Los Angeles, August 23, 2016 –
When producer Richard Seidel signed Shirley Horn to Verve in the mid-1980s, her career was relaunched, and this time she became celebrated internationally as well as in the United States. A series of enormously successful albums followed.
Most featured just her regular trio with bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams, while others had rhythm section colleagues like Ron Carter and Billy Hart, along with special guests such as Miles Davis, Toots Thielemans, Wynton Marsalis and Branford Marsalis.
And as a stylistic departure, Horn recorded the memorable album, Here’s to Life (recorded in 1991 and released in 1992), in which Horn is showcased with a large ensemble arranged and conducted by Johnny Mandel (who received a Grammy® award for his work on the album).
Shirley Horn’s return to prominence had her performing in all the major festivals around the world, plus iconic American venues like Carnegie Hall, prestigious concert halls throughout Europe and Asia, and even in the White House.
Horn continued touring and recording at a torrid pace for nearly a decade until health problems forced her to pare back her performing and recording activities in the early 2000s.
Nominated nine times for Grammys®, Horn finally won one for Best Jazz Vocal Performance in 1999 for her album, I Remember Miles, produced by Richard Seidel.
This album, Shirley Horn – Live At The 4 Queens, captures her at her creative peak. As Seidel observes, “This record is very much in the vein of Shirley’s first album on Verve [I Thought About You] and is an excellent example of her work in an intimate Club atmosphere.”
When producer Zev Feldman became aware of the recordings that make up this album, he was thrilled. Shirley Horn was a very special artist for him. Feldman, like Horn, is a Washington, D.C. native.
Now 43, Feldman came of age while Horn was still only playing in and around Washington at Jazz Clubs like the Pigfoot and the One Step Down. Right at the time Feldman started working in the record business for PolyGram, which became Universal Music Group, from the mid-1990’s to the mid-2000’s, Shirley was one of the biggest stars of the label and Feldman was a Verve representative promoting her steady stream of new albums being released during that period.
Feldman saw Horn often in those days, even driving to her house on more than one occasion to have her sign CD booklets, and attended many concerts as a part of his job arranging venue sales for record retail.
Z.F. : “Being the local Verve representative, I got to see her play everywhere from The Kennedy Center and Bohemian Caverns in DC, to the Village Vanguard in New York and Zanzibar Blue in Philadelphia.”
But beyond his role as a label rep, he developed a friendship with Horn and on numerous occasions was invited after gigs to join in her inner circle with manager Sheila Mathis and drummer Steve Williams. So when the opportunity arose for Resonance to pursue the release of the material, Feldman jumped at the chance.
Since Feldman knew what an important artist Shirley Horn was (and because inexplicably no books have been written about her), he was determined to make this album package the most authoritative and comprehensive compendium of materials possible with an extensive 56 page book of analytical, scholarly essays; first-person accounts by musicians and producers who worked with Horn; remembrances by her friends, colleagues and her daughter; plus a number of previously unpublished photographs from the Shirley Horn archives at the Library of Congress. Feldman says,
“We want this CD and album book to remind us why she was great, why she mattered.”
This story will continue on a next page in our BLOG
It was written by RESONANCE RECORDS Associates / Contributors.
But I’ll begin searching more about HER, why nobody had written a BOOK about her before this release ?
I heard about SHIRLEY HORN for the first time in an album by Canadian reed woman JANE BUNNET “Water is wide”, so what happened before and after that, that almost none of the JAZZ CRITICS were paying attention to her music.
By now, all I can do is to spin a couple of tunes this coming SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18th in my radio show @ St. Michael’s College 12 – 3 p.m.
Thanks to RESONANCE RECORDS for the info’. GREAT Job Guys.
DJ Host of The Cuban Bridge on the radio and on television