Softly – Remastered in DSD and DXD

Shirley Horn

19.9929.99
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Original Recording Format: Analog Tape
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This recording is so remarkable that 2xHD decided to remaster it in the higher DSD and DXD formats. The lady is really amazingly on target with her approach to every tune she had chosen to perform. The reflective mood of this album captures the late-night intimacy of the recording sessions. Although, as Gary Giddens has observed, Shirley can “swing your socks off”, her performances here, protected from the time-is-money anxiety and clinical ambiance of commercial recording studios, and surrounded by devoted friends and inevitably, food, is more introspective and emotionally intense than anything she has recorded to date.

In Grace Paley’s short story, “Wants”, the narrator says of her former and current husbands: “Either has enough character for a whole life, which as it turns out is really not such a long time. You couldn’t exhaust either man’s qualities or get under the rock of his reasons in one short life.” I can’t help thinking of these lines as I struggle with the task of trying to write some words about Shirley Horn, the most complicated human being I’ve ever known.

It would be difficult to find fresh ways to celebrate her music. Discriminating critics, including Whitney Balliett, John S. Wilson, and Leonard Feather (who named Shirley “Best Jazz Singer of 1987” in the Los Angeles Times), have sung her praises, and so have her peers – Miles Davis, Carmen McRae, George Shearing, Ella Fitzgerald, and many others. In a recent interview, singer Carol Sloane said: “Shirley takes total command, and she is sitting at the piano when she does it, which is even wilder. She swings and sings the blues; she sings the beJesus out of the blues… She is the best singer/piano player in the world. And that’s the truth… She has an enormous presence at the piano, and I am very struck with it. It makes me starry-eyed”.

Shirley Horn – Vocals, Piano
Charles Ables – Bass
Steve Williams – Drums

Tracklist

1.
Estate - Summer
08:41
2.
You're My Thrill
04:24
3.
My, How the Time Goes By
05:15
4.
Dindi
06:11
5.
How Long Has This Been Going On
07:09
6.
Since I fell for you
07:11
7.
Softly, as I leave you
03:03
8.
I watch you sleep
06:36
9.
Forget Me
03:29

Total time: 00:51:59

Additional information

Label

SKU

2XHDJA1191

Qualities

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Channels

Artists

Composers

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Genres

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Executive Producer

Andre Perry, George H. Buck Jr.

Mastering Engineer

René La Flamme, Analog to DSD 256 Transfer

Original Recording Format

Producer

Joel Siegel

Recording Engineer

Pierre Sprey

Recording location

Recorded at Mapleshade Studio, October 1987

Recording Type & Bit Rate

Analog

Release DateJanuary 15, 2021

Press reviews

Stereophile

The 2xHD hi-res release of Shirley Horn’s Softly… the sheer beauty of her sound swept this mere mortal away.

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