Live at the 4 Queens (2016)

Fisher, Jobim, Rodgers, Peterson

Shirley Horn

For about twelve years, the Four Queens Hotel and Casino presented live jazz every Monday night in its French Quarter Lounge.  Of those more than 600 Monday night performances, approximately half were recorded or broadcast locally by local public station KNPR and aired nationally over Public Radio International. A limted number of broadcasts were also heard on an early satelite network in Japan and some, like this performance from 1988 by Shirley Horn, have been given new life.

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Live at the 4 Queens (2016)

Fisher, Jobim, Rodgers, Peterson

Shirley Horn

    Jazz Times

"In the wake of stunning discoveries from Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughan and other luminaries, Resonance Records continues to exercise its preternatural skill at unearthing lost treasures with these nine tracks, recorded by pianist-vocalist Shirley Horn at the 4 Queens - one of the few Las Vegas spots to have proactively supported jazz performers during its history. As anyone familiar with Horn’s history knows, her career built steadily from the mid-1950s through the early ’60s, but she opted to curtail touring and recording to focus on her family, and remained in semi-retirement through the early ’80s. Indeed, it wasn’t until her signing with Verve in 1986 that her stunning renaissance began. This 54-minute set captures Horn near the onset of her mighty resurgence, one day after her 54th birthday in May of 1988. She’s fronting one of the all-time tightest trios, with her loyal rhythm team of bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams. Horn’s incomparable vocal style, snail slow and cashmere soft, is gorgeously exercised across ballads (“Just for a Thrill,” “Lover Man” and Tom Jobim’s tender “Meditation”) and perkier selections (“You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To” and, a second nod to Jobim, “The Girl From Ipanema”). But this collection is as much a showcase for her instrumental artistry, including her opening salvo, a jaunty rendition of Randy Weston’s “Hi-Fly”; her closing statement, Oscar Peterson’s vibrant, roiling “Blues for Big Scotia”; and, mid-set, a densely imaginative, 10-minute treatment of “Isn’t It Romantic?”

Christopher Loudon of Jazz Times[read full review]

    All About Jazz

"The incandescence that was Shirley Horn, and her central importance to jazz vocals, cannot be overstated. She was a master, like Miles Davis and Ahmad Jamal, at retaining that elusive heartbeat called swing at the slowest tempos. Her ballad treatments may be traced, as a thread, through the approaches of Rebecca Parris, Patti Wicks, and Sue Sheriff. She was a musical force-of-nature, moving deliberately, thoughtfully, and soulfully forward. Resonance Records, that upstart of hidden treasures helmed by Zev Feldman that unearthed the recently released Bill Evans - Some Other Time: The Lost Session from the Black Forest (2016), Thad Jones and Mel Lewis - All My Yesterdays: The Debut 1966 Recordings at the Village Vanguard (2016), and Stan Getz - Moment in Time (2016) has now done the same with unreleased Shirley Horn with Shirley Horn Live at the 4 Queens. Horn's discography is light on live recordings, making Live at the 4 Queens and immediately valuable addition to her recorded oeuvre. It is a spirited recital of nine tunes by Horn and her long-time rhythm section of bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams recorded live at Las Vegas' The 4 Queens Hotel, May 2, 1988. Horn was in excellent health and voice during this period, showing off her ballad prowess on "Lover Man," "You'd be So Nice to Come Home To," and "Just for a Thrill," the last being played just fast enough to retain the pulse of jazz. It is a masterful performance. But Horn is also capable of picking up the pace and swinging for the fences, as she does on "The Boy from Ipanema" and a tour-de-force "Isn't It Romantic," where she displays her considerable piano skills. One can never hear enough of unheard Shirley Horn."

C. Michael Bailey of All About Jazz[read full review]

Live at the 4 Queens (2016)

Fisher, Jobim, Rodgers, Peterson

Shirley Horn

Mastering Engineer:

René Laflamme – Analog Tape to DSD 256 Transfer

Notes: For the 2xHD transfer of this recording, the original 1/4", 15 IPS NAB Master Tape was played on a Nagra-T modified tape machine with high-end tube playback electronics, wired with OCC Silver Cable from the playback head direct to a Telefunken EF806 Tube. The Nagra-T has one of the best transports ever made, having four direct drive motors, two pinch rollers and a tape tension head. We did an Analog Transfer to DSD256 (11.2mHz) using Merging Horus and HAPI A/D converters and a dCS Vivaldi Clock. Each format (DSD 2.8mHz, DSD 5.6 mHz and DSD 11.2 mHz) was created from that transfer.
Producer: original recording by KNPR Radio, Las Vegas Nevada
Recording Engineer: sound restoration - George Klabin, Fran Gala
Recording location: The 4 Queens, Las Vegas Nevada
Recording Type & Bit Rate: Analog to DSD256

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Tracks.
1.
Something Happens to Me
Fisher
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2.
Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)
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3.
Just for a Thrill
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Hi Fly
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Something to Shout About: You'd Be So Nice to Come Home to
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Meditation
Jobim
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The Boy from Ipanema
Jobim
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Love me Tonight: Isn't it romantic?
Rodgers
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9.
Blues for Big Scotia
Peterson
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