Sunday, 12 March 2017

Still Alive At Ninety-Five

"Do It Again," as sung by Shirley Horn

George Gershwin (music) and Buddy DeSylva (lyrics) came up with this beautiful thing in New York City back in 1922, and about forty years later, also in New York City, Shirley Horn sang all the notes and words. That's some pretty good integration. As a rule, I hate big cities, but I gotta admit they're good melting pots that hold things like human ingenuity, human dexterity (musicians!), and human female voices like Shirley Horn's doing this number till you think you might just melt into some kind of longing goo. She's the one in charge and she's the one not in charge, she's the seducer and she's the seduced. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that the way Eros is supposed to dance its way through human populations?  

There are many other lovely versions of this song by many other great singers and ensembles, but this one is easily my favourite, not just because of Ms. Horn's superb performance, but also because of the band's gently swinging support. There's a horn -- I think it's a trumpet -- that provides some particularly impish, naughty punctuation here and there throughout the glorious three-minute spell that you're under while you listen to this New York City miracle.

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