273

Shirley Horn: But Beautiful: The Best of Shirley Horn

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Shirley Horn: But Beautiful: The Best of Shirley Horn Shirley Horn is a jazz diva who needs little introduction. This veteran of song is one of the classic vocalists of any era. But Beautiful gives us some classic recordings that highlight her career, as well as three bonus tracks recorded from a recent performance at the Au Bar in New York City. The first eleven tracks are from Horn's Verve Records catalogue, including I Thought About You and Loads of Love: Shirley Horn with Horns, which was originally released on Mercury Records.

Horn became a singer by accident. While performing as a pianist in a restaurant/nightclub, she recalls a regular patron who brought a large teddy bear with him. Horn said the man offered her the bear if she would sing "Melancholy Baby. She wanted the toy badly enough that she overcame her shyness and sang. This led to others asking her to sing, and Horn gradually established herself as a vocalist. Over the years, she spent time working with Miles Davis and raising her daughter. Shortly before his death in 1991, Davis added his trumpet to the title track of Horn's "You Won't Forget Me," which appears on the new release. The singer paid tribute to the man who helped her rise to jazz prominence with "I Remember Miles, for which she won a Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Performance.

But Beautiful highlights some of the best recordings of Horn's career. "You Won't Forget Me displays Horn's vocal perfection, complemented by Davis' muted trumpet. "The Great City, a swinging tune that first appeared on Horn's Loads of Love, is a delightful but cautionary tale about a wide-eyed young person who thinks the big city is the answer to his or her problems. "If you come in, make sure you can get back out, Horn sings. "Jelly, Jelly, one of the three bonus tracks, is an easygoing, bluesy cut that features Roy Hargrove on trumpet in one of the few notable instrumental solos on the album.

Throughout, Horn is at her best. While her sound is clean and her tone perfect, she sings with the same soulful flair that got Miles Davis' attention many years ago. To Shirley Horn fans who already have all her albums, the three bonus tracks, while good, may not be worth it. But for those who haven't heard much Horn, But Beautiful is a great place to start.

Track Listing: I Just Found Out About Love; You Won't Forget Me; You Don't Know Me; The Great City; Fever; If You Love Me; A Time for Love; Come Dance with Me; Nice 'n' Easy; But Beautiful; Here's to Life; Jelly, Jelly; Loads of Love; I Didn't Know What Time It Was.

Personnel: Shirley Horn: vocals, piano, Hammond B-3 organ; Charles Ables: bass, guitar; Ed Howard: bass; George Mesterhazy: guitar; Steve Williams: drums; Miles Davis: trumpet; Wynton Marsalis: trumpet; Roy Hargrove: trumpet; Buck Hill: tenor saxophone; Alan Broadbent: piano; Chuck Domanico: bass; Harvey Mason: percussion; Richard Todd: French horn; Quincy Jones Orchestra: arranged by Thad Jones.

Title: But Beautiful: The Best of Shirley Horn | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Verve Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Move Upstairs" CD/LP/Track Review Move Upstairs
by James Nadal
Published: May 27, 2017
Read "14.11.2016" CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read "The Caustic Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review The Caustic Ballads
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Glitter" CD/LP/Track Review Glitter
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 12, 2017
Read "Arrhythmia" CD/LP/Track Review Arrhythmia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties" CD/LP/Track Review The Look Of Love: Songs Of The Sixties
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 4, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.