A Sarah Vaughan discussion thread.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by DJ WILBUR, Nov 16, 2008.


    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    Had some friends over last night and playing some jazz and talking about jazz vocal records in general we got on a jag about records without percussion. A friend mentioned Sarah Vaughan "After Hours" and he mentioned it came out in 61, and I pulled out my Mosaic box and there it was. I'd never focused on this particular title in that box set as 8 discs hard to digest it all so this disc in the box, contains two records she did with just guitar and bass...and I'm sure I just decided guitar, bass...meh....:sigh:...as I'm so used to my Sarah being more brassy and sassy....boy what a mistake....

    These two records are remarkable and I am now primed and ready to fall in love with even more Sarah. She's one of the classic jazz singers I haven't focused on as much as some others yet, but after hearing her voice in such a subtle accompaniement i'm in total Sarah mood...thought I'd try to see if others wanted to discuss their faves by her etc.

    right now i'm playing her sessions with Cannonball "In The Land of Hi-Fi"...so great.....:love:...and one of my favorites, but with such a huge catalog, i'm sure there are a lot of turns she and her arrangers took...so what's your faves?
    DmitriKaramazov likes this.
  2. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    DJ Wilbur,

    I like Sarah Vaughn Sings George & Ira Gershwin. It has several fine tracks. The Irving Berlin album with Billy Eckstein is superb as well. Also, her live albums were superb from this period.
  3. John B Good

    John B Good Forum Hall Of Fame

    NS, Canada
    I'm not a big fan, but as I kid I had access to an EP with Broken Hearted Melody and Smooth Operator and 2 other songs. And they are indelibly imprinted in my mind. (To the extent that I resented Sade 40 or so years later singing a Smooth Operator that was completely a different song :)).

    The beautiful picture sleeve on the EP didn't hurt me either.

    I also have her Songs of Mancini cd, and enjoy half of them very much. On that album it seems to be tracks with crude strings that I don't enjoy as much.

    Finally, I had an LP with her version of Lovers Concerto, and eventually bought the cd, I liked it so much.

    These are no doubt not very representative of her jazz work, so I'll just call this a 2 cents worth post :)
  4. John DeAngelis

    John DeAngelis Senior Member

    New York, NY
    Drummer Earl Palmer says that of all the sessions he did, the album The Explosive Side Of Sarah Vaughan" might be his favorite. It's also on the Mosaic box.
  5. Brian Clark

    Brian Clark New Member

    My notional Desert Island discs would definitely include the 10" LP "Images" where Miss Vaughan is accompanied by John Malachi, Joe Benjamin and Roy Haynes. The tracks were re-released on a 12" LP called "Swing Easy".

    Other big favourites of mine are her album with Clifford Brown and "Live at Mister Kelly's".

    For me Sarah Vaughan's voice is truly divine :love:

    hugh . g. likes this.
  6. Gary Freed

    Gary Freed Forum Resident

    Sarah was a remarkable singer in any era. She had a special way with her voice and could easily have been a world class opera singer as well as jazz diva.
  7. dreamwhip

    dreamwhip New Member

    Delaware, USA
    She has to be my favorite singer in this genre.
  8. -Alan

    -Alan Moderator

    Connecticut, USA
    I mentioned the following in the recent Ray Ellis RIP thread:

    Ray Ellis produced Sarah Vaughan's Broken Hearted Melody. I loved the song and it introduced me to the rest of her catalog, even if she had her misgivings about the song:

  9. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    Sagamore Beach, Ma
    Sarah's just amazing. Her Roulette and Emarcy stuff is as warm as a summer day at noon. Love her Columbia Lps too. Gotta get me more o' them.
  10. dale 88

    dale 88 Errand Boy for Rhythm

    west of sun valley
    My favorite individual song is Ain't No Use from the album THE DIVINE ONE, recorded for Roulette in October 1960. It is on the Mosaic set also.

    "In Saturday Review, critic Martin Williams chose Ain't No Use as one of his three favorite Vaughan recordings: "She teases that song, she cajoles it -- to miss her sly but guileless humor is to miss her art."

    Martin Williams put that song along with the Mercury early 50s Dancing in the Dark on the first edition (1973) of the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz. In the second edition of the Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz (1987) he chose two different songs: All Alone (recorded 1967) for Mercury, and My Funny Valentine (recorded 1973, Tokyo) for Mainstream.

    Her output is checkered, and not everything is up to those high standards.
  11. OE3

    OE3 Forum Resident


    Sarah Vaughn's 1955 debut for EmArcy is one of my favorite records. I play it all the time. Preferred versions are the Dennis Drake-mastered orig. WG CD and the Willem Makee-cut Speakers Corner LP (get it while you can). Would love to see Steve master this for Audio Fidelity.
  12. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    Which one are you referring to? She first recorded for EmArcy in 1954.
  13. Ron Stone

    Ron Stone Offending Member

    Deep Maryland
    My personal favorite Sassy is LIVE IN JAPAN, which was originally released on LP by Mainstream and later reissued on CD as an MFSL aluminum.

    I first heard it when a fellow audiophile played its version of "My Funny Valentine" to demonstate how similarly Sarah Vaughan and Miles Davis (as heard on PLUGGED NICKEL) approached the same song. The CD was already OOP and I spent a good while tracking a reasonably priced copy down.

    My guess is that LIVE IN JAPAN now costs a minor mint, but if you can get your hands on it . . .

    I'd also recommend the live AT MR. KELLY'S and SASSY SWINGS THE TIVOLI.

