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Since Dec,01,1998

©1998 By barybary

 

"In The Land Of HI-FI"

"cover"

 

  Japan Mini Lp reissue

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SARAH VAUGHAN

with the Ernie Wilkins Orchestra.

Ernie Royal, Bernie Glow, trumpets;
J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding, trombones;
Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Sam Marowitz, alto saxes;
Jerome Richardson, flute, tenor sax;
Jimmy Jones, piano;
Turk Van Lake, guitar;
Joe Benjamin, bass;
Roy Haynes, drums.

Arranged and Conducted by Ernie Wilkins Recorded October25, 1955.

1 OVER THE RAINBOW (Yip Harburg/Harold Arlen) 3:28
2 SOON (George and Ira Gershwin) 2:34
3 CHEROKEE (Ray Noble) 2:30
4 I'LL NEVER SMILE AGAIN (Ruth Lawe) 2:34
5 DON'T BE ON THE OUTSIDE (Sydney Wyche/Mayme Watts/George Kelly) 2:59
6 HOW HIGH THE MOON (Nancy Hamilton/Morgan Lewis) 2:35
7 IT SHOULDN'T HAPPEN TO A DREAM (Dan George/Duke Ellington/Johnny Hodges)3:18
8 SOMETIMES I'M HAPPY (lrving Caesar/Clifford Grey/Vincent Youmans) 2:56
9 MAYBE (George and Ira Gershwin) 2:31
10 AN OCCASIONAL MAN (Hugh Martin/Ralph Blane) 2:30
11 WHY CAN'T I (Richard Rodgers/Lorenz Hart) 2:54
12 OH MY (Joe Greene) 2:22

The glorious voice of Sarah Vaughan has been heard in every setting from a small rhythm combo to a full string ensemble, but the accompaniment on these sides is something new.
Ernie Wilkins was the arranger and conductor for the big, swinging band on the three sessions recorded in November, 1955. There were four trumpets (Ernie Royal played some of the lead), four trombones (including a noted two-trombone team), and a five man saxophone section in which the featured soloist is Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, the Florida flash, who flew north with alto under arm especially to take part on these dates. The rhythm section comprises Sarah's usual sidekicks, pianist Jimmy Jones, drummer Roy Haynes and bassist Joe Benjamin, with a guitarist added in the person of Turk Van Lake.
That the music provided for this stellar line up is worthy of Sarah's and the musicians' talents should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Ernie Wilkins' contribution to the modern music scene. Born in 1922 in St. Louis, he studied at Wilberforce University, then spent three years in the Navy, most of this time being devoted to the great all-star band stationed at Great Lakes, with Clark Terry, Willie Smith, Gerald Wilson and a number of others who later achieved fame with name bands.
After leaving the Navy, Ernie worked with George Hudson, Earl Hines and Count Basie. He left Basie early in 1955 to stay in New York and concentrate on free-lance arranging, mainly for Basie, the Dorsey Brothers and for various recording dates.
His work for this Sarah Vaughan session illustrates how firmly the roots of his work are planted in jazz soil, for the band swings consistently, not only in the overall ensemble and in the rhythm section feeling, but in the writing for the variously voiced horns behind Sarah.
The incredible Sassy is at her most astonishing at this session. Bending the melodies to her unique individual conception, swooping up for unexpected high notes, soaring in for fabulous top-register endings, she demonstrates her uncanny flair for vocal calisthenics to an unprecedented degree.
Some of the material will be familiar, though a couple of the tunes are lesser-known old songs, while two or three are 1955 compositions that happen to fit her style well enough to have earned permanent preservation between LP covers.
Over the Rainbow is about as un-Judy Garland-like as you might expect, notice the ingenious repetitious use of the "blue" in "bluebirds" during the final eight bars, and the beautiful tonal quality achieved through the whole performance.
Soon, one of two well known standard songs by this title, is the George and Ira Gershwin number, written in 1929, taken at a
medium-swing pace. Ray Noble's Cherokee, almost always done as an instrumental nowadays, gets its first female vocal treatmen (The lyric was changed by special permission from the publisher.) The only interruption occurs when Sarah lets Cannonball take over for one exciting chorus.
Don't Be On The Outside is a new song with a 12-bar main phrase in which Sarah wails with a wonderful beat. I'll Never Smile Again, made famous some 16 years ago by Tommy Dorsey's version, is one of the prettiest items in this collection.
How High The Moon is Sarah's first recorded version of the tune that practically became the national anthem of the modern jazz movement back when Sarah, Dizzy and Charlie Parker were pioneering in the mid- 940s. Cannonball takes a great chorus; then, wearing earphones to enable him to hear Sarah's voice (isolated in a booth for the session) he can be heard in a unique and delightful series of four-bar "chases" with Sarah. Once again the amazing high-note technique of Miss V. leaves you just about breathless. This is certainly one of the most unusual and memorable versions of How High ever recorded.
It Shouldn't Happen To A Dream is a fine Duke Ellington tune of a few years ago, written in collaboration with Johnny Hodges and lyricist Don George. Ernie's backgrounds with muted brass, saxes and piano ingeniously interwoven are especially effective.
Sometimes I'm Happy gets a bright tempoed treatment; Maybe, a song by the Gershwins dating from 1926, is melodiously revived. An Occasional Man, with its witty lyric and catchy melody, is a 1955 product of the well-established firm of Hugh Martin and Ralph Blanc, heard in the movie The Girl Rush.

Why Can 't I is a Rodgers and Hart song of 1929, sung superbly and leading to another incredible last note on a high F. Finally there's Oh My!. a clever novelty by west coast songsmith Joe Greene, with a Latin rhythm touch and some Jerome Richardson Ilute in the background.

As you've probably gathered by now, this is quite a set - even by Sarah's own altissimo standards.