Archive for the Shirley HORN Category

Shirley HORN – Light Out of Darkness (A Tribute To Ray Charles) 1993

Posted in JAZZ, Shirley HORN on December 20, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Shirley HORN – Light Out of Darkness (A Tribute To Ray Charles) 1993


It’s not that easy being green
Having to spend each day the colour of the leaves
When I think it could be nicer being red or yellow or gold
Or something much more colourful like that

It’s not that easy being green
It seems to blend in with so many other ordinary things
And people tend to pass you over
Cos you’re not standing out like flashy sparkles on the water
Or stars in the sky

But green is the colour of spring
And green can be cool and friendly-like
And green can be big like an ocean or important like a mountain
Or tall like a tree

But if green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder, why wonder
I’m green and it’ll do fine
And it’s beautiful and I think it’s what I want to be
For this change of pace, singer/pianist Shirley Horn performs 15 songs associated with Ray Charles. Of course, Horn sounds nothing like Charles, but she sometimes captures his spirit on such songs as “Hit the Road, Jack,” “You Don’t Know Me” (which finds her switching to organ), “Makin’ Whoopee” and “How Long Has This Been Going On.” Joined by her regular trio (with bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Willliams), some of the songs have Ables switching effectively to guitar, while Tyler Mitchell fills in on bass. Altoist Gary Bartz guests on five of the dozen selections. While emphasizing ballads, as one always expects, this is a fun set that includes more medium-tempo tunes than usual for a Shirley Horn set.
By Scott Yanow, All Music Guide.
Shirley Horn’s tribute to Ray Charles is typically idiosyncratic yet unaffected by a need to justify the critical hype. She plays organ as well as piano while Charles Ables doubles on bass and guitar and Gary Bartz adds soulful alto-sax obliggatos. Horn’s versions of “Hit the Road, Jack” and “I Got a Man” replace the gospel fire of the originals with sexy, lighthearted swing, while “Drown in My Own Tears” is more torch ballad than bluesy hymn. The album’s emotional centerpiece is “Green (It’s Not Easy Being Green),” a tune Brother Ray borrowed from Kermit the Frog. Amazingly, Horn finds deeper meaning in the lyric than either of them.
By Rick Mitchell.
The stunning LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS is at once Shirley Horn’s loving tribute to the genius of Ray Charles, a stylistic departure from the introspective jazz balladry she’s known for, and a journey into the world of R&B. Horn and her trio swing hard on these tracks, and the organic R&B tinged jazz arrangements absolutely simmer, with Horn singing, playing piano, and Hammond B-3 organ. Her distinctive sultry and smoky vocals are bluesy and conversational, similar in approach to Charles’. Horn’s masterly chord cluster style of piano playing punctuates her every vocal phrase.

Her heartfelt solo rendition of “Being Green” forms the emotional centerpiece of the record, while other highlights include rocking versions of “Bye Bye Love” and “Hard Hearted Hannah,” as well as the gorgeous vision of love lost, “The Sun Died.” LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS displays Ray Charles’s influence on the artistry of Shirley Horn to superb effect.
Shirley Horn- Vocals, Piano, Organ)
Charles Ables- Guitar, Bass
Tyler Mitchell- Bass  (#1-2, 7, 9, 12, 13)
Gary Bartz- Alto Saxophone  (#3-5, 7, 9, 12)
The Hornettes- Background Vocals
Steve Williams- Drums
01. Hit The Road Jack 3:11
02. Just A Little Lovin’ Will Go A Long Way 4:07
03. You Don’t Know Me 2:58
04. Drown In My Own Tears 5:04
05. Hard Hearted Hannah 3:36
06. Georgia On My Mind 5:20
07. Makin’ Whoopie 3:54
08. (Being) Green 3:16
09. Bye Bye Love 5:26
10. The Sun Died 5:39
11. How Long Has This Been Going On 4:01
12. If You Were Mine 3:25
13. I Got A Man 3:25
14. Just For A Thrill 4:25
15. Light Out Of Darkness 5:25
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Shirley HORN – Violets for Your Furs 1981

Posted in JAZZ, Shirley HORN on December 19, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Shirley HORN – Violets for Your Furs 1981
1991 Issue.


Six years before she signed with Verve and finally became a big name, Shirley Horn already sounded quite mature and fully developed on this live trio date. Recorded at the 1981 Northsea Jazz Festival with bassist Charles Ables and drummer Billy Hart, the pianist/vocalist performs nine familiar standards, including versions of “More Than You Know” and “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” that did not come out until the 1991 CD reissue. The emphasis, as usual, is on ballads, including “Gee Baby Ain’t I Good to You,” “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home” and the title cut. This lesser-known set is up to the same level as Shirley Horn’s best-selling Verve sets.
By Scott Yanow. AMG.
Charles Ables- Bass
Billy Hart- Drums
Shirley Horn- Piano, Vocals
01. Love Is Here to Stay 3:27
02. Georgia on My Mind 7:25
03. Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good to You 3:40
04. Lover Man 5:18
05. Violets for Your Furs 4:56
06. Baby Won’t You Please Come Home 4:14
07. My Man 10:16
08. More Than You Know (#) 4:18
09. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was (#) 2:25

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Shirley HORN – You Won´t Forget Me 1990

Posted in JAZZ, Shirley HORN on December 9, 2010 by whoisthemonk

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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