My Shirley Horn Box Set – Disc 2

Remembering Shirley Horn

First, thanks to everyone who listened to My Shirley Horn Box Sex – Disc 1. I have basically selected the songs for the rest of this series but something always happens. You hear a song and say, “oh, I need to put this one in the mix too.” Needless to say, I am shifting the songs around a bit for the next two weeks as well.
My Shirley Horn Box Set – Disc 2 (listen here!)
01 – Shirley Horn – “Something Happens to Me” from I Thought About You: Live at Vine St. (1987) – A great opening song for her debut Verve album. If you listen carefully to some of the songs, you can hear Carmen McRae’s joyful laughter and applause at the end of a couple of songs.
02 – Shirley Horn – “Come A Little Closer/Wild is the Wind” from Shirley Horn with Strings: Here’s to Life (1992) – These are two beautiful and dreamy songs that were wonderfully bridged together by Johnny Mandel, who produced and arranged this album. Shirley and her trio laid down the tracks in New York then turned them over to Johnny who added the orchestration to each song. Breaking her tradition of always playing piano for herself, she recorded “Here’s to Life” and “Where Do You Start?” without her own accompaniment.
03 – Shirley Horn – “Come Fly with Me” – from Close Enough for Love (1989) – While this is known as one of Sinatra’s signature songs, it is another fine example of Shirley swinging her heart out.
04 – Shirley Horn – “You Don’t Know Me” – Light Out of Darkness: A Tribute to Ray Charles (1993) – “He’s about love and soul….he’s the most soulful man in the world. He gives it all to you and takes it all out of you. I’ve loved Ray Charles all my life.” These were Shirley words about Ray Charles in the liner notes of this great album. I love this song because Shirley makes it even more soulful and bluesy with her playing of the Hammond B-3 organ.
05 – Shirley Horn – “Forget Me” – Softly (1988) – This song was given to Shirley by her friend, Valerie Parks Brown. Shirley sang it again on her May The Music Never End release.
06 – Shirley Horn – “If You Go” from You Won’t Forget Me (1991) – Her tempo is slow and deliberate as she lets you know that “If You Go” her world would crumble. Shirley’s use of space and silence intensify this ballad. If you listen carefully, you can hear her make a slight sigh after she sings “this cannot be” that underscores the mood of the song.
07 – Shirley Horn – “Peel Me A Grape” – from The Main Ingredient (1996) – I have heard this tune sung by a few singers over the years but my two favorite renditions are Shirley’s and Nancy’s.
08 – Shirley Horn – “Come On Home” from Where Are You Going? (1972) – Shirley swings hard and bluesy here. This was one of her few recording dates in the 70’s. I found this album on 2-for-1 disc with Dizzy Gillespie’s The Real Thing as the second half.
09 – Shirley Horn – “Jelly, Jelly (Live)” from But Beautiful – The Best of Shirley Horn (2005) – Shirley recorded this Billy Eckstine/Earl Hines tune live at Au Bar (New York City) in January 2005. Shirley is joined by Buck Hill on saxophone and Roy Hargrove on trumpet. I hope that more music from this recording date will be released.
10 – Shirley Horn – “Travelin’ Light” from Travelin’ Light (1965) – This title track is very slow and reflective yet she definitely lets you know that she will be travelin’ light. While this album received critical acclaim, ABC promptly dropped it from its catalogue. Fortunately, it was reissued in 1994.
11 – Shirley Horn – “All My Tomorrows” from You Won’t Forget Me – In a few of Shirley’s ballads, there are great swells where she is rolling the piano keys and belting the verse without breaking a sweat then in the same breath, she brings the room back to complete silence. This is one of those songs and I love it.
12 – Shirley Horn – “Nice ‘n’ Easy” from I Thought About You: Live at Vine St. (1987) – Another great gem from her debut Verve album.
13 – Shirley Horn – “Confession” from Travelin’ Light (1965) – This song will always be special because Shirley performed it as an encore during her San Francisco concert in April 2005.
14 – Shirley Horn – “A Song for You/Goodbye” from I Love You, Paris (1994) – This powerful medley was taken from a live album Shirley recorded in 1992 at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris, France.
15 – Shirley Horn – “Love for Sale” – from Loads of Love + Shirley Horn with Horns (1963) – This was a last minute addition to the list. Listen and you will hear why I could not resist adding it. The song just simmers with sultriness.
16 – Shirley Horn – “Summer (Estaté)” from Shirley Horn with Strings: Here’s to Life (1992) – I would imagine this song being one of Shirley’s favorites for she also recorded it on her I Thought About You: Live at Vine St. and Softly albums. I selected this version for its rich orchestration. It is an Italian song by Bruno Martino and Bruno Brighetti. Shirley did not feel the English translation of the lyric expressed the emotions she found in the melody. Joel Siegel wrote an essential new lyric, keeping a few phrases from original and retaining the Italian title.
Thanks for listening and please tune in next week for Disc 3 of My Shirley Horn Box Set.
Enjoy your music!

2 Responses to “My Shirley Horn Box Set – Disc 2”

  1. Mark says:

    I recently discovered your website. Thank you for sharing your music with us.

  2. Raleigh says:

    I’m looking for a CD that Shirley did with a number of Gershwin songs from Porgy & Bess, Toots was on it also and think it was “Live”. I had it and let some one use it never to see it again. Help please.

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