Home Read Classic Album Review: Shirley Horn | You’re My Thrill

Classic Album Review: Shirley Horn | You’re My Thrill

The singer-pianist & Johnny Mandel reteam after a decade with swanky results.

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This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


A decade ago, singer-pianist Shirley Horn and legendary arranger Johnny Mandel collaborated on an album called Here’s to Life. Well, here’s to sequels — this sure-to-please reteaming was well worth the wait.

Like its predecessor, You’re My Thrill sets Horn’s subtle, economical balladry against Mandel’s lush, sophisticated orchestrations to create a string of swanky, richly textured jazz pearls. This time, though, those cuts are interspersed with tracks with Horn backed only by her smartly swinging trio. As always, Horn’s strength lies not so much in what she plays and sings — although every note here is divine — but in what she doesn’t do. Like the vocal equivalent of her mentor Miles Davis, Horn makes superb use of understatement, silence and space, getting more out of a single quiet note than most contemporary singers do with their operatic histrionics. It’s an old trick, but in the hands of a master like Horn, it still thrills.