17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2002
I am so glad Amazon has made this gem available to all of us! Shirley Horn is the greatest living jazz vocalist and perhaps the best self-accompanying jazz performer of all time. This album marks the beginning of her mature period as a perfomer. "Lazy Afternoon" is a perfect song for her: sensual, dreamy and quietly dramatic. I would buy her more recent albums on Verve first, but once she's cast her spell over you, this a great addition to your collection.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2007
Apparently, this very album was the first after 10 years of no-recording. AND in fact her recording debut as a self-accompanying singer, as we know her all now.
It displayed her mature style and versatility (she swings, soars and entrances). On the strength of this album Shirley Horn began to receive invitations to tour, which resulted in the succesful career when, 9 years later, Verve Music signed her and she finally started a full-time performer life.
My favourite tracks here are "Why Did I Choose You?" (a typically powerful Horn interpretation), the title track, and "New York's My Home".
While I was so glad to find she recorded the great Brazilian standard "Gentle rain", it's eventually no real disillusion that she doesn't sing this one; her instrumental rendition gives us no less than 10 minutes of atmosphere!
(4 stars for a Shirley Horn album, 5 stars for a jazz album)
on May 23, 2015
I realize Ms. Horn's Verve albums-- impeccably manicured and very "produced"-- sounding, are extremely popular, but to me, they verge into easy-listening territory. That's simply not what I look for in Jazz. While I don't begrudge her making music that has wider appeal, I prefer this album, not only to the Verves but other, subsequent pre-Verve releases. I find it her most consistently creative and inspired of all of her discs I've heard so far. A pity it's not better known. No doubt Steeplechase lacks the marketing budget that Verve deploys.