The colored dots show the fastest links (How?)
Vaughan was trained as a pianist/organist and sang in her church choir. At 18 she won the Apollo Theater’s famed amateur contest leading to a position as singer and second pianist in Earl Hines’ band which included vocalist Billy Eckstine. When Eckstine formed his bop-oriented band in 1944, he brought Sarah with him. Working with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Art Blakey and other early beboppers influenced her ability to improvise like an instrumentalist. She was the first to record Dizzy’s “Night in Tunisia,” known then as “Interlude” and taken at ballad tempo. The following year Vaughan caught the attention of the jazz world with “East of the Sun,” recorded with Gillespie, and “Lover Man” with Gillespie and Parker. Her first big hit was “Tenderly” in 1947.
Two songs closely associated with her, “After Hours” and “Street of Dreams,” were recorded in ‘51 and ’52. She signed with Mercury Records in 1954 which allowed her a dual career, recording popular material for the parent label and teaming with jazz heavyweights for its subsidiary, EmArcy. These sessions produced some of her finest work: In the Land of Hi-Fi with Cannonball Adderley and Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown.
A session with the Basie band in 1961 keenly displays her vocal acrobatics. Throughout the ’70s and ‘80s she continued to appear with noted jazz artists, recorded two albums of Brazilian music, and sang the poetry of Pope John Paul II. In 1982 she won a Grammy for Gershwin Live! and was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1989.
More can be found on Sarah Vaughan in the excellent biography Sassy: The Life of Sarah Vaughan by Leslie Gourse, De Capo Press.
- Sandra Burlingame
At Amazon.com you can often buy used for a fraction of the new price
Sassy: The Life of Sarah Vaughan
Da Capo Press
DownBeat - The Great Jazz Interviews (A 75th Anniversary Anthology) (Book)
Down Beat: Sixty Years of Jazz
Hal Leonard Corporation
Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, George Benson
Count Basie at Carnegie Hall
Swing Era - Sarah Vaughan
Sarah Vaughan, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Dinah Washington
THE LADIES Sing The Blues
Masters of American Music: Sarah Vaughan - The Divine One (1993)
Copyright 2008 - JazzBiographies.com - All Rights Reserved
Permission and contact information