October 1, 1993 |
A veteran singer/pianist who has attained major success in recent years after two decades of oblivion - Shirley Horn - and one of the newest female vocalists to arrive on the jazz scene - Nnenna Freelon - are performing here this weekend. Both entertainers have new albums, and - as is often the case with jazz recordings - both rely heavily on the standards and other classic tunes. Horn's new release is unique. It is inspired by Ray Charles, who is known more as an R & B genius than a jazz musician.
June 19, 1992 |
It's amazing how a little bit of show business can break a trance. Wednesday at the Academy of Music, in a Mellon PSFS Jazz Festival concert that was conceived in Tin Pan Alley heaven, vocalist and pianist Shirley Horn, bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams achieved a peerless group empathy early in the set, and sustained it through a program of substantially re-invented standards. They painted expansive ballads such as "Soothe Me" as if in slow motion - Horn's voice teased out each line with a patient, passionate restraint that lingered over every nuance.
February 6, 1998 |
Look up the definition of "class act" in a jazz dictionary, and you'll find Shirley Horn listed. An old-school, cabaret-spawned jazz pianist and singer, Horn has made a mark on the international music scene for four decades with the exceedingly good taste of her material and the subtle, understated restraint of her performance - now more popular than ever. "Maybe I've gotten better through the years. At least I hope so," Horn mused modestly in our recent phone conversation prompted by her headlining gig at the Peco Jazz Festival finale, Feb. 15 at the Annenberg Center's Zellerbach Theater.
September 30, 1993 |
Jazz pianist and singer Shirley Horn was wearing thin last week from a frenetic schedule in Rio de Janeiro that had her shifting gears between performances, a news conference, receptions and rehearsals. Just as she was attempting to sneak in a catnap in her hotel room in Rio, the telephone rang, reminding her of an interview that had been scheduled. Sounding groggy and unsteady, Horn almost opted to forgo the interview. But within a few seconds, she perked up and reconsidered.
June 24, 1991 |
Trumpeter Miles Davis, a genius of jazz for four decades, performs last night at the Academy of Music in the windup to the Mellon PSFS Jazz Festival. Joining him on the bill was Shirley Horn.
April 14, 2012 |
George Mesterhazy, 58, of Cape May, a Hungarian-born, Grammy-nominated jazz musician, died at home in his sleep early Thursday of what longtime life partner Vicki Watson called natural causes. Mesterhazy's selfless attitude when playing and composing music made him the perfect fit for renowned jazz singers for decades. He translated this musical quality into everyday life, leaving a legacy of generosity on and off the bandstand. "He is, by far, the most inspirational piano player I've ever worked with," said cabaret and jazz singer Paula Johns, with whom Mesterhazy worked for more than 20 years.
June 14, 2001 |
Deep into the third chorus of Randy Weston's "Hi Fly" Tuesday night at Zanzibar Blue, after Shirley Horn had toyed with the blues and played tense chordal clusters in a Thelonious Monk mood, she served up 16 perfect measures of jazz piano. It wasn't a particularly technical display, just block chords snapped out cleanly and quietly, with serene precision. Each time she repeated the phrase, she pushed a little more insistently against the rhythm, creating hiccups of syncopation that sent bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams scurrying down unexpected avenues.
June 25, 1991 |
Including his show Sunday at the Academy of Music, trumpeter Miles Davis has performed at four consecutive Mellon Jazz Festivals. This year, the festival was renamed Mellon PSFS, but Davis added nothing new. When not striking chords on a synthesizer, he was stalking the stage while coaching his six-man band and stabbing at melodies on his horn. He played several high-voltage blues, the title tune from his 1986 album Tutu, and his versions of Scritti Politti's "Perfect Way," Michael Jackson's "Human Nature" and Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time.
June 14, 1991 |
Shirley Horn's hot as a firecracker, a jazz sensation. It's a new experience for a matronly lady in her middle 50s who, given her druthers, hints she'd sometimes rather be tending her azaleas and enjoying her grandsons in the tree-shaded Washington, D.C., neighborhood called Woodridge. Shirley Horn sings in an exquisitely soulful style often reminiscent of Billie Holiday at her best, accompanying herself at a bluesy piano blending artfully with her vocalizing. She's been at it for well over 30 years, and for much of that time had created barely a ripple in terms of public acclaim beyond the warm encomiums of her fellow musicians.
June 8, 2001 |
As the Mellon Jazz Festival unfolds, its mixed bag of mood-swinging music - cinematic trumpeter Terence Blanchard, honorees "Papa" John & Joey DeFrancesco, Pat Martino - reveals a trick bag within. Space-funk, including Sun Ra's Arkestra and George Clinton's angular R & B, makes Mellon intergalactic. And if space is really the place, singer-pianist Shirley Horn is queen of the galaxy, thanks to her sauntering melody. Horn performs Tuesday - the first night of Mellon, which runs through June 17 - and Wednesday.