A winning mix of lush orchestrations with typically spikey small-band pieces, Shirley Horn shows she can put a bit of much-needed edge and attitude into the current trend for romantic big-band & orchestra productions. The best thing about this album - alongside the deeply enjoyable, mellow and luminous soundscape - is the sense of conviction and directness with which Shirley belts it out, a welcome change from the rather easy stylings of some current female singers.
The only downside is perhaps that her vocal phrasing and particular use of pauses, delays and tense pacing might get a bit wearing for some over the length of a full album. But it's good to have something a bit more choppy against the recent similar but more straightforward offerings from Joni Mitchell, Diana Krall and Jane Monheit. Overall a fine effort, as Shirley lulls us with beauties like "Solitary Moon" but immediately jabs us back to reality with "Sharing the Night with The Blues" - a welcome reminder that jazz can be a provocative, subversive form even as it soothes with big and beautiful production values.
Ten years since the release of the monumental "You Won't Forget Me," Shirely Horn has done it again, releasing a landmark album. Although she has released some very quality material throughout the past decade, "You're My Thrill" is exceptional. The 11-song CD features her usual repetoire of ballads interspersed with bouncy be-bop numbers, but what makes the album noteworthy from her other recent albums is the wall of sound producer Johnny Mandel provides. This quality makes both Horn's vocals and piano resonate. The new CD also echoes "Here's to Life," with Mandel's orchestra backing her vocals on six of the tracks. Horn reaches deep into her early days by injecting some blues guitar into the mix, courtesy of Russell Malone, featured on the songs Sharing the Night With the Blues and Why Don't You Do Right? Her remake of I Got Lost in His Arms is magical, with Larry Bunker's vibes punctuating the end of each verse. Solitary Moon, My Heart Stood Still and the title track are gems, with the orchestra deliciously complementing Horn's masterful interpretation of the songs. The Best Is Yet to Come is a treat, with Horn and company's deft handling of swift chord changes. Finally, Horn's strong performance on All Night Long proves that her voice can still rise to the occasion and provides an appropriate climax to the CD. Along with her trio -- drummer Steve Williams and Charles Ables, who shares bass duties with Brian Bromberg -- Shirley Horn provides us with her most powerful and enchanting album in years.
Purchased yet another great Shirley Horn CD at Amazons keen prices. The more I hear of Ms. Horn the better I like her, a true jazz performer of the highest quality. Will be purchasing more in the coming months!