Shirley Horn was an accomplished pianist who happened to sing extremely well infinitely superior to almost all of the many so-called jazz singers who were much better known than she was. Shirley Horn sang like Shirley Horn and no one else. There are no mannerisms borrowed from other singers, no phony funk or resorting to cliché. Her control of vibrato was enough to make her exceptional, but her approach to a pretty song was a mature one. As one of the most pleasing and most musical singers in the business: she embraced the melody, without strain or fuss and her singing was unpretentious and full of grace.
This CD set presents her first album, Embers and Ashes, a gem that, considering her eminent reputation and a host of admirers including Miles Davis, remained incomprehensibly forgotten after its release in 1960, and another outstanding album she recorded years later under the title Where Are You Going. Both deserve to be reissued for the benefit of all her fans.
01. Like Someone in Love (Burke-Van heusen) 2:30
02. He Never Mentioned Love (Curtis Lewis) 3:19
03. Softly As in a Morning Sunrise (Romberg-Hammerstein) 3:20
04. I Thought About You (Mercer-Van Heusen) 3:02
05. Mountain Greenery (Rodgers-Hart) 2:16
06. God Bless the Child (Herzog-Holiday) 3:38
07. Blue City (Curtis Lewis) 3:32
08. Day by Day (Cahn-Stordahl-Weston) 2:32
09. If I Should Lose You (Robin-Rainger) 3:20
10. Wild Is the Wind (Tiomkin-Washington) 3:42
11. Come Rain or Come Shine (Mercer-Arlen) 2:53
12. Just in Time (Comdem-Green-Styne) 2:07
13. Where Are You Going (Scott-Meehan) 4:25
14. Something Happens to Me (Segal-Fisher) 2:12
15. Come on Home (Washington-Hill) 2:32
16. Do It Again (Gershwin-DeSylva) 7:06
17. The Eagle and Me (Arlen-Harburg) 3:22
18. Taste of Honey (Scott-Marlow) 5:42
19. L.A. Breakdown (Larry Marks) 4:48
20. Consequences of a Drug Addict Role (Wing-Horn) 6:03
Tracks #1-12, from the 12" LP "Embers and Ashes" (Stere-O-Craft #16)
Tracks #13-20, from the 12" LP "Where Are You Going" (Perception PLP 31)
Personnel on "Embers and Ashes" :
Shirley Horn (vocals, piano), Joe Benjamin (bass), Herb Lovelle (drums).
Lewis Packer, and Harry Saunders, replace Benjamin & Lovelle on #8.
Recorded in New York City, 1960
Personnel on "Where Are You Going" :
Shirley Horn (vocals, piano), Al Gafa (guitar, except on #13,18,20), Marshall T. Harris (bass), Bernard Sweetney (drums).
Recorded in New York City, 1972
Sessions produced by Buddy Smith (Stere-O-Craft), Boo Frazier (Perception)
Liner notes: Mort Fega (Stere-O-Craft)
This CD compilation produced by Jordi Pujol