Shirley HORN – You Won´t Forget Me 1990

Shirley HORN – You Won´t Forget Me 1990


Shirley Horn’s ” You Won’t Forget Me ” is, in every sense of the word, a full bodied, tour de force ride through the many different aspects of jazz singing that this artist is capable of. While I may slighly favor ” Here’s To Life ” her disc with arranger Johhny Mandel ( it’s the romantic in me! ) this is, taken as an entire cd, far more encompassing and complete a listening experience. Perhaps I should explain. Playing, for the most part, as a trio, Shirley on piano, Charles Ables on bass and Steve Williams playing drums, Shirley tackles standards with alarming boldness and tenacity that I hear in few of today’s singers. Beginning with ” The Music That Makes Me Dance ” she sets the tone by painting, in not too broad of strokes, a classic that is powerful not only in Shirley’s subtle piano technique but also in her almost whisper like phrasing in conveying the songs tender emotions. Without skipping a beat she jumps right into ” Come Dance With Me “, the Sinatra classic, having fun with the uptempo melody and phrasing the lyrics in a joyful, playful manner. Not everyone could pull off a medley this complex.
Obviously there is not enough time to go into detail about all of this wonderful albums highlight’s but I did want to expand on just a few. Starting with ” Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying ” a bluesy number with an amazing solo by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. ” Come Back To Me “, a midtempo that finds this singer pleading for her lover to return ( and almost making me forget about Barbra’s version….almost! ). ” Too Late Now ” a tender selection that is literally hearbreaking in it’s simplicity and ” Soothe Me ” ( with Toots Thieleman’s incredible harmonica along for the ride ) quite possibly one of the most ‘erotic’ songs that I have certainly ever heard. Simply too hot! Last, and not least, is the title track ” You Won’t Forget Me “, a hauntingly beautiful song, with acompianment by Mile Davis, has Shirley phrasing against a background of Steve Williams drums keeping a clock like mid-tempo beat, having the singer pleading not to be forgetten by a former lover. The song is, at once, extremely atmopheric yet oddly beautiful and frightful at the same time. I simply cannot do this song any justice when attempting to describe it! It truly is that incredibly strong! See for yourself.

While I’ve left out other great songs featured on this amazing disc, i.e.” It Had To Be You ” and ” I Just Found Out About Love ” being two more, I can safely recommend adding this powerful cd to your collection. It truly is as complete a jazz package as you’re going to find and featuring a singer who has the experience and hard earned wisdom to bring these selections to life. In ending, Shirley Horn is a jazz singer in the traditional sense ( along with Betty Carter ) and, if we’re wise, can teach us so much about how incredibly forceful this style of music can be. Thanks Shirley! We all owe you one!
By Douglas Burton.
Interestingly, Horn rarely takes a solo, but repeats the songs over and over, slightly changing the phrasing and continuously building on the piano to change the emphasis. Every cut is a masterpiece, but the stand out is the title cut. Drummer Steve Williams sets up a strange, repetitive quarter note pattern which sounds like a ticking clock over which Miles Davis’ muted trumpet floats and soars as Horn sings and plays piano. The track is especially poignant, as it was one of Davis’ last appearances on record. The effect is nothing short of breathtaking. This album is a wonderful jazz treasure.

Shirley Horn focuses on romantic love songs on this third release for the Verve label. In addition to her powerful rhythm section (Charles Ables on bass, Steve Williams on drums) this release features guest appearances by some of jazz’s luminaries: Miles Davis (long a champion of Horn’s music), Wynton and Branford Marsalis, and Toots Thielmans.
Shirley Horn made her recording debut in the early 1960s then returned home to Washington, D.C., to raise a family. She came back to the studio in the late ’70s and early ’80s, but it wasn’t until this 1991 recording–her third Verve release–that she finally received the recognition she was due. You Won’t Forget Me features Horn’s trio of bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams, plus guest soloists Miles Davis, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Toots Thielemans, and fellow D.C. legend Buck Hill. The album projects a warm musical vision that elevates lyrical storytelling over fancy scatting. Here, maturity enhances rather than diminishes romantic longing.
By Rick Mitchell.
Bass- Buster Williams (tracks: 5, 10, 12) , Charles Ables (tracks: 1 to 3, 6 to 8, 11, 13, 14)
Drums- Billy Hart (tracks: 5, 10, 12) , Steve Williams (5) (tracks: 1 to 3, 6 to 8, 11, 13, 14)
Miles Davis- Trumpet (track: 13)
Toots Thielemans- Harmonica, Guitar (tracks:4, 9
Charles Ables- Guitar- (track: 12)
Branford Marsalis- Tenor Sax (track: 8)
Wynton Marsalis- Trumpet (track: 3,)
Piano, Vocals- Shirley Horn
01. The Music That Makes Me Dance  6:32
02. Come Dance With Me  2:47
03. Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Cryin’  5:58
Trumpet – Wynton Marsalis
04. Beautiful Love  3:38
Harmonica, Guitar – Toots Thielemans
05. Come Back To Me  3:43
06. Too Late Now  6:00
07. I Just Found Out About Love  2:24
08. It Had To Be You  6:49
Saxophone [Tenor] – Branford Marsalis
09. Sooth Me  3:31
Harmonica – Toots Thielemans
10. Foolin’ Myself  2:46
11. If You Go  8:57
12. You Stepped Out Of A Dream  3:44
Guitar – Charles Ables
13. You Won’t Forget Me  7:12
Trumpet – Miles Davis
14. All My Tomorrows  6:22

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