Piano Jazz: Marian McPartland & Shirley Horn (1984) MP3/Flac

The late pianist and vocalist Shirley Horn appeared on Marian McPartland's NPR-syndicated Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz Radio Broadcast in 1984, six years after she had begun recording and performing again after a lengthy hiatus. The material played here, as expected, comprises standards with the exception of a four-handed blues jam at the end of the program entitled "Shirley's Blues". There are a few surprises -- in duet readings of "Billie's Bounce", and Billy Strayhorn's wonderful "Blood Count", as well as a flawed middle section of Don Redman's nugget "Cherry". Horn is in fine voice here just top-form really as in "I Could Have Told You So", where her trademark ballad whisper can just send chills down the spine. The conversation here is lively and fun-filled as well. There is great warmth and humor between Horn and McPartland. As is the usual format of these discs, conversation appears on every other track and the music takes up the great majority of the program. Thank goodness for CD players and their ability to skip and program tracks quickly, as the musical end of the program makes for especially fine listening. ~ Thom Jurek