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In this most unusual album, Sarah Vaughan conjures up images of after hours performances in smoke-filled clubs, where a few sad and lonely people nurse their drinks and listen to a solitary singer crooning softly. Here Vaughan sings "pure," without a big band behind her, without sharing the stage with a jazz superstar, and without any restrictions on her own interpretations. Accompanied only by a guitar (Mundell Lowe) and a bass (George Duvivier), both of which play quietly in the background, Vaughan turns in a remarkable performance, recording her most intimate album, one in which she makes the listener feel as if each song is sung for him/her and no one else.
Her famous versatility is on display here, but it is far more subtle than in most of her other albums, since nearly all these songs are slow and lacking in pyrotechnics. Changes in mood are controlled totally by Sarah and not by her accompanists. In "My Favorite Things," a surprising introduction to this album, she sounds like an ingénue, singing in a light soprano without any hint of the deeper register for which she is famous--until halfway through, when the beat picks up and the real Sarah starts to emerge. "Every Time We Say Goodbye," a melancholy song, has a swing beat, and "Easy to Love" is sung almost a capella, with her finger snapping audible in the background. In "Sophisticated Lady," slowly paced and contemplative, she sounds like the great jazz singer we know, but quieter than usual, and in "Great Day," the fastest song on the album, she dances across her notes, improvising as she goes.
The "real" Sarah Vaughan is totally in charge here, singing the mellowest, smoothest, and most intimate album ever, but it is a moody, blue Sarah in many songs--and the album is for quiet times, not celebrations. If you are a lover of Sarah Vaughan and ever fantasized about having her sing a private concert for you alone, this is your chance. Mary Whipple
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on 7 October 2013
Only eleven songs of Sarah very few for a CD. The style is intimate. Very difficult to hear the original melody for the changes it makes to its interpretation. But in good voice and good accompaniment, basically a guitar and a bass. There are better jobs.

Solo once canciones de Sarah son muy pocas para un CD. El estilo es íntimo. Muy difícil de apreciar la melodía original por los cambios que hace con su interpretación. Pero en buena voz y buen acompañamiento, básicamente una guitarra y un bajo. Hay mejores trabajos.
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on 7 May 2015
When I'm listening to this I often wonder if it's the greatest vocal record ever made... Sarah Vaughan's virtuosity is astounding, more so because it always serves the music. The way she plays with pronunciation and vibrato is an absolute joy to hear, and she really doesn't need any more accompaniment than the perfectly judged bass and guitar.
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on 11 November 2013
A great offering from Sarah at her prime. Her style has developed here, but isn't over the top as in some later offerings. A must for fans of great jazz singers.
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on 22 March 2016
It is excellent as other reviewers have said, but it is included on 'Eight Classic Albums vol 2' which is cheaper than this single album. So save money and get 7 extra albums, including '+2' in which she is also backed by just guitar (Barney Kessel) and bass
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