You can tell your friends, spouses and neighbours - this is as good vocal jazz albuma as it gets... People often speak of Bille, Sarah and Ella as the magnificent trio of classical jazz. Although I love and respect Ella very much (her work with Satchmo, Basie, famous concerts in Berlin and Rome....), I nevertheless feel that only Sarah Vaughan joins Billie on the top of the list of female vocalists of the classical (and early modern) jazz.
Sassy is amazing! With Clifford Brown, Count Basie, on "One Night Stand" with Lester Young, with Miles Davis, Tony Scott, Roy Haynes, Clark Terry...
You name it! She has so many great moments.
This Tivoli gig with excellent Kirk Stuart trio represents another of her brilliant performances; full of swing (with occasional and magnificent scatting - "Sassy's Blues"!) proving once again why the instrumentalists often spoke of her as one of their own; she used her voice as a jazz instrumentalists would, bending lyrics, melody and everything else to fit her wishes... The song selection is brilliant (this might serve as a collection of her best hits) - Poor Butterfly, Say it isn't so, I Cried for you, Black coffee, Polka Dots and Moon beams, All of me...
One of Vaughan's trademarks were also ballads, at times a bit too dramatic, but she doesn't indulge that much in them here - she sounds too energetic to be pompous. Admittedly, Sassy does get a tad too happy on some songs (first half of "Lover Man", for instance), jeopardizing the performance, but that's a marginal occurance on this double CD jazz extravaganza, a must have for all serious jazz collectors.
This top class jazz is also quite accessible to wider audiences; try this and you'll forget there ever was a Norah Jones, Diana Krall or even a serious performer such as Cassandra Wilson.