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The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan
catches the many moods of the legendary jazz singer who became known simply as Sassy. On well-known tunes like "Lullaby of Birdland" Reeves summons Sassy's ghost with familiar phrasing and a majestic, powerful delivery, but it is on the lesser-known Vaughan numbers that Reeves really excels, making the standards her own. "Obsession" was recorded by Vaughan on her final album, the 1987 Brazilian Romance
, and she soars grandly over surging orchestral accompaniment. She then changes mood with an intimate cocktail version of "If You Could See Me Now" that includes a graceful piano solo by Mulgrew Miller. "I Remember Sarah" recalls the self-involved "The First Five Chapters" from Reeves's In the Moment
album, but again, the outstanding full orchestra (featuring Billy Childs, Greg Hutchinson, Russell Malone and George Duke) is so inspired and lush that it's impossible to remain unmoved. Reeves also offers a splendid Afro-Cuban version of "Fascinatin' Rhythm". Other Vaughan favourites include a lusciously swinging reading of "Key Largo" and a delightful take on "I Hadn't Anyone Till You", with Clark Terry making a humorous cameo. Reeves is obviously no Sarah Vaughan clone, but by surrounding herself with gloriously realised orchestral accompaniment and Sassy's indelible songs, she both pays respect and sets herself apart. --Ken Micallef