Lena Horne: Stormy Weather
Lena Horne (vocals)
The Young Star (RCA 63964)
Lena Horne (vocals),
Mannie Klein (trumpet), Jack Mayhew, Mort Friedman, Archie Rosati (saxes), Lou Busch (piano), Mischa Russell, Nick Pisani (violin), Perry Botkin (guitar), Artie Bernstein (bass).
Composed by Harold Arlen & Ted Koehler. Arranged by Ned Freeman.
Recorded: Hollywood, CA, December 15, 1941
Rating: 94/100 (learn more)
Eight days after Pearl Harbor, the breathtaking Lena Horne correctly forecasts long-term war clouds. The following year, in Hollywood's Stormy Weather (1943), an all-black musical biopic of dancer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Horne co-starred and reprised the title song. Lip-synching at her apartment window opposite an El Train station, Lena misses her man so much she's oblivious to a virtual hurricane battering Harlem. The role made her a star, and "Stormy Weather" became her signature. Here, Ned Freeman's Harlem- Meets-Hollywood arrangement is a washout, discordantly mixing Ellington-style jungle growls with Vine Street violins. Still, Lena's star shines undimmed through the clouds.
Reviewer: Alan Kurtz