The recent death of George Shearing was noted in a number of articles, and some of the more detailed pieces mentioned various performers who recorded with the legendary jazz pianist. Among them was a singer whose name might not be quite as familiar as Shearing’s — but his 1958 pairing with singer Dakota Staton on In The Night resulted in the creation of a jazz classic.
Shearing might have been a more familiar name at the time, but Dakota Staton was riding high on the success of her previous album, The Late, Late Show. Its title track had risen near the top of the charts, and the young, classically-trained Pittsburgh native was a rising star on the New York jazz scene, leading Capitol Records to pair her up with Shearing.
After her marriage to trumpeter Talib Ahmad Dawud, Staton converted to Islam and performed as Aliyah Rabia for a while. She later reverted to her original name, and would enjoy many decades of success in both jazz and R&B music, although she did have her share of ups and downs. Even though she was often compared to Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, and others, she never able to reach real stardom. She died of natural causes in 2007.