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Lena Goes Latin and Sings Your Requests

Lena Horne

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Album Review

In 1963, Lena Horne left a long association with RCA Victor Records and signed to the smaller Charter label, for which she recorded two albums, Goes Latin and Sings Your Requests. Those two albums are combined on this two-fer compilation. The first ten tracks, which comprised the original Goes Latin LP, were arranged by Shorty Rogers and conducted by Horne's husband, Lennie Hayton. In keeping with the title, the arrangements feature Latin percussion, with punchy big-band horn charts on top. Horne was no stranger to such material, at least in the diluted form heard here, having performed Latin-style arrangements in the movies and on Broadway, and in fact her lively, take-charge interpretations are well-suited to Rogers' arrangements, whether applied to a Cole Porter show tune or a more contemporary song such as the Mondo Cane movie theme "More" or Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Meditation." Sings Your Requests earned its title by featuring re-recordings of several songs long associated with Horne, including "Stormy Weather," "Honeysuckle Rose," "The Lady Is a Tramp," and "Can't Help Lovin' That Man." (All are songs she sang in the movies.) But the combination of the two albums onto one disc is justified by their similarity. The first four tracks of the second LP (tracks 11-14 here) are also Rogers arrangements conducted by Hayton, some of them with more Latin percussion, suggesting they came from the same sessions as those for the first LP. (The rest were arranged and conducted by Marty Paich.) Horne remains masterful on the familiar material, and she gives an excellent reading to the newly minted show tune "He Loves Me," a gender-switched version of the title song from the Broadway musical She Loves Me. Lena Horne may have fallen out of commercial favor on records by 1963, but these recordings demonstrate that she hadn't lost her appeal.

Biography

Born: 30 June 1917 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Singer/actress Lena Horne's primary occupation was nightclub entertaining, a profession she pursued successfully around the world for more than 60 years, from the 1930s to the 1990s. In conjunction with her club work, she also maintained a recording career that stretched from 1936 to 2000 and brought her three Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989; she appeared in 16 feature films and several shorts between 1938 and 1978; she performed occasionally on Broadway, including in her...
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Lena Goes Latin and Sings Your Requests, Lena Horne
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