November 1998

Lena Horne
Being Myself
Blue Note Records

At 81, Lena Horne's voice has retained its wonderful clarity and abundant expression. She seems to sound better in every outing, and these 10 tracks underscore that conviction. Her distinctive style is most evident on the ballads, "As Long as I Live," "Autumn in New York," "Imagination," "Willow Weep for Me" and "How Long Has This Been Going On?"

Horne's blues bag is enhanced by tenor saxophonist Houston Person and organist Bobby Forrester on "Some of My Best Friends Are the Blues" and guitarist George Benson on "It's All Right With Me." Also on the album are vibraphonist Milt Jackson, saxophonist Donald Harrison, pianist Mike Renzi, bassist Benjamin Brown, drummer Akira Tana, and her longtime producer, Rodney Jones, on guitar. A thoroughly enjoyable half-hour-plus.

Originally published in November 1998
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