"Shirley Horn's " You Won't Forget Me " is, in every sense of the word, a full bodied, tour de force ride through the many different aspects of jazz singing that this artist is capable of. While I may slighly favor " Here's To Life " her disc with arranger Johhny Mandel ( it's the romantic in me! ) this is, taken as an entire cd, far more encompassing and complete a listening experience. Perhaps I should explain. Playing, for the most part, as a trio, Shirley on piano, Charles Ables on bass and Steve Williams playing drums, Shirley tackles standards with alarming boldness and tenacity that I hear in few of today's singers. Beginning with " The Music That Makes Me Dance " she sets the tone by painting, in not too broad of strokes, a classic that is powerful not only in Shirley's subtle piano technique but also in her almost whisper like phrasing in conveying the songs tender emotions. Without skipping a beat she jumps right into " Come Dance With Me ", the Sinatra classic, having fun with the uptempo melody and phrasing the lyrics in a joyful, playful manner. Not everyone could pull off a medley this complex. Obviously there is not enough time to go into detail about all of this wonderful albums highlight's but I did want to expand on just a few. Starting with " Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying " a bluesy number with an amazing solo by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. " Come Back To Me ", a midtempo that finds this singer pleading for her lover to return ( and almost making me forget about Barbra's version....almost! ). " Too Late Now " a tender selection that is literally hearbreaking in it's simplicity and " Soothe Me " ( with Toots Thieleman's incredible harmonica along for the ride ) quite possibly one of the most 'erotic' songs that I have certainly ever heard. Simply too hot! Last, and not least, is the title track " You Won't Forget Me ", a hauntingly beautiful song, with acompianment by Mile Davis, has Shirley phrasing against a background of Steve Williams drums keeping a clock like mid-tempo beat, having the singer pleading not to be forgetten by a former lover. The song is, at once, extremely atmopheric yet oddly beautiful and frightful at the same time. I simply cannot do this song any justice when attempting to describe it! It truly is that incredibly strong! See for yourself. While I've left out other great songs featured on this amazing disc, i.e." It Had To Be You " and " I Just Found Out About Love " being two more, I can safely recommend adding this powerful cd to your collection. It truly is as complete a jazz package as you're going to find and featuring a singer who has the experience and hard earned wisdom to bring these selections to life. In ending, Shirley Horn is a jazz singer in the traditional sense ( along with Betty Carter ) and, if we're wise, can teach us so much about how incredibly forceful this style of music can be. Thanks Shirley! We all owe you one!"
Simply the BEST!!!
douglas barton | 09/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I added this CD to my Shirley Horn collection a year ago and it is still my all time favorite. Each and every song sends the listener on a magical journey--where you end up only Shirley and her wonderful all star cast knows. Shirley has a gifted ability to invoke subtle nuances in her tone and pitch that are too incredible to believe. All of which make Shirley Horn one of the most gifted muscians in Jazz today. All 14 selections are exceptional, but if I had to pick a few I would recommend The Music That Makes Me Dance, Too Late Now, If You Go, and the astonishing You Won't Forget Me with Miles Davis. Although these selections are on the slower side, she does have plenty of upbeat selections. If you are new to the world of Shirley--start your collection with this one. I could go on and on about Shirley so I better stop."
Perfect Artistry-- Breathtaking Accomplishment!
LB RJ | Long Beach CA USA | 09/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think I could go on for pages and pages raving about this seminal accomplishment in Shirley Horn's recording career, but I don't know that there are words to describe the magical meeting of voice, instruments and music.Shirley Horn had been a star of the Washington DC jazz scene but relatively unknown outside the area (eschewing touring to stay home with her husband and daughter), except for a well-received album recorded at the late, lamented Vine Street Bar & Grill in Hollywood. This CD was a belated début in the jazz world, and from the first note, she grabs the opportunity brilliantly.I have spent hours listening and re-listening to the opening cut, "The Music that Makes Me Dance", and have never ceased to be moved by the aching, touchingly passionate intensity of Shirley's singing (wistful and world-weary is such a hard combination to make work, but she nails it wonderfully). But her piano work is astonishing. I do not use the term flippantly. If you focus on the piano, you will hear the most gorgeous modulations this side of Debussy; who needs Oscar Peterson's swing chops when the phrasing and chord coloring are so beautiful (listen to the piano phrase after the line "His words and his words alone/Are the words that start my heart singing"-- sheer perfection!)?After the heart-catching longing of that first cut, "Come Dance with Me" is an up-tempo rouser (well, up-tempo for Shirley), delightfully sung and performed by Shirley and her trio (bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams). The entire set is beautifully performed with a great roster of guests. My personal favorites are Toots Thielemans (in his hands a harmonica becomes a romantic instrument) and Miles Davis (spare, touching, suffused with passion and pain and wisdom).The closing line, "All My Tomorrows", is a fitting cap to one of the outstanding recitals released in the 1990s. A declaration of the promise of a brighter future, Shirley's voice rings out in full belt at the climax-- behind the smoky whisper lies a strong, clear alto that she brings out sparingly but effectively. The future has been bright since the 1991 release of this CD-- Shirley's star has shone steadily ever since. I saw her at the Cinegrill in 1991 just after this was released, and then two weeks later at the Montreal Jazz Festival-- and was thrilled each time.This is a desert-island disc-- run, don't walk, and add this to your collection."
