Lena Horne – At the Waldorf Astoria (Full Album)

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Lena Horne at the Waldorf Astoria is a 1957 live album by Lena Horne, conducted by Lennie Hayton, recorded in Stereo at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City on the evening of February 20, 1957. One of the first non-classical live albums to be recorded in Stereo, the monaural album peaked at #24 in the Billboard Hot 200 and became the best selling record by a female artist in the history of the RCA Victor label. The album was re-issued on CD in 2002, by Collectables Records, together with Horne’s 1961 live album Lena Horne at the Sands (Wikipedia).

AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann:
More than anything else, Lena Horne was a nightclub entertainer, and having completed her film commitments to MGM in 1956, she was free to turn her attention to performing full-time. Starting on New Year’s Eve, she spent eight weeks at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, and at the end of the run RCA Victor Records brought in recording equipment. The result is an excellent representation of Horne in her natural environment. Backed by Nat Brandwynne’s Orchestra as conducted by her husband, Lennie Hayton, Horne essays a series of vintage standards that go back to 1929’s “Honeysuckle Rose,” which she sang in the 1943 film Thousands Cheer. There is a Cole Porter medley (“the always-surprising Cole Porter tunes,” she calls them) that includes a triumphant “It’s All Right With Me,” and the set concludes with “From This Moment On,” showing Horne to be the perfect interpreter of Porter’s sophisticated songs. And there is a shorter Duke Ellington medley consisting of “Mood Indigo” and “I’m Beginning to See the Light” that is equally impressive. Among the more contemporary tracks, Horne borrows “Let Me Love You” from Mabel Mercer, who introduced it; “Today I Love Everybody” from Betty Grable, who sang it in the 1953 film The Farmer Takes a Wife; and “A New Fangled Tango” from Ethel Merman, who performed it in the 1956 musical Happy Hunting. These are good choices given sympathetic arrangements, and Horne performs them with just the right tone of romance and sly humor. Lena Horne may have left Hollywood behind her by early 1957, but this live album, which charted in the Top Ten, demonstrated that in doing so she had only returned to her greatest strength as a performer (http://www.allmusic.com/album/at-the-waldorf-astoria-mw0000847162).

Track listing:
“Today I Love Everybody” (Harold Arlen, Dorothy Fields) – 2.55
“Let Me Love You” (Bart Howard, Lou Levy) – 3.06
“Come Runnin'” (Roc Hillman) – 2.42
Cole Porter Medley: “How’s Your Romance?”/”After You”/”Love of My Life”/”It’s All Right with Me” – 7:21
“Mood Indigo”/”I’m Beginning to See the Light” (Duke Ellington, Mitchell Parish, Barney Bigard, Irving Mills)/(Ellington, Don George, Johnny Hodges, Harry James) – 4:30
“How You Say It” (Matt Dubey, Harold Karr) – 3:16
“Honeysuckle Rose” (Fats Waller, Andy Razaf) – 2:59
“Day In, Day Out” (Rube Bloom, Johnny Mercer) – 2:07
“New Fangled Tango” (Dubey, Karr) – 3:06
“I Love to Love” (Herbert Baker) – 4:20
“From This Moment On” (Porter) – 1:57

Lena Horne – vocals
Nat Brandwynne Orchestra
Lennie Hayton – conductor

Released: 1957
Recorded: 1957
Length: 35:39
Label: RCA Victor