Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy birthday, Sarah Vaughan

Born 27 March 1924, died 3 April 1990, Sarah Vaughan was imho the best jazz singer ever, with an immaculate technique – pitch, phrasing, timbre – allied to an extraordinary interpretive imagination. I sat about 10 feet behind her on-stage in the Michael Fowler Centre when she performed with piano, bass and drums at the Wellington Festival in 1989 – the same festival where Pierre Boulez, who turned 87 yesterday, conducted his Ensemble InterContemporain in Birtwistle, Boulez and someone else, probably Messiaen.

Vaughan was fantastic. Of course she was, but what I really appreciated was how often she turned around to us in the cheap seats and made sure that we were included. I could just about touch her pianist. A year later she was dead.

Here is the young Sarah Vaughan singing “Over the Rainbow” which is not her core repertoire but it shows her warmth, technique and gorgeous tone: 

And here she is a few years later with “I Got Rhythm”. Who could ask for anything more?:


Pdogge said...

agree entirely with your "ho"...she was certainly brilliant and above all a mst professional muso.

Happy birthday messages said...

Happy Birthday to Sarah Vaughan
Nice music ;-)
Thumbs up!