the serenades by Jerome Kern, Dorothy Fields and the Gershwins that united Fred and Ginger to songs associated with the Rhythm Boys that tracked the beginning of Bing Crosby’s career, it’s a nostalgic journey.
The musicians get showy solo spots from Dave Brown’s tasty trumpet spot on “Cheek to Cheek” to Giordano’s spicy take on Porter’s “Let’s Misbehave.” Closer was the jaunty “Happy Feet,” which the band played in the film “The Aviator.”