Down Beat - 6/96, p.464 Stars (out of 5)
- "...Horn once again succeeding admirably in giving favorite songs an easygoing beauty....Horn's singing is of the highest order, quiet yet passionate, assured and unmannered, perfect in pitch and phrasing, her accents shifted imperceptibly and tellingly..."
JazzTimes - 4/96, p.76
"...Jazz diva Shirley Horn casts a haunting spell with her intimate, purring vocals, dramatic use of space and spare piano playing....But this time out the diva also lets her hair down and gets funky on a few tracks....Exquisite and engaging, delightful and delicious."
Personnel: Shirley Horn (vocals, piano, Roland electric piano); Buck Hill, Joe Henderson (tenor saxophone); Roy Hargrove (flugelhorn); Charles Ables (guitar, bass); Steve Novosel (bass); Steve Williams, Elvin Jones, Billy Hart (drums).
Recorded at Shirley Horn's home, Washington, D.C. and Sound On Sound, New York, New York in May and September, 1995. Includes liner notes by Shirley Horn, Roy Hargrove, Joe Henderson, Buck Hill, Charles Ables, Steve Novesel, Billy Hart, Elvin Jones and Steve Williams.
THE MAIN INGREDIENT was nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance.
Personnel: Shirley Horn (vocals, piano).
Recording information: Big Mo Recording, Washington DC (05/15/1995-05/18/1995); Sound on Sound, New York, NY (05/15/1995-05/18/1995).
In May of 1995, Horn turned her home into a recording studio and invited jazz luminaries such as Elvin Jones, Joe Henderson, Buck Hill, and Roy Hargrove to jam with her trio. The wonderful result is a spontaneous, relaxed, real life jam, where each one of her magical guests gets his say. Horn's choice of material is always compelling and chosen with exquisite taste. Her smoky vocals are intimate and conversational, relying on odd meter and silence, rather than volume, to make an emotional point.
Horn's specialty is the slowed-down ballad and here there are haunting versions of "The Look Of Love" and "You Go To My Head" where Joe Henderson weaves his tenor saxophone around Horn's sultry vocals. Other gems include cool jazz-swing versions of the classics "Fever" and "Peel Me A Grape," as well as a hard swinging "All Or Nothing At All" with fiery solos by Buck Hill, Joe Henderson, and Elvin Jones. This is a consistently fine labor of camaraderie and love for, as Horn states "Music, THE MAIN INGREDIENT."