VOICES Notes and news on Jazz Vocals releases
13 AUG 07 ANNE FARNSWORTH
Sarah Vaughan was 47 in 1971 when famed impresario Norman Granz, whose Jazz At The Philharmonic series in the '40s and '50s gave bop gravitas and a new audience, recorded her appearance at the Monterey Jazz Festival. For Sarah, decades of working with the media of harmony and improvisation had resulted in a singular musical style. Sarah Vaughan: Live A The Monterey Jazz Festival 1971, which will be released on Monterey Jazz Festival Records Aug. 21, brilliantly captures her skillful voice.
She accomplished a lot in the decades before 1971. Barely out of her teens, she was singing with Earl Hines and Billy Eckstine when Leonard Feather brought Bird and Dizzy together to record her first album as a leader. From there it was an upward climb as she fulfilled her early promise as a bop instrumentalist whose instrument happened to be the human voice. She brilliantly transcended the limitations of her instrument and her gender. On stage at Monterey, she was a consummate pro at the top of her game. Giggly and flirtatious with her audience, she led her band and an all-star jam session with confidence and generosity. The warmth that pervades this recording, both on stage and off, shows again how respected and beloved Sarah was, by her fellow musicians as much as her fans.