How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Recorded between January 1949 and January 1953, this compilation of fourteen romantic ballads by one of the word's greatest interpreters moves nice and slow. With the lush sounds of a full orchestra in support, Sarah Vaughan weaves her magic spell delicately and with true passion.
While the album includes several well-known instrumental soloists and leaders in various lineups, they're here only to accompany. Vaughan interprets each love song slowly, with tenderness and with a gentle caress. She was already in her prime.
"Street of Dreams" features the full, rich strength of her vocal style with strings. Each ballad is expressed in slow terms, giving her plenty of room to explain. "Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year" finds her swooping with ample evidence of the vocal flexibility that she possessed. "Black Coffee" serves as a memorable piece, pairing Vaughan with a superb studio orchestra. Together, they emphasize the dramatic nature of the piece fully.
"My Reverie" shows off the singer's amazing upper register. "After Hours" brings out her effusive blues expression. "Deep Purple" emphasizes the purity of her lower register. Nice and slow, she casts a love spell on her audience.
Miles Davis can be heard playing the introduction and closing to "It Might As Well Be Spring," and conversing with Vaughan on open trumpet throughout their gentle interpretation. Clarinetist Tony Scott makes a perfect fit as her soul mate nearer the end of the piece. Both work their wonders with Vaughan once again on "Goodnight My Love." Mundell Lowe and Budd Johnson can be heard filling behind Vaughan on "Come Rain or Come Shine."
The album stands out as a fine commendation to the lovely ballad singing of Sarah Vaughan.
Track Listing: The Nearness of You; Just Friends; Thinking of You; Come Rain or Come Shine; You're Mine, You; Street of Dreams; East of the Sun (and West of the Moon); Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year; Black Coffee; My Reverie; After Hours; Deep Purple; It Might as Well Be Spring; Goodnight My Love.
Personnel: Sarah Vaughan- vocals; Miles Davis, Gordon Griffith, Ziggy Elman, Rubin Zarchy, Frank Fletcher-Beach, Melvin Solomon, Gus Griffith, Jimmy Maxwell, Billy Butterfield, Taft Jordan- trumpet; Muni Morrow, John D'Agostino, L. Alpeter, William Schaefer, Allan W. Thompson, Elmer Smithers, A. Godlis, Benny Green, Buddy Morrow, Jack Satterfield, Will Bradley- trombone; Tony Scott- clarinet; Budd Johnson- tenor saxophone; Paul Ricci, Wolfe Taninbaum, Al Freistat, William Versaci, Vincent Abato, Jimmy Abato, Al Kloves, Russell Banzer, Richard Banzer, R. Banzoc, Jimmy Odriche, Sid Cooper, Fred Stuice, Harold Lawson, Don Lodice, Babe Russin, Leonard Hartman, Henry Roos, Harry Terrill, Bernard Kaufman, Harold Feldman, Irving Horowitz, Nuncio Mondello, Herman Schertzer, George Kelly, Artie Drelinger, Stanley Webb- saxophone; E. Brown- woodwinds; Mundell Lowe, George Van Eps, Art Ryerson, Al Caiola- guitar; Milt Raskin, Henry W. Rowland, Louis Stein, Stan Freeman, Robert Kriss, Jimmy Jones- piano; Bob Haggart, Billy Taylor, John H. Ryan, Frank Carroll, Jack Lesberg, Edward Safranski- bass; P. Krauss, Terry Snyder, Norris Shawker, Nick Fatool, J.C. Heard, William Coles- drums; Jules Schachter, George Ockner, Sylvan Shulman, Zelly Smirnoff, Howard Kay, Fred Buldrini, A. Pratz, D. Asch, Raoul Poliakine, E. Orloff, S. Carmell, E. Green- violin; Isador Zir, F. Brieff, Sidney Brecher, Richard Dickler- viola; Maurice Brown, F. Miller, Bernard Greenhouse- cello; Verlye Mills- harp; Leo Cruczek, Sam Rand, Felix Orlewitz, Jack Zayde, Sol Deutsch, Ralph Hersh, George Ricci- strings.