Album: Shirley Horn, Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival, (MJF)

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The Independent Culture

If a fraction of Diana and Barbra’s many fans were to buy this – a snip at midprice – justice will have been served, for the late Shirley Horn was the greatest female vocalist pianist in the history of jazz, and her perfectly poised, sexy way with a lyric has no equal.

There are only three dead-slow ballads here – Horn’s specialism – but they’re so amazing that it doesn’t matter. “The Look of Love” is the best version I know; “A Song for You” rivals Donny Hathaway, and “Here’s to Life” – her signature song – will make you cry.

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