February 04, 2003
Vocal Music, Traditional Pop, Standards, Vocal Jazz

Album Review

A compilation of two albums recorded in Europe under the direction of Quincy Jones, these sessions catch Sarah Vaughan at her magnificent best. There may be claims of overdoing it or garishness. But her set of pipes and her willingness to use them dramatically, and sometimes coyly, to bring out the best of everything she sings brushes aside such criticisms as unjustified. Classic standard or novelty tune, she had full command of the vocal art. The 1958 session took place in Paris with Jones doing the arrangements and leading a 55-piece orchestra. To match up this large aggregation would be daunting for most singers. But with Vaughan's powerful operatic voice, it's no problem at all. Although the notes don't identify personnel, Zoot Sims was present backing Vaughan and soloing on such cuts as "Misty." Also present was the rhythm section of Ronnell Bright on piano, Kenny Clarke on drums, and Richard Davis and Pierre Michelot sharing bass. This set was originally issued under the title of Vaughan and Violins. The other session took place in Copenhagen in 1963 and was issued with a similar alliterative title, Vaughan and Voices. Jones was again in charge, but Robert Farnon conducted and arranged, which meant there would be no upbeat material. Farnon never met a string section he didn't love. But in no way does this circumstance impede Vaughan. An audacious full-voiced treatment of "It Could Happen to You" not only makes one forget most other versions, but reveals how little the Sevend Saaby Danish Choir is needed here. Conversely, the way Vaughan rides their voices at the outset of "Days of Wine and Roses" pays their way. This compilation is vintage Sarah Vaughan, which means this is a dazzling exploration of the possibilities of the human voice as a vocal instrument. Recommended.
Dave Nathan, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Please Be Kind
  2. The Midnight Sun Will Never Set
  3. Live for Love
  4. Misty
  5. I'm Lost
  6. Love Me
  7. That's All
  8. Day By Day
  9. Gone With the Wind
  10. I'll Close My Eyes
  11. The Thrill Is Gone
  12. Charade
  13. It Could Happen to You
  14. Blue Orchids
  15. This Heart of Mine
  16. Then I'll Be Tired of You
  17. Funny
  18. My Coloring Book
  19. How Beautiful Is Night
  20. Hey There
  21. Deep Purple
  22. I'll Be Around
  23. Days of Wine and Roses
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