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One of the Best Sassy Videos Ever

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Last week, Nelson Porto in Brazil sent along a link to a Sarah Vaughan video that I hadn't seen before. To me, it's by far one of the finest live videos of Sassy on stage in the second half of her career. It's a duet with Wilson Simonal, who is little known outside of Brazil but who was one of that country's leading singing sensations in the 1960s and '70s. [Photo above of Sarah Vaughan]

Vaughan didn't speak a word of Portuguese and Simonal didn't speak a word of English, but they figured it all out, and the chemistry between them is what makes this clip so special. It didn't hurt that Vaughan was clearly smitten by Simonal. His English vocal was merely memorized words with little sense of their meaning. Same goes for Vaughan's Portuguese at the start. But how they felt about each other is evident and will put a smile on your face. [Photo above of Wilson Simonal]

PS: I own virtually all of Wilson Simonal's albums, so I'll have a post on him soon, complete with clips.

Here's Simonal and Sassy in Rio singing The Shadow of Your Smile in September 1970...



Bonus: Here's Vaughan in March 1970 singing There Will Never Be Another You on Playboy After Dark. As you listen, count the number of uncomfortable characters in the audience, starting with the creepy pipe-smoking Hefner and the high-strung clapper in the front row. Poor Sarah. The entire room seems to be hyperventilating through their first cocaine experience. All of which is probably why Vaughan's eyes are closed for much of her sterling vocal performance...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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