Audio Remasterer: Gary Bolton.
Liner Note Authors: Bruce Elrod; Digi DiGiannantonio.
Lena Horne demonstrates her versatility in these recently unearthed World War II-era V-Disc recordings. At the time, Horne was a nightclub entertainer also contracted to MGM, which used her exclusively for special production numbers in its movie musicals. The only exception was the studio's all-black 1943 musical Cabin in the Sky, in which she sang Harold Arlen's "Life's Full of Consequence" with Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, a performance re-created here (even if it is rendered as "Dat Ol' Debbil Consequence"), if not actually borrowed from the soundtrack. Arlen also wrote "One for My Baby (And One More for the Road)," a song introduced by Fred Astaire and usually associated with Frank Sinatra, although it was one of Horne's few chart singles, and there's a version of that here, too. Another of her chart singles was a revival of "'Deed I Do," and there's also a performance of that here. Oddly enough, her signature song, Arlen's "Stormy Weather," isn't here, though his follow-up, "Ill Wind," is. Horne overcomes the scratchy "unaltered" sound, and the disc has obvious historical value, but it doesn't compare with her studio recordings of the era. There are also oddities on the album: "Uptown Blues" is an instrumental not featuring Horne at all, and the final two tracks are live cuts from the '60s! ~ William Ruhlmann