A luminous presence on Hawaii’s jazz scene for more than four decades, Honolulu-based vocalist Maggie Herron is veteran entertainer whose accolades include a whopping three victories in her state’s Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Jazz Album of the Year. Following on the success of her breakout 2018 album A Ton of Trouble, on which she showcased an impressive array of originals, Herron has just released Renditions, a program of Great American Songbook standards that nonetheless reveals her personal touch and unique artistic vision.
With Renditions, Herron has finally documented her love affair with the popular song, recording a set of vintage and more recently minted standards in the graceful, understated style that has firmly ensconced her as a beloved Aloha State institution. Her all-star supporting ensemble includes a core trio of Darek Oles on bass and Ray Brinker on drums. Herron herself plays piano. Guest appearances include guitarist Larry Koonse, saxophonist Bob Sheppard, bassist Dean Taba and saxophonist Rocky Holmes.
Our Song of the Day is “Ain’t Misbehavin,” a trad-jazz favorite by pianist Fats Waller that would receive a second life as the centerpiece to a 1978 Broadway play of the same name. Herron infuses the tune with a modern blues sensibility and some heavy doses of soul, punctuating the jaunty number with cascading gospel phrases and showing off some prodigious piano chops while she’s at it.