|1. Shulie A Bop|
|2. Lover Man|
|3. I Cried For You|
|4. Polka Dots And Moonbeams - John Malachi, Sarah Vaughan, Joe Benjamin, Roy Haynes, Bob Shad|
|5. All Of Me|
|6. Words Can't Describe - Bob Shad, Sarah Vaughan, Jimmy Jones, Richard Davis, Roy Haynes|
|7. Prelude To A Kiss|
|8. You Hit The Spot|
|9. Pennies From Heaven|
|10. If I Knew Then (What I Know Now)|
|11. Body And Soul|
|12. They Can't Take That Away From Me - Bob Shad, Sarah Vaughan, John Malachi, Joe Benjamin, Roy Haynes|
|13. Linger Awhile|
Swingin' Easy is one of those rare albums that doesn't come with any weak spots, making it an easy choice if you are new to Sarah Vaughan's music. The song selection and unparalleled interpretations make this one something special.
On ballads like "Prelude to a Kiss" and "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" Sarah is the song's best friend, bringing all of its melodic-lyric charms to life and requiring no more than a single pass to do so. Perhaps no further example is needed to demonstrate Sarah's mastery than "They Can't Take That Away from Me," when she not only recites but illustrates the words "off key" through her own playful intonation. And only Sarah could take ephemeral "riff" material like "You Hit the Spot" and make it sound worthy of inclusion in the Great American Songbook. But the sleeper on the program is "Words Can't Describe," an obscure song that, on the basis of Sarah's reading, should be a staple in the American Songbook.
The accompaniment is provided by two highly supportive, empathetic trios. To my ears, the walking bass lines of Joe Benjamin swing more than those provided by Richard Davis. Roy Haynes is the constant on all of the tracks, so the slightly different feel of the rhythm can't be attributed to the drummer.
I see that it's been 12 years since this CD was issued. It would be a pity if a singular session such as this were consigned to more of the "Best Of" or "Greatest Hits" anthologies that have caused us to lose sight of influential artists' most seminal projects.
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