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Linger Awhile (Live At Newport & More) [Remastered]

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Album Review

In an ideal world, Sarah Vaughan's performance at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival wouldn't have gone unreleased for 42 years. But because of various circumstances, that performance remained in Norman Granz's private collection until the release of this CD in late 1999. Here's what happened: At the 1957 Newport Festival, Granz taped sets by the Count Basie Orchestra and the Oscar Peterson Trio for release on his Verve label, and ended up taping Vaughan's set as well. But Vaughan was signed to an exclusive contract with Mercury at the time, and Mercury was close to doing some live taping of its own. (In fact, the singer's excellent live album At Mister Kelly's was recorded in Chicago only a month after her Newport appearance.) The same trio that backed a 33-year-old Sassy at that Chicago club (pianist Jimmy Jones, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Roy Haynes) backs her at Newport, where she is in fine form on performances of familiar standards such as "Black Coffee," "All of Me," "The Masquerade Is Over," and "Sometimes I'm Happy." Because Vaughan's Newport set wasn't nearly long enough to fill up a CD, roughly half of this disc is devoted to eight alternate studio takes she recorded for Granz's Pablo label from 1978 to 1982. It's interesting to hear the older Vaughan on the same CD as the younger Vaughan: Alternates of "Just Friends," "That's All," and other standards show us just how much her voice had deepened since 1957. But she still had one of the most enviable and impressive ranges in jazz, and Vaughan in her 50s was every bit as expressive and charismatic as Vaughan at 33. As a rule, the alternates are only slightly inferior to the master takes that Pablo ended up choosing — and they will undoubtedly be of interest to collectors. Although not essential and not recommended to casual listeners, Linger Awhile is a CD that seasoned Vaughan fans will be happy to add to their collections.

Biography

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...
Full Bio