But Beautiful: The Best of Shirley Horn on Verve

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ted Panken
It is telling that Diana Krall, an acknowledged devotee, selected the tracks and penned the notes for an earlier Verve highlight compilation of the oeuvre of singer-pianist Shirley Horn, who died earlier this year, not long after the release of this album. Horn’s ability to alchemize any song into a soul-catching message, to pare lyrics to their essence with pitch-perfect phrasing shaded with a dark blues timbre -- in short, to inspire her listeners to dream -- made her one of the preeminent singers of her generation, one who shares a short list with the likes of Abbey Lincoln, Freddy Cole, and Mark Murphy. The program here, chosen for diversity in tempo and ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ted Panken
It is telling that Diana Krall, an acknowledged devotee, selected the tracks and penned the notes for an earlier Verve highlight compilation of the oeuvre of singer-pianist Shirley Horn, who died earlier this year, not long after the release of this album. Horn’s ability to alchemize any song into a soul-catching message, to pare lyrics to their essence with pitch-perfect phrasing shaded with a dark blues timbre -- in short, to inspire her listeners to dream -- made her one of the preeminent singers of her generation, one who shares a short list with the likes of Abbey Lincoln, Freddy Cole, and Mark Murphy. The program here, chosen for diversity in tempo and instrumentation, begins in 1963 (“The Great City,” done for Mercury); cherry-picks from most of Horn's ‘80s and ‘90s Verve dates (with the exception of I Remember Miles and You’re My Thrill); and concludes with three “bonus tracks” recorded at a January 2005 engagement at Manhattan’s Au Bar (Roy Hargrove appears on “Jelly, Jelly,” a risqué Billy Eckstine vehicle, and ”I Didn’t Know What Time It Was”) that are new additions to Horn’s discography, transforming this best-of recording from a nice introduction for newbies into a document that even Horn completists will want to own.
All Music Guide - Tim Sendra
When vocalist/pianist Shirley Horn resurfaced after a long spell away from the recording studio and signed with Verve Records in 1987, the jazz world at large discovered what many of Horn's devoted followers already knew: that she is a huge talent and one of the great jazz singers to follow in the footsteps of legends like Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday. On her records for Verve, Horn never dazzles with flawless technique or stunning vocal tricks. Instead, she enthralls the listener with her intimate delivery and her understated yet almost visceral emotional power. Since that first record in 1987, she has released a string of good-to-excellent records, and But Beautiful: The Best of Shirley Horn on Verve compiles some of the finest moments from them, including the lovely "You Won't Forget About Me," which features Miles Davis on trumpet, maybe the best take on "Fever" since Peggy Lee's, the achingly slow and torchy "But Beautiful," and the lightly swinging "Come and Dance with Me," a track that shows that while Horn's main strength is ballads she also can swing like nobody's biz. The disc also gives a tiny taste of Horn's '60s sound with the inclusion of "The Great City" from 1963's Shirley Horn with Horns and has three bonus tracks recorded live in 2005 with a tight combo that show Horn has a surplus of style and class.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/11/2005
  • Label: Verve
  • UPC: 075021038011
  • Catalog Number: 000406802
  • Sales rank: 9,422

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Shirley Horn Primary Artist, Piano, Hammond Organ, Vocals
Alan Broadbent Piano
Miles Davis Trumpet
Roy Hargrove Trumpet
Buck Hill Saxophone
Richard Todd French Horn, Soloist
Charles Ables Bass
Chuck Domanico Bass
Wynton Marsalis Trumpet, Soloist
Harvey Mason Sr. Percussion
Ed Howard Bass
Steve "Syco Steve" Williams Drums
Roy Hargove Trumpet
George Mesterhazy Guitar
Technical Credits
Eddy Arnold Composer
Billy Eckstine Composer
Earl Hines Composer
Shirley Horn Producer, Audio Production
Thad Jones Arranger
Jimmy McHugh Composer
Richard Rodgers Composer
Cindy Walker Composer
Alan Bergman Composer
Johnny Burke Composer
Artie Butler Composer
Sammy Cahn Composer
Lorenz Hart Composer
Michael Keith Composer
Johnny Mandel Arranger, Composer
Joel Moss Engineer
Jason Olaine Producer, Artistic Director
James Van Heusen Composer
Paul Francis Webster Composer
Duke Henderson Composer
John Davenport Composer
Eddie Cooley Composer
Geoff Parsons Composer
Scott Hull Mastering
Hollis King Art Direction
Curtis Lewis Composer
Harold Adamson Composer
Marguerite Monnot Composer
Lew Spence Composer
Fred Spielman Composer
Jan Folkson Digital Editing
Valery Gamarnik Engineer
Kermit Goell Composer
Phyllis Molinary Composer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What a legacy to jazz vocalists!

    I have recently discovered Shirley Horn and this CD. I play it constantly as a listener and a student of jazz, all in homage to one of the great vocal master teachers of this or any century. Just listening to her pitch perfect phrasing you learn the meaning of ' less is more '. This collection is an excellent introduction to and celebration of this 'visceral emotional powerhouse'. God Bless you, Shirley Horn!

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