Shirley Horn – “A Taste of Honey”

Singer and pianist Shirley Horn was born on this day (May 1) in Washington, D.C., in 1934. A supremely talented vocalist, Horn was known for her creative delivery and emphatic inflection, which allowed her to imbue a song’s lyrics with new shades of meaning. Horn’s debut album, Embers and Ashes, was released in 1960, causing a small stir in jazz circles. Before long, it had been discovered by trumpeter Miles Davis, who was apparently so impressed with the young singer that he invited her to open for him at the hallowed Village Vanguard in New York. Her run of performances there served as a launching pad for her ascendant career, and in 1961, she would release the album Live at the Village Vanguard — this time under her own name. Below, listen to “A Taste of Honey,” one of the tracks from Embers and Ashes that would put her prominently on the jazz map. Sadly, Horn passed away in 2005 due to complications from diabetes. She was 71.

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