Live At The 1994 Monterey Jazz Festival
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Long overlooked by jazz historians, vocalist and pianist Shirley Horn is featured with her longtime trio, bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams, on this concert concluding the Festival’s 37th anniversary. While always known for having a sensitive singing and emotive vocal style, this concert forces one to focus on her stellar piano accompaniment. Her ability to put fingers on just the right keys at just the right time to find the inner meaning of each song is delicate and delicious.
For example, on “The Look Of Love,” her light left hand during the poignant lines of “don’t ever go” coupled with her vocal yearning cannot help but grab listeners by the heartstrings. The exhilarating applause– including many shouts and whistles– that follows this tune shows the audience was similarly moved. The entire concert is full of these kinds of sensitive and compassionate moments. Whether intoning the grit of “L.A. Breakdown” or Leon Russell’s affecting “A Song For You,” Horn was in rare form both on the piano and vocally the evening this CD was recorded. It’s a must-have disc.