Posts Tagged ‘Miles Davis’

Shirley Horn – My How The Time Goes By

(click song title above to listen)

Shirley Valerie Horn was born in Washington D.C. in 1934. Shirley was a preternaturally gifted pianist who became enamored with the famous U Street jazz area of Washington (destroyed in the 1968 riots), slipping into jazz clubs before she was of legal age. Horn would collaborate with many jazz legends including Dizzy Gillespie, Toots Thielemans, Carmen McRae, and Wynton Marsalis to name a few. She was famous for being a devastating ballad singer with a smokey and lush voice and for an amazing ability to accompany herself with incomparable independence on the piano while singing. Arranger Johnny Mandel described her as “like having two heads”. Kitty Grime, in her book Jazz Voices, calls Shirley “the cult performer…A near-legendary figure.”

Horn’s association with Miles Davis lasted for thirty years and notable for his public praise of her musicianship, a rare occurrence coming from Davis especially as early as the 1950s and 1960s. Horn would record for Mercury and Impulse and was popular with critics but did not achieve mainstream success, stating “I will not stoop to conquer”. How beautiful a notion!

Recorded during an all night 1987 session in the dining room of a good friend’s 18th Century farm house in Glenn Dale, Maryland, this week’s top tune is one she would often perform live. A bluesy rendition of Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh’s “My How The Time Goes By” also recorded by Bill Henderson, one of Shirley’s favorite male singers in 1961.

413w0Nj6IdL 300x300 Shirley Horn   My How The Time Goes By

Contact & Licensing Info
Publishing controlled by Notable Music Co. ASCAP (Cy Coleman)
Contact: Damon Booth/
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing
Contact: Sean McGraw/
Publishing controlled by Edwin H. Morris Co. ASCAP (Carolyn Leigh)
Administered by MPL Communications Inc.
Master controlled by Audiophile Records.

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Blossom Dearie – Too Good to Talk About

Before Blossom Dearie moved to London in the early 1960′s appearing regularly at Ronnie Scott’s and on Dudley Moore’s popular television show, she could be found playing piano and turning heads in the jazz clubs of New York City.

Rooted in jazz and popular song, Dearie’s signature chic and sleek vocal style won her praise among critics and fellow musicians alike as one of the greatest interpreters of the Great American Songbook. Around the time of this album, Miles Davis was such a fan that he would personally invite her and her combo to perform between his legendary sets at the Village Vanguard.

This week’s Top Tune (click the song title above to play) was written by Cy Coleman & Carolyn Leigh and comes from her sixth album for Norman Granz’s Verve Records, My Gentleman Friend. A champion of witty & rarified material, Blossom masterfully tackles a couple of Gershwin tunes on this album and an additional Coleman & Leigh classic, “You Fascinate Me So”.

Recorded in 1959, Too Good to Talk About swings finely and features a great solo by Kenny Burrell on guitar and some sweet brushwork by Ed Thigpen on drums. Dearie plays piano and the impeccable diction she had become renowned for is on display.

51Ju+J6OOHL1 300x300 Blossom Dearie   Too Good to Talk About

Contact & Licensing Info
Publishing controlled by Notable Music Co. (Cy Coleman)
Contact: Damon Booth –
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing
Contact: Sean McGraw –
Publishing controlled by Carwin Music Co. Inc (Carolyn Leigh)
Administered by EMI U. Catalog Inc.
Master controlled by Universal Music Group /

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