Taking advantage of the 50-year copyright limit on recordings in Europe, British budget reissue label Prism Leisure has compiled a collection of early- and mid-'40s Lena Horne recordings that originated on 78 rpm singles. Most were made for RCA Victor Records, along with some sides from tiny B&W Records and one track, "Out of Nowhere," on which Horne appeared as the vocalist with Teddy Wilson & His Orchestra, from Columbia Records. Of course, no such information is provided on this disc, which restricts its annotations to the legally required songwriting credits, credits for the accompanying orchestras, and a brief, generic bio in the two-page CD booklet. In most cases, Horne was the featured performer, although, as on "Out of Nowhere," on "Love Me a Little Little" she was serving as a band singer, this time for Artie Shaw, and got less disc time as a result. The sound quality is good, and the selection features many Horne favorites and standards, starting with the title song, even if the sequencing is more or less random. Especially if purchased at a discount price (as it was being offered in mail-order catalogs available to American consumers shortly after release), the generous package gives a good sense of Horne's music during her early prime.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
feat: Duncan Moore
feat: Teddy Wilson
feat: Phil Moore