Artist: Shirley Horn
Album: Live At The 4 Queens
Genre: Vocal Jazz
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps
You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To (04:01)
Meditation (Meditaçao) (09:10)
The Boy From Ipanema (05:25)
Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be?) (05:26)
Something Happens To Me (03:21)
Just For A Thrill (05:08)
Blues For Big Scotia (03:10)
The incandescence that was Shirley Horn, and her central importance to jazz vocals, cannot be overstated. She was a master, like Miles Davis and Ahmad Jamal, at retaining that elusive heartbeat called swing at the slowest tempos. Her ballad treatments may be traced, as a thread, through the approaches of Rebecca Parris, Patti Wicks, and Sue Sheriff. She was a musical force-of-nature, moving deliberately, thoughtfully, and soulfully forward.
Resonance Records, that upstart of hidden treasures helmed by Zev Feldman that unearthed the recently released Bill Evans -Some Other Time: The Lost Session from the Black Forest e (2016), Thad Jones and Mel Lewis -All My Yesterdays: The Debut 1966 Recordings at the Village Vanguard (2016), and Stan Getz -Moment in Time (2016) has now done the same with unreleased Shirley Horn with Shirley Horn Live at the 4 Queens.
Horn’s discography is light on live recordings, making Live at the 4 Queens and immediately valuable addition to her recorded oeuvre. It is a spirited recital of nine tunes by Horn and her long-time rhythm section of bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams recorded live at Las Vegas’ The 4 Queens Hotel, May 2, 1988. Horn was in excellent health and voice during this period, showing off her ballad prowess on “Lover Man,” “You’d be So Nice to Come Home To,” and “Just for a Thrill,” the last being played just fast enough to retain the pulse of jazz. It is a masterful performance.
But Horn is also capable of picking up the pace and swinging for the fences, as she does on “The Boy from Ipanema” and a tour-de-force “Isn’t It Romantic,” where she displays her considerable piano skills. One can never hear enough of unheard Shirley Horn.
By C. MICHAEL BAILEY