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Peter Campbell | Loving You: Celebrating Shirley Horn

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Loving You: Celebrating Shirley Horn

by Peter Campbell

With a voice described by one Canadian industry insider as “liquid gold,” Peter Campbell celebrates the legacy of jazz luminary Shirley Horn.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
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  Song Share Time Download
1. A Time for Love
4:49 $0.99
2. Sharing the Night with the Blues
4:29 $0.99
3. Loving You
3:42 $0.99
4. There's No You
4:49 $0.99
5. Wild Is the Wind
5:36 $0.99
6. Forget Me
3:46 $0.99
7. I Watch You Sleep
5:31 $0.99
8. The Great City
4:45 $0.99
9. The Sun Died
4:42 $0.99
10. If You Love Me
5:42 $0.99
11. Something Happens to Me
3:21 $0.99
12. So I Love You
3:25 $0.99
13. You Won't Forget Me
5:23 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
When first introduced to the work of singer and pianist Shirley Horn, I had what may be described as an "Aha!" moment. While a university student, I heard the first strains of the Mandel-Bergman composition "Where Do You Start." Here to Life," Horn's 1992 recording on which the song is included, proved revelatory: never before had I experienced a musician able to express so much with such seeming economy. I was hooked – or, rather – obsessed. The harmonic and rhythmic inventions through which she instrumentally maneuvered stood both in contrast and complement to the emotional honesty and sobriety of her vocal delivery. Shirley Horn had some secret knowledge of the human heart that we mere mortals could never begin to acquire. She conveyed that wisdom directly to this particularly rapt listener, and I hung on to her every word.

The five times I saw her live in concert were each master classes in the art of song interpretation. I recall an evening in April 1997 at New York's Village Vanguard. Having opened for Miles Davis in 1960 at this celebrated jazz club, Shirley Horn came to the stage after a lengthy delay. She sat down at the piano and began to play "A Time for Love." You could literally hear a pin drop: her performance was mesmerizing. Hallmarks of a typical Horn performance were present that night: impeccable taste in material; absolute dedication to lyric interpretation; and her distinctive approach to tempo – often at a glacial pace. The courage to expose oneself so publicly underscores that which made Shirley Horn a master: the understanding that great artistry involves circumnavigating emotional areas most of us fear to negotiate.

The last time I saw Shirley Horn in performance was February 2004 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York. She was, by this time, confined to a wheelchair; having undergone the amputation of her right foot due to diabetes. Accompanied on piano by the late George Mesterhazy, Horn began to sing Lennon & McCartney's "Yesterday." Her performance offered a poignant interpretation of a song practically constitutional to our collective consciousness. A standard you thought you knew proved fresh and contemporary as interpreted by an artist who made you sit up and take notice, perhaps for the first time.

To my sensibility, Shirley Horn was not a traditional "jazz singer." Her thoughtful and restrained vocal inventions were in service to lyric and melody. There are times in Horn's vocal delivery when I am reminded of the great English-American cabaret singer Mabel Mercer. Frank Sinatra cited Mercer as an important musical influence on his vocal style. Johnny Mandel – a frequent collaborator of Horn's and the composer of "A Time for Love" – made a similar comparison between Horn and Mercer as preeminent interpreters of popular song. Though sharply different in approach, Horn and Mercer shared the objective of "delivering" a song. The very best interpreters recognize the progressive nature of narrative. Songs serve, in essence, as one-act dramas; each with a beginning, middle and end. Jazz critic and historian Thomas Cunniffe has remarked: "For the art of Shirley Horn was in her infinite patience, and her unique way of making every word count. She was, and is, a master storyteller."

Despite the ebb and flow of a career spanning more than four decades, Shirley Horn has joined the pantheon of great American popular vocalists and jazz musicians. Her signature song, "Here's to Life," has become a contemporary standard. Horn's rendition of the Édith Piaf anthem "Hymne à l'amour" ('If You Love Me') has become arguably the definitive English-language version. A significant number of jazz musicians perform the song using Horn's arrangement as their template. The same may be said of her collaboration with Miles Davis on "You Won't Forget Me," which also marked the trumpeter's final recording as a sideman. While undeniably proficient and inventive within a traditional jazz framework, Horn's balladry would become her trademark and establish her as perhaps the greatest ballad singer of her generation.

Produced by Peter Campbell
Musical Direction by Mark Kieswetter
Arrangements by Mark Kieswetter & Peter Campbell

Peter Campbell, vocals
Mark Kieswetter, piano
Reg Schwager, electric and acoustic guitars
Ross MacIntyre, double bass
Kevin Turcotte, trumpet

Recorded 02–03 August 2016 by John "Beetle" Bailey at Canterbury Music Company, Toronto
Mixed by John "Beetle" Bailey at The Drive Shed, New Hamburg, Ontario
Mastered by Peter Letros at Wreckhouse Mastering, Toronto

Studio Assistant: Julian Decorte
Piano Technician: Marc Decorte

Liner Notes: Peter Campbell
Graphic Design & Illustration: Eri Griffin
Photography: Brad Fowler

"Loving You: Celebrating Shirley Horn" would not have been possible if not for the support of several key individuals. My collaboration with four extraordinary musicians – Mark Kieswetter, Reg Schwager, Ross MacIntyre and Kevin Turcotte – was a pleasure and a privilege. To Ann and Adrian Lichter, my gratitude for their lifelong commitment to one particularly challenging project: me. Additional thanks to: John "Beetle" Bailey/The Drive Shed, Jeremy Darby/Canterbury Music Company, Peter Letros/Wreckhouse Mastering, Yves Laroche, Jérémy Brun, Eri Griffin, Brad Fowler, Alan Reid, Joyce McLean, Melissa-Marie Shriner and the Bailey family.

For his friendship and an enduring musical partnership, this recording is dedicated to Mark Kieswetter.



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