Shirley Horn - I Remember Miles (1997)
Release Date Jun 23, 1998
Recorded at Clinton Recording Studios,
New York, New York from December 2-5, 1997
Bitrate: mp3 320Kbps
I Remember Miles won the 1999 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal Performance.
This stunning album is Shirley Horn’s loving tribute to her friend and colleague, the legendary late Miles Davis. Davis was so taken by Horn’s first album EMBERS AND ASHES that he forced The Village Vanguard to let her virtually-unknown trio open for him during his 1961 run there. Their friendship and admiration for each other’s music lasted through the years, and Shirley Horn’s 1991 recording YOU WON’T FORGET ME, was one of the last recordings Miles Davis made.
Horn selected mostly ballads from Davis’ Columbia Records catalogue for her tribute because, as she explains in the liner notes, Davis liked her to sing ballads, and ballads are Horn’s specialty. She can slow down time in a unique and spellbinding way. Her sultry and smoky vocals are intimate and conversational, relying on odd metered timing and silence, rather than volume, to make an emotional point.
This album’s knock out punch is the epic ( over 10 minutes long ) “My Man’s Gone Now” performed in an uncharacteristically ( for Horn ) abstract style with a double rhythm section and Roy Hargrove wailing and soaring on the trumpet. This may well be one of the greatest tracks Horn ever recorded. ( Half.com )
No thanks to the paucity of musical genius in the latter half of the 1990s, tribute albums to the departed just kept pouring forth, although in Shirley Horn’s case, she was repaying an old personal debt to her subject. After all, it was Miles Davis who originally got Horn out of D.C. in 1960 as his opening act at the Village Vanguard and contributed his trumpet to one of her comeback albums (1990’s You Won’t Forget Me). Not only that, Horn’s understated, laconic, deceptively casual ballad manner is a natural fit for the brooding Miles persona, and she doesn’t have to change a thing in this relaxed, wistfully sung, solidly played collection. She doesn’t actually perform any Davis compositions; everything here consists of standards that Miles covered or transformed in the 1950s, including three numbers from Porgy and Bess. Roy Hargrove adds his effective muted Miles imitations on “I Fall In Love Too Fast” and open flurries on “ I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’ ; and Toots Thielemans makes like a long, lonesome train whistle on “Summertime.” Former Davis cohorts Ron Carter and Al Foster join the rhythm section in a remarkably searching, extended “My Man’s Gone Now,” the only track which takes note of the electric music that consumed so much of Miles’ output (in this case, inspired by the We Want Miles version, not the more familiar Gil Evans interpretation ). In a sad way, the very idea of a Miles tribute is an oxymoronic denial of the ever-restless spirit of this genius who didn’t believe in looking backwards. But Shirley Horn certainly serves the man’s sensitive side well. ~ Richard S. Ginell, All Music Guide
Shirley Horn - I Remember Miles Tracklist:
01. My Funny Valentine
02. I Fall in Love Too Easily
04. Baby, Won’t You Please Come Home
05. This Hotel
06. I Got Plenty O’ Nuttin’
07. Basin Street Blues
08. My Man’s Gone Now
09. Blue in Green