Although the very attractive Lena Horne has never really been a jazz singer, her vocals are generally of interest to jazz listeners and she has occasionally recorded in jazz settings. This Bluebird CD is pretty definitive of the first half of her career. Horne sings a pair of ballads with Charlie Barnet's 1941 orchestra and two songs (including "Don't Take Your Love From Me") with a unique Artie Shaw-led all-star band that includes Benny Carter, Red Allen, and a string section. The remainder of the disc features Horne backed by studio orchestras, and the results are superior (if sometimes overly dramatic) renditions of standards as rendered by a top-notch cabaret singer. Highlights include "Stormy Weather," "Ill Wind," "Moanin' Low," "As Long As I Live," and "It's All Right With Me."
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AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow