“My goodness, SHIRLEY HORN, that is some modulation.” So marvels MARIAN McPARTLAND at the conclusion of Horn’s rendition of “Violets for Your Furs,” heard on The Jazz Alliance’s newest Piano Jazz CD (street date 2/28).
Taped for McPartland’s National Public Radio program in December 1984, three years before the release of I Thought About You, Horn’s breakthrough album for Verve, the 55-minute session is a musical delight. The two women quickly establish a warm and mirthful rapport punctuated with more than a few contagious belly laughs.
Horn has three vocal features (”I Could Have Told You,” “Violets…,” “There’s No You”), and finds common ground with McPartland as they duet on three “dirty old blues” (”Billie’s Bounce,” “Cherry,” “Shirley’s Blues”) and a slice of Ellingtonia (”Love You Madly”). The women’s unabashed mutual admiration and sterling musicianship make this document all the more precious in light of Shirley Horn’s passing just four months ago, at the age of 71.