The first two tracks on this composite CD are
of Sarah Vaughan swinging mightily with the Big Bands of Ernie
Wilkins and the Basie Band, without the Count. Both are splendid
affairs, the first has a solo from Cannonball Adderley on Alto
and the second features Frank Wess on tenor. Whilst these are
worthy of mention, it goes without saying that Sarah Vaughan
is the star of every track. Probably only Ella Fitzgerald could
match the artistry of this genuine diva, she was in a class
of her own. Whether accompanied by a swinging big band or sweeping
strings, her wonderful voice always shone through.
It’s Got to Be love is a Rogers & Hart
song that is not often heard, but Sarah’s delivery makes it
into something special. Just one of those Things brings back
the Basie band and they form a stunning combination with the
singer, there is a nice tenor solo (Billy Mitchell?). I’ll Never
Smile has a backing from a smaller band led by Ernie Wilkins
and I Can’t Give You and What Is This Thing, find Sarah singing
with a trio at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. She sounds just
as good in all these situations and on both tracks demonstrates
her ability at ‘scat’ singing. A different trio is used for
the New York recording of Words Can’t Describe.
Shiny Stockings is taken as a Latin Number,
backed by an Orchestra lead by Frank Foster, the singing on
this track is sensational, the diction is perfect, but then
everything on this album is first class.
Two of the last three tracks are with Hal Mooney’s
all star band that reads like a ‘whose who’ of jazz. Tenderly
has the sweeping strings again, but Every Day has the superb
Clark Terry Trumpet!
If you are not familiar with the work of Sarah
Vaughan this album is a must, I only wish I had all the albums
the tracks come from, there is not an inferior track on it.
Congratulations to George Evans who made the selection.