This CD is a reissue of two very appealing albums recorded by Shirley Horn for Mercury in 1963, that until now were rare collector's items. Unfortunately Horn, first and foremost a pianist, was prevented from accompanying herself on piano on either release, and she was understandably frustrated with not being able to set her own tempos or hear her own chord choices.
LOADS OF LOVE is a lushly orchestrated affair in the pop-jazz mode of the day, much in the style of Nat "King" Cole or Peggy Lee. Horn's vocals are simple, breathy, quite smoky, and sexy. Standout tracks are a swinging "Love For Sale," and the ballads "The Second Time Around" and "Ten Cents a Dance." Her second release, SHIRLEY HORN WITH HORNS, is a big band affair produced and conducted by Quincy Jones, in much the same pop-jazz vein as the first album, but brassier. Standout tracks include swinging versions of "The Great City," "Come Dance With Me," and the fine ballad "I'm In the Mood For Love." Although these recordings are well worth checking out, they only hint at the immense artistry of Shirley Horn.
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