No one who hears this CD will EVER forget Shirley Horn.
Mary Whipple | New England | 12/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There's no one on earth who can tell a story in song better than Shirley Horn, who can turn the quietest whisper into a powerful narrative moment, and in this CD, in which she sings about the many aspects of love, she is brilliant. Recorded in 1990, this was her first #1 jazz album in a career which she had postponed from the early sixties till late seventies, while she was bringing up her children. Always one of Miles Davis's favorite singers, she invites him here as a guest soloist.
Horn is a complete musician, and on this CD, she has planned every aspect of the recording. Having done all the arrangements and selected each soloist for his specific talents on specific songs, she ensures that the totality is exactly the interpretation she has in mind. Miles Davis is guest soloist on the title song, "You Won't Forget Me," Wynton Marsalis guests on "Don't Let the Sun Catch Me Crying," Toots Thielemans makes the harmonica a dramatically emotional instrument in "Beautiful Love," Branford Marsalis's sax complements her range and voice on "It Had to Be You," and Buck Hill and Horn become a musical unit on "Foolin' Myself."
Horn takes as much time as she needs for her interpretations throughout the recording. Paying no heed to the common length of CD tracks, she ranges here from almost nine minutes on the wonderful "If You Go" to less than two and a half minutes on "I Just Found Out About Love," which is upbeat, celebratory, and loud, with a strong drum base. Her selections vary from the quiet and dramatic "The Music That Makes Me Dance," in which she uses pauses and silence to emphasize the lyrics--"HIS is the only music that makes me dance,"--to the bluesy "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Cryin,'" with Wynton Marsalis--"You done me dirty now, and I just don't want you no more." "Soothe Me," with Toots Thielemans is vampy and sexy, giving new meaning to "soothe me...mellow me way down inside."
Mature, confident, and relaxed, Horn creates moods, plays with the rhythm and timing (especially noticeable on "You Stepped Out of a Dream), sets her piano and Davis's trumpet off against the metronome-like beat of the drum in "You Won't Forget Me," and ends triumphantly in "All My Tomorrows," in which she declares that all her dreams of a bright tomorrow may come true. A total musician, Horn uses her voice, her piano, and her vision to create one of the classic jazz albums of all time. n Mary Whipple "
A Pinnacle Recording..........
Robert J. Ament | Ballwin, MO United States | 02/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"exhibiting nice contrasts in tempo.....but always romantic.I consider this the best of all of Ms Horn's recordings. She provides a constant feeling of intimacy, by speaking as well as singing the song, making effective use of suspenseful pauses, similar to Miles Davis playing the trumpet. To me her strong suit is the ballad and her own playing of the piano. Her voice, piano skills, music selection, arrangements, and above all......her presentation sets her above all others. Listening to this cd, one can't help but fall under the spell of the mood that she creates. "It Had To Be You" with accompanyment of Branford Marsalis is delivered with an aching intensity that brings up a strong mental image of dancing, barely moving, with that special someone and being completely oblivious to anything in the world but the music and the shared moment.The title song, with its different tempo and the playing of Miles, is a favorite that, had this been on vinyl, would have been worn out long ago!Other favorites are "Foolin' Myself" with Buck Hill, "Beautiful Love" and "Soothe Me" with Toots Thielemans, and two trio numbers, "Too Late Now" and "If You Go". If you're a Shirley Horn fan, you have to have this one! Likewise if you like late, late night music, great vocals accompanied by some of the finest jazz musicians, and, most of all, if you have any romance in your soul, this is a MUST!!"