Lena Horne's fruitful recording career is surveyed with typical care and finesse by Sony/Legacy in The Essential Lena Horne
, a two-disc, 39-track summation of her RCA Records career (which includes the vast majority of her best material). More than most recording stars, Horne excelled on screen or in concert, and the collection spends considerable time on that aspect of her art, presenting several of her movie-musical highlights (including her signature song, "Stormy Weather") and a series of extended medleys recorded onstage, such as the Duke Ellington
pairing "Mood Indigo"/"I'm Beginning to See the Light" from 1957's At the Waldorf Astoria
, a medley of slightly obscure Cole Porter
material from the same engagement, and a Jule Styne
medley originally recorded in 1961 and included on At the Sands
. The collection features a few songs new to the digital realm, and makes a lengthy but thorough introduction to Horne, the singer with more charisma and personality than any of her peers.