Shirley Horn Here's to Life
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- Released: April 21, 1992
- Originally Released: 1992
- Label: Polygram Records
Entertainment Weekly - 6/19/92, p.73"..a dreamy, late-night affair...As both a vocalist of subtle graces and a pianist who knows the beauty of economy, Horn wows with understatement.." - Rating: A
Down Beat - 7/92, p.385 Stars - Excellent - "..It gushes softly, elegantly...everything here is fresh, as if sung and played for the first time...affirms Shirley Horn as today's premier ballad stylist.."
Jazziz - Dec.-Jan./92, p.94Picked by critic Leonard Feather as one of the 10 best jazz albums of 1992.
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Personnel: Shirley Horn (vocals, piano); Wynton Marsalis (trumpet); Charles Ables (bass instrument); Steve Williams (drums); Johnny Mandel.
Sometimes the most effective backdrop for a spare, "minimalist" singer is a lush orchestral arrangement with strings. The problem is that there aren't too many arrangers left who can write in the old romantic, melodic style. One exception to the rule is composer Johnny Mandel, the man who scored Jimmy Scott's major comeback ALL THE WAY and, most recently, Diana Krall's WHEN I LOOK INTO YOUR EYES. Mandel's greatest triumph, however, is also Shirlrey Horn's best album, HERE'S TO LIFE, the only one of her many sessions that really captures the flaming romanticism lurking beneath that deceptively economical vocal technique.
Horn has a wealth of material to work with, gems like Billie Holiday's "How am I to Know?," with lyrics by Dorothy Parker, all dressed up in bossa nova style, and Edith Piaf's anthemic "If You Love Me." There is Mandel's own lovely "A Time for Love," as well as two by the great film composer Diimtri Tiomkin, "Wild is the Wind" and "Return to Paradise." The titles alone conjure up a heady, get-away-from-it-all atmosphere, one that enables Horn to justify her reputation as a major artist.
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