Two days after her two triumphant sold-out Carnegie Hall concerts, Lena Horne took the same show into New York City's Supper Club to be videotaped for a special on the Arts & Entertainment Network. Her quintet with Donald... more » Harrison, Mike Renzi & Rodney Jones was augmented by the Count Basie Orchestra for four songs. Ms. Horne was in great spirits and brilliant form and this show turned out to be her last public performance. After one more studio album a year later, Lena Horne made good on her pledge to retire. Like everything else she did, she left in style with this stunning 72 minute performance.« less
"This is a classic performacne by a classy lady. Her voice sounds only slightly older than it did in her one woman show The Lady and Her Music. However in terms of viewing pleasure one might prefer to listen to the CD of the same title as viewing this video may not be as exciting to watch as her one woman show. But the description of this DVD says it was her last performance. Not true. She was doing some kind of live performance in 1996, as it says 'Rehersal 1996' on her PBS Biography "In Her Own Voice". Also she did appear on the Rosie O'Donnell show in 1998 to promote her Being Myself album. And I read on the internet that she did a brief show for J&R music in New York for BET to promote that album. So this DVD may be her last recorded performance, but it wasn't her last. However Lena fans should still enjoy this video. Too bad she doesn't have more videos done in the 1980's and 1990's. I did read that she did a concert in 1989 on PBS, perhaps to promote her "The Men In My Life album", released in 1988. Maybe that can be put on DVD. Hopefully The Lady and Her Music will oneday come to DVD."
TOUR DE FORCE!
Guy Halliday | patterson, new york United States | 03/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"CLASSIC LENA HORNE !!! IT DOESNT GET MUCH BETTER THAN THIS! I ADMIRE THE TREMENDOUS RAPPORT SHE HAS WITH HER MUSICIANS. HER INTERPRETATIONS OF JAZZ AND STANDARDS IS FLAWLESS. YOUR DVD COLLECTION IS NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT THIS ONE. "AIN T IT THE TRUTH!""
Louis Alemayehu | Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN USA | 07/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In terms of the vocal instrument, if the gold standard is Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald, Lena would not be at the head of the line. But neither would Billie Holiday!
Recently watching a Spanish movie from the 80's called "Amor, El Brujo" I got some insight in the Spanish concept of duende. The opening scene is a wedding with much music, song and dance. There is some superb flamenco foot work by swift and agile thirty and forty something masters of the art form. At some point the grandmothers take over... The have smaller movements that are yet intense and carry a lifetime of lived experience in their subtle fire. They have the "Soul Force" - Duende, that does not require the physical pyrotechnics of youth. Lena is dynamic. She penetrates. She fills the room!
Lena's voice was always thin. John Hammond said at one point back in the 40's: "She can't sing, but she's good to look at."
Sometime a couple decades later, the magnificent jazz vocalist/storyteller, Carmen McRae said:" People should stop looking at her and LISTEN! The woman can sing!!" If you ever see old clips of her singing duets with Sinatra or Garland, you'll hear what I mean. She is NOT along for the ride.
Maturity brought her into her own. She "ripened" with age.
This is the last recorded concert of Lena Horne at age 76 in 1994. WOW!! She has a vocal technique that is informed by jazz and blues sensibility. She tells the story of each song not only with her voice. She embodies the song. Her eyes burn with knowing. She has humor, eroticism, wisdom and a profound depth of Soul.
Lena is a storyteller and despite the deterioration of a not perfect voice, she wrings your heart with the gift of her singing. For humor try, her version of Billy Strayhorn's "Maybe". For Eroticism, well it all seems to have an erotic edge to it, but there is an rather interesting physical gesture during Stephen Sondhiem's "Hey, Old Friend". For a world weary wisdom, check out Charles Aznavour's "Yesterday When I Was Young" as she finishes with a smoldering "job will done".
If Beyonce' and Celine Dion are your cup of tea, this may not do it for you. There is a audio version of this concert on a Blue Note CD. I have heard some of it. I prefer this version of that concert. Seeing an artist of Lena's caliber, both earthy and elegant, perform in the flesh is a joy. Don't deny yourself this pleasure of experiencing heart, body, soul and intellect all in full force."
Miss Lena is the Ultimate Entertainer!!!~
Steven W. Brown | Vacaville, California | 09/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am so extremely happy that I had the presence of mind to purchase this DVD. Watching a performance, like this one, helps one to understand why she has, for so many years, been praised for her beauty and unmistakable talent. I have so much of her music that I could not even count it! Now a visual to go along with her serenely wondrous voice... and at her age still looking better than most! Miss Lena Horne is, in my opinion, perfect in this concert. Of course, I must say that I am not a musician but, have been a fan of Jazz and R&B for more than forty years. I've never enjoyed a DVD this much...ever. I mean that very sincerely."
A Wonerrful Performence
R. J. Campbell | Australia | 03/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This polished diva needs no introduction, she a dynamic individual, age certainly did not weary her,on this DVD with a great backing from the Count Basie muscians Lena Horn was magnificient, and the Audience gave her a warm feeling of apppreication for her performance. She came a long way from being a chorus girl at the Cotton Club, after retirement, she came back better than ever and kept the audience entranced with a variety of songs....A wonderful tribute to a wonderful performer.********"