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You're My Thrill

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Album Review

With the swanky midnight mood of their previous collaboration Here's to Life in mind, Shirley Horn and arranger Johnny Mandel go at it again — a move that is sure to send her legions of latter-day fans into blissful orbit. This time, though, the six sophisticated string-laden ballads are interspersed with five relatively short, swinging numbers with just Horn, her trio, and various instrumental guests. As a result, you get a better balanced album, not weighted too much in one direction or another. Mandel's orchestrations are paragons of subtlety, sometimes creeping almost imperceptibly like a slow moving fog upon Horn's trio. Like his singer, Mandel respects the value of silence and space; they're a well matched pair, their different ideas of timing dovetail together neatly. Though some of us would have wanted Horn and her jazzmen to stretch out more on the small group tracks, they do serve effectively as breathers, or intermezzos, in between the languorous collaborations with Mandel. In lieu of the participation of Wynton Marsalis (who contributed to Here's to Life), Carl Saunders offers some soulful trumpet obbligato work on "Solitary Moon." Guitarist Russell Malone and bassist Brian Bromberg also appear on the small group tracks — Malone even does a soft focused rockabilly thing on "Why Don't You Do Right?" — while bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams stoke the rhythm in Horn's trio. Another worthy stylish outing for Horn. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi


Born: 01 May 1934 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A superior ballad singer and a talented pianist, Shirley Horn put off potential success until finally becoming a major attraction while in her fifties. She studied piano from the age of four. After attending Howard University, Horn put together her first trio in 1954, and was encouraged in the early '60s by Miles Davis and Quincy Jones. She recorded three albums during 1963-1965 for Mercury and ABC/Paramount, but chose to stick around Washington, D.C., and raise a family instead of pursuing her career....
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You're My Thrill, Shirley Horn
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