Shirley Horn was one of the most incredible female vocalists ever - likened to Edith Piaf. She was a classically trained pianist discovered by Miles Davis. Her style remains unmatched even after her death in 2005.
She worked non-stop; primarily in and around her hometown of Washington, DC with the absolute smokinest sidemen: Buck Hill, Marshall Hawkins and Bernard Sweetney - who became well known in the "Jazz World." She didn't obtain global prominence until late in life. But not too late to gain the exposure worthy of her talent.
In the early stages of her Jazz Life, she worked with Miles "Q" (Quincy Jones), Thad Jones and others. After the world discovered her, she went on to work with "more known" greats, like the great Buster Williams, Billy Hart, Charles Ables, Jerome Richardson,the incomparable Frank Wess, Masters Joe Newman and Kenny Burrell - full scale orchestras and so many, many others. She was a musicians delight - because she sang like an instrument, understanding its intricacies. Her voice was a variation on a theme of Jazz!
Shirley Horn is really too vast an artist to relegate to a few words - you have but to hear her. Her throaty, articulate - never-miss-a-note style is only exceeded by her phenomenal piano ability. She could give Monk, Tatum, McCoy Tyner and Eroll Garner an impressive run for their money. She was a remarkable artist.
Thank God we have discography - for only then can we benefit from the contributions of very young Shirley - and bask in a mature seasoned pro. Up to her death, she delivered with excellence - wooing her global audiences and literally bringing the house down.
You can google Shirley Horn for more in-depth coverage and specific data. You can even obtain her vast -- AND I MEAN VAST -- discography, right up to her death!
You must here her play and sing "The Gentle Rain." It will literally blow your mind. If you consider yourself a Jazz Afficianado, you are incomplete without The Legendary Great Shirley Horn! User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.