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    Oh nice to see some posts for The Divine One....I'm getting to all the suggestions in here, so thanks, but wanted to start with this one as it truly is swinging...

    Hey John thanks for pointing this album out. I played it 2x yesterday and most of it is really terrific, not sure how i missed it first time around, but the trouble with these 8 cd box sets with 16+ albums is there is way too much to digest so i end up focused on what I thought the 4-5 best albums were on it at the time and put the box away as more music always walks in the door, so another great Roulette album I'd overlooked until now...

    I can see why Earl Palmer likes this one, its very "percussive" in its swinging vibe. This is an album that if many Jazz heads would dig IMO.

    Great album cover too, which isnt' being used for the cd release...I found a scan of the original album cover....small print says "arranged by Benny Carter"...the cd out of this material is this album coupled with other material she did with Benny....worthy...

    Attached Files:

  15. Chris C

    Chris C Music was my first love and it will be my last!

    I don't know much about Sarah, nor do I have many of her records, but there are two tracks by her, that I must mention...

    "Broken Hearted Melody" (Just a great little pop record that is as smooth as they come)

    "Lost Weekend" (An unbelievable track, from a rare Godley & Creme, (two former members of 10cc), album. Sarah singing lead with Kevin Godley is a treat that should NOT be missed!)

    Chris C
    gregorya likes this.
  16. OE3

    OE3 Forum Resident

    Self-titled with Clifford Brown, the famous album, c) 1955 on the CD. Isn't that her first album? Maybe it was recorded in '54?
  17. KipB

    KipB Forum Resident

    Bethel, CT, USA
    Sarah Vaughan on Emarcy

    I love two Sarah Vaughan albums/CDs on Emarcy:

    Swingin' Easy

    and with Clifford Brown.

    They're basically giving these away used on Amazon.com ...
  18. il pleut

    il pleut New Member

    there's a wonderfully witty version of "hit the road to dreamland" from about 1958 (it's on the complete mercury vol. 3 box), and her live version of "thanks for the memory" where she gets stuck on the word "parthenon" is also very funny.

    i really like her 50s and early 60s stuff. later on she became a bit too diva-ish for my taste, but always a wonderful musician.
  19. sgb

    sgb Forum Resident

    Baton Rouge
    IMHO Sarah, like Coltrane, never made a bad album. Yes there are albums I prefer, but I wouldn't think I could live without any of them.

    As a retrospective, I would recommend the Gershwin Live album with Michael Tilson Thomas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The medley Sarah does including, 'I've Got a Crush On You' and 'A Foggy Day' is among the most emotive female vocal performances ever.

  20. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    She first recorded under her own name for Mercury/EmArcy in February 1954. Her first EmArcy album was a 10" LP, Images (EmArcy MG-26005) with material recorded in April 1954. It was reissued on the 12" LP Swingin' Easy (EmArcy MG-36109) in 1957.

    The recordings with Clifford Brown were made in December 1954 and first released in 1955 (EmArcy MG-36004).

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    I'm tackling this material today, in fact right now. As I've got the four Mercury/Verve boxes as well as the Mosaic box, i've got a ton of sarah that I've never really given its due.

    I mostly listen to the self titled, the Live Mr. Kellys set, the No Count Basie, Hi FI and In The Land of Hi Fi.

    I've had the Verve boxes since release as a gift but always seemed to schmaltzy, but so many styles are in this box. so i'm isolating the Gershwin tunes and I'm gonna grab her duets with Eckstine next. thanks for the advice on this one. Her Gershwin stuff is actually something I'm enjoying right now with my morning cappuccino and now time for real work....good background stuff for today.....:love:
  22. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    I respectfully disagree. I think Sarah made tons of bad albums, but the good ones are very, very, very good. She is probably the best jazz singer of all time.

    My favorites are Live in Japan and Swingin Easy. I also have a soft spot for 'The Divine One', and I am glad to see people here pointing that one out.
    danasgoodstuff likes this.
  23. Solaris

    Solaris a bullet in flight

    New Orleans, LA

    I've got her Gershwin set on vinyl, which I should transfer one of these days. There's a version of Embraceable You on there done in a trio setting which showcases her voice quite nicely. Good stuff.

    After Hours is my favorite Sarah Vaughan date, mainly because of the stripped down setting of just bass and guitar. It's a really great romantic album, too, perfect to put on low, light some candles and sip some wine with someone special.

    The Proper box on her has all her early material, which is a mix of orchestral recordings and small band work, the latter of which I prefer (she was working with people like Miles and Diz in sextet settings, if you can imagine that). Her take on "Gentleman Friend" is awesome. That's another one of those 78s I need to transfer properly one of these days...
  24. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    Agreed, she made a lot of bad albums. I prefer her dates with small groups, especially Swingin' Easy.

    I'm probably in the minority here, but I find her vibrato quite annoying.

    DJ WILBUR The Cappuccino Kid Thread Starter

    oh yea, which is why with 5 box sets totaling 30+ cds and 50+ albums even now years into fandom i'm still piecing together the material worth the time. as I "drop the needle" around her career on Mercury and Roulette, i'm shocked at some of the dreck I hear, hence they go back on the shelf. so its nice to get a few tips in a thread like this to explore some fan faves in here. hey i'm now a few Sarah albums ahead of the game from last week.

    After Hours
    Sarah +2
    The Explosive

    I"ll check the eckstine duets out today too. i never really warmed up to his voice, but maybe today is the day I get him? we'll see...

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