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The Essential Sarah Vaughan - The Great Songs

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Album Review

Drawn from Sarah Vaughan's first round with Mercury Records (and its EmArcy Records subsidiary) between 1954 and 1964, this fine selection features the singer in a variety of settings ranging from intimate trios to bopping big bands and smooth, silky orchestras, all of it showcasing Vaughan's lush tone and playful phrasing. Among the many highlights are the opener, a strong rendition of a Quincy Jones arrangement of "Misty," a sparkling take on Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things" while fronting the Count Basie Orchestra, and a duet on "Always" with her mentor, Billy Eckstine. There is a lot more to the story than this, though, and ardent listeners may want to check out the four-volume (each volume of which contains six discs) Complete Sarah Vaughan on Mercury series, but as a quick single-disc introduction to one of Vaughan's most commercially successful eras, this set will certainly get you started.

Customer Reviews

The Essential Sara Vaughan

Outstanding compared to today's artist. Take a moment to remember what defines music.


She is one of the best singers ever

First CD I Ever Bought...

And I still love it. This is a wonderful mix of so many of her marvelous songs and has the more rare "My Man's Gone Now" that is just breathtaking. It's got ballads, doo-wop and bossa nova... and Sarah excels in all.


Born: March 27, 1924 in Newark, NJ

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Possessor of one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century, Sarah Vaughan ranked with Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday in the very top echelon of female jazz singers. She often gave the impression that with her wide range, perfectly controlled vibrato, and wide expressive abilities, she could do anything she wanted with her voice. Although not all of her many recordings are essential (give Vaughan a weak song and she might strangle it to death), Sarah Vaughan's legacy as a performer and a...
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