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Queen of Bebop: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan Hardcover – July 4, 2017
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“The early years of Sarah Vaughan’s career coincided with the waning of the swing era, and this biography shows how the change both fuelled and limited her career.” (The New Yorker)
“Queen of Bebop explores the hard choices of many a jazz singer when rock ‘n roll began stealing audience focus, relying on a variety of performers to shed light on Vaughan’s mindset. A welcome and well-researched accounting of Vaughan’s life story. ” (NPR.org)
“Necessary and exciting. . . . Queen of Bebop models a way of understanding the lives and artistry of jazz musicians — one that establishes their importance and centrality in creating the best that America has offered the world.” (Washington Post)
“Elaine Hayes’ vivid portrait of Sarah Vaughan’s life, times, and indelible musical legacy reveals why she was indeed called The Divine One.” (New York Journal of Books)
“A lively and moving portrait of the passionate and tenacious jazz singer. Hayes gracefully narrates Vaughan’s life… a detailed look at a fearless singer who constantly moved into new musical territories and left a legacy for younger musicians.” (Publishers Weekly, Starred Review)
“Hayes’ interviews with musicians, meticulous jazz history, incisive coverage of the ridiculous publicity campaigns the performer endured, and frank coverage of Vaughan’s emotionally and financially disastrous marriages and her repeated rising from the ashes cohere in a deeply illuminating and unforgettable biography of a true American master.” (Booklist, Starred Review)
“ an informative, meticulously researched biography. . . . a fine homage.” (emissourian.com)
“Inspiring. . . . traces Vaughan’s life and its intersection of music with race and gender.” (Library Journal)
“You may think you know Sarah Vaughan, but this book reveals how much you don’t. Queen of Bebop is a much-needed addition to music scholarship.” (Tammy Kernodle, author of Soul on Soul: The Life and Music of Mary Lou Williams)
“A richly contextualized and beautifully researched listening guide for the career of Sarah Vaughn. In respectfully treating Vaughn’s unflagging artistry, drive, and the social justice stakes involved in working within and against the new kinds of hit-making strategies and technologies, Hayes’ treatment lifts us beyond the bop/pop divide.” (Sherrie Tucker, author of Dance Floor Democracy)
About the Author
Elaine M. Hayes holds a doctorate in music history and is a recognized expert on Sarah Vaughan and women in jazz. She served as the editor of Earshot Jazz and is a contributing writer to Seattle magazine. She lives in Seattle with her husband and son.
Top customer reviews
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This book gave me insights into her personal life.
a truly remarkably gifted, influential and trailblazing vocalist. This scholarly written tome helps explain why with Vaughan's passing
we lost what was a continuing benchmark with which we measure excellence in Jazz singing.
Included here are all the many and significant ups, downs and difficulties she endured which however makes even more remarkable how her musical excellence and creativity never dimmed until unfortunate illness caught up with her.
While Sarah was surely very comfortable in the " Jazz" realm especially as Hayes points out, she was an integral part of the
Bebop revolution of the early mid '40s, she hated being pigeonholed into any particular category as she loved singing everything.
Vaughan would be really pleased to read Opera critic and expert James Jorden's recent review of Bellini's famous opera " Norma".
In describing how this classical masterpiece requires extreme vocal dexterity and sensitivity, he alludes to Vaughan's highly sophisticated
abilities in tandem with the Opera greats. How remarkable for this Jazz Singer Super Heroine to be so highly regarded and praised in this classical milieu! Many Kudos to Ms Hayes and Viva Vaughan !
On the surface it's a pretty typical story and in Vaughan's case. almost boring than usual: Girl has talent. Girl works hard and makes it big. Picks really bad men. Drinks too much. Survives. Has a nice 3rd act. But Hayes puts the events of her life in context with the times and racism and misogyny are just as important to this story as drummer Roy Haynes.
She's a little vague about drugs and booze but I appreciate that this isn't a sad tell-all. It's more about her career and that's great.
Most recent customer reviews
I live only a few miles away from where Sarah grew up in Newark NJ.Read more