Lena Horne – Being Myself
(Blue Note – 1998)
by Matthew Robinson
“Come in and join the party,” Lena calls, slapping her long fingers on an empty seat. You best take her invitation, cuz Ms. Horne knows of what she sings. Long-established as a Jazz legend, Lena Horne continues her reign as queen of the blue note with her latest BlueNote release. In addition to touching up personal favorites such as “As Long As I Live” (which sparkles as brightly as when Lena performed it live for her classic concert collection “The Lady and Her Music,” yet with even more snap and sheen), Lena creeps through “It’s Alright With Me” and clips through “Willow Weep For Me.”
Always a lady, Lena opens wide to proclaim “After You” and allows a “Sleepin’ Bee” to laze undistrubed while she surveys the musical lansdscape. Though she may not have the note-holding force of her past, Lena Horne is still as brassy and clarion bold as her name would dictate. Asking the musical questions “What Am I Here For” and “How Long Has This Been Going On,” Lena simultaneously answers these questions for her listeners: To hear her sing and for as long as she continues to do so.
© 2001 M. S. Robinson, ARR