Entertainment Weekly - 9/24/93, p.94
"...this time out, Horn steps to the side, paying homage to hero and influence Ray Charles. On this pleasantly personalized tribute, Horn swaps dry suavity for Charles' gospel wail..." - Rating: B
Down Beat - 11/93, p.523.5 Stars
- Good Plus - "...Pushing 60, Horn continues to ride the comeback trail, this time with an album of songs associated with, though not mostly written by, Ray Charles...."
Full title: Light Out Of Darkness: A Tribute To Ray Charles.
Personnel: Shirley Horn (vocals, piano, organ); Gary Bartz (alto saxophone); Charles Ables (guitar, bass); Tyler Mitchell (bass); Steve Williams (drums); The Hornettes (background vocals).
Recorded at Clinton Recording Studios, New York, New York, from April-May 1993. Includes liner notes by Tom Terrell.
Personnel: Shirley Horn (vocals, piano, organ); Charles Ables (guitar); Gary Bartz (alto saxophone); Steve Williams , Tyler Mitchell (drums); The Hornettes (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Dave Baker .
Recording information: Clinton Recording Studios, Inc., New York, NY (04/30/1993-05/13/1993).
Photographer: Jimmy Katz.
Arranger: Shirley Horn.
The stunning LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS is at once Shirley Horn's loving tribute to the genius of Ray Charles, a stylistic departure from the introspective jazz balladry she's known for, and a journey into the world of R&B. Horn and her trio swing hard on these tracks, and the organic R&B tinged jazz arrangements absolutely simmer, with Horn singing, playing piano, and Hammond B-3 organ. Her distinctive sultry and smoky vocals are bluesy and conversational, similar in approach to Charles'. Horn's masterly chord cluster style of piano playing punctuates her every vocal phrase.
Her heartfelt solo rendition of "Being Green" forms the emotional centerpiece of the record, while other highlights include rocking versions of "Bye Bye Love" and "Hard Hearted Hannah," as well as the gorgeous vision of love lost, "The Sun Died." LIGHT OUT OF DARKNESS displays Ray Charles's influence on the artistry of Shirley Horn to superb effect.