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Swingin' Easy

5.0 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 17, 1992
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Product Description

Sarah Vaughan - Swingin' Easy - Cd

Amazon.com

Sarah Vaughan had already mastered the roots of gospel music and the intricacies of bop when her overarching talents led her to be packaged as a pop-singing canary. Fortunately her work with EmArcy allowed for some straight-ahead, unadorned jazz performance, where Vaughan's talent could shine without the frills. On Swingin' Easy, Vaughan is backed by a pair of trios, both featuring the great drummer Roy Haynes, whose supple rhythms give Vaughan's voice the context it deserves. "Shulie a Bop," "Lover Man," "All of Me," "Body and Soul" and "They Can't Take That Away from Me" are masterful performances. --John Swenson
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 17, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B0000046MH
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,774 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Jon Warshawsky on April 9, 2002
Format: Audio CD
A renowned album by one of the greatest voices in jazz, Swingin' Easy features a program of first-rate songs, a trio and Sarah Vaughan at or near her prime. 'Lover Man' and 'All of Me' by themselves are startlingly good -- the singer covers impressive ranges, navigating with comfortable transitions and natural timing. Even the somewhat dated 'Polka Dots and Moonbeams', famous as a Sinatra/Tommy Dorsey number from the early 1940s, is something special on this recording. 'Shulie a Bop' finds the singer bouncing through scat solos in complete command -- a vocal tour de force and a breathtaking highlight. The minimal and tasteful backing of Malachi, Benjamin and Haynes accentuates the drama.
Swingin' Easy is one of those rare albums that doesn't come with any weak spots, making it an easy choice if you are new to Sarah Vaughan's music. The song selection and unparalleled interpretations make this one something special.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For me, this session ranks with "Sarah Vaughan/Clifford Brown" and "Live at Mr. Kelly's" as Sarah's most satisfying recorded work. The rhythm section format not only allows her more freedom than do the heavily orchestrated dates from this period but encourages her to conceive of her role as jazz instrumentalist rather than coloratura diva. Moreover, her voice was never better--silky yet vibrant, seamlessly continuous in all registers and devoid of any hint of wobble.
On ballads like "Prelude to a Kiss" and "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" Sarah is the song's best friend, bringing all of its melodic-lyric charms to life and requiring no more than a single pass to do so. Perhaps no further example is needed to demonstrate Sarah's mastery than "They Can't Take That Away from Me," when she not only recites but illustrates the words "off key" through her own playful intonation. And only Sarah could take ephemeral "riff" material like "You Hit the Spot" and make it sound worthy of inclusion in the Great American Songbook. But the sleeper on the program is "Words Can't Describe," an obscure song that, on the basis of Sarah's reading, should be a staple in the American Songbook.
The accompaniment is provided by two highly supportive, empathetic trios. To my ears, the walking bass lines of Joe Benjamin swing more than those provided by Richard Davis. Roy Haynes is the constant on all of the tracks, so the slightly different feel of the rhythm can't be attributed to the drummer.
I see that it's been 12 years since this CD was issued. It would be a pity if a singular session such as this were consigned to more of the "Best Of" or "Greatest Hits" anthologies that have caused us to lose sight of influential artists' most seminal projects.
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Format: Audio CD
I am new to Jazz and got this album on recommendation from the Rough Guide (which I also recommend). It was the first time I appreciated the human voice as an instrument. Her range and abilty to turn a phrase is phenomenal. The trio lets her take center stage. I have not enjoyed her other albums with orchestral backup (strings) as much because I find it distracting from her voice. I have given this album to others who have enjoyed it almost as much as I have. I'm glad to see this on Amazon's essential vocal recordings list. I hope you take a chance with this one as I did. You will not regret it!
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Format: Audio CD
Who won't go mad listening to Sarah's singing on "shulie a bop" ?
Everybody reminds of the way she introduces the musicians with her highly erotic voice : "John Malachi","crazy Joe Benjamin","Roy...Haynes!".Roy Haynes.One of the last great jazz drummers still alive.He plays brushes like mad in this record.
What more can I say about the music? Just look at the tunes: some of the most difficult to sing,like "lover man","body and soul",Duke Ellington's "prelude to a kiss" or "all of me",which belongs to Billie and Lester since that day of March 1941.Sassie sings great versions of "I cried for you" (another Billie's tune),"if I knew then" or Frank Sinatra's "polka dots and moonbeams".But for me,"shulie a bop" is the masterpiece of the session,a pure bop tune,which could have been written by Bird, with definitive drumming by Mr Haynes,and highly provocative scat singing by Ms Vaughan. A major record.
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By A Customer on November 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
If you ever wondered about the influence behind some of todays top R&B or Jazz vocalists, wonder no more. Your search should end right here. Long Live The Queen!
Don't just listen to the music, vibe with the lyrics and how she creates a vivid picture with her vocal stylings. She is simply wonderful. Her voice is like a mix of Chambord, Courvoisier, and a warm fire on a cold night. My personal favorite is,"Words Can't Describe." If you ever want to woo your guy or girl, learn the words, (especially to "Lover Man", "You Hit The Spot", "Prelude To A Kiss" and "All Of Me.") slip in the CD and sing to him or her. No, you may not scat like Sarah, but you will leave an impression and he or she will definately get the message.
ONE WOMAN'S ADVICE: Before you depart from this earth, BUY SWINGIN' EASY..your ears will love you for it.
***Let's Stop Accepting Mediocrity As An Art Form, Buy This CD And Let Your Voice Be Heard.
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