One learns to expect nothing less than perfection from Shirley Horn and this CD lives up to her well earned reputation. Produced by Johnny Mandel, this session was recorded in Los Angeles last summer. Orchestral arrangements are by Mandel with Shirley handling her own trio scoring.
There is no way that Shirley Horn can be mistaken for any other vocalist. Her highly individualistic style could perhaps be compared to that of Count Basie. Both artists, though appearing relaxed and loose, work furiously to generate an impression of relaxation. Ms. Horn's unique appeal is present on this latest album recorded last summer in Los Angeles.
Six of the eleven great songs are embellished by a large orchestral section of strings, horns and reeds playing tastefully behind the jazz trios and quartets. The trio includes the leader's voice and piano with bassists Brian Bromberg and Charles Ables sharing the duties. Steve Williams occupies the drummer's throne on all but one track where he is replaced by Steve Schaeffer. New Zealand's Alan Broadbent is the pianist on the hauntingly beautiful "Solitary Moon" penned by Johnny Mandel. This writer was delighted to find guitarist Russell Malone present on several tracks. Fans of Dianna Krall will be familiar with Malone's superb accompaniment and solos. The appearance of the venerable Larry Bunker on vibes is another bonus.
Packaged in this session are a few standards including "My Heart Stood Still", "The Best Is Yet To Come", "You'd Better Love Me While You May" and "Why Don't You Do Right." Shirley's outstanding treatment of Irving Berlin's "I Got Lost In His Arms" is beautiful. The tune was possibly first recorded by Dinah Shore in the late 1940s and was forgotten until recently when it was re-discovered by a few jazz artists. Other special treats for Shirley's fans are "Sharing The Night With The Blues" and the perennial Ray Noble composition, "The Very Thought Of You."
This album is a "must have" for Shirley Horn fans.