This lavish reissue of Vaughan's 1957 double LP displays a Gershwin different in tone from Ella Fitzgerald's better-known one. Naturally more elastic in her interpretations than Fitzgerald, Vaughan also manages a more intimate tone perhaps better suited for the later hours of late-night listening. Hal Mooney's arrangements wisely alternate between full-blown orchestral backing and a more rhythmic emphasis, as on "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise," which would have fit right in with the singer's string of pop hit singles. Most impressive, though, are Vaughan's intuitively touching readings of ballads like "I've Got a Crush on You," "The Man I Love," and "A Foggy Day": no matter how many recordings of them exist, these must stand near the top of the stack. The original album is augmented here by 13 incomplete takes from one of the sessions.
This Sergio Mendes-produced release from 1987 was the last complete studio effort from the greatest female jazz/pop singer of the 20th Century (apologies to Ella). It is also a beautifully sung and orchestrated compilation of latin-influenced jazz, in the vein of Jobim, Getz, Gilberto, etc. A must for any fan of the genre, or anyone who wishes to get acquainted with the incredible vocal range of the magnificant Miss V. All ten cuts are special, but listen to "Wanting More" and the closer, "Your Smile" to get chills up your spine.
Sarah Vaughan is accompanied by her regular rhythm section of the early '80s (with pianist George Gaffney, bassist Andy Simpkins, and drummer Harold Jones), guitarist Freddie Green, and the Count Basie horn sections on this enjoyable date. The arrangements by Sammy Nestico and Allyn Ferguson unfortunately do not leave much room for any of the Basie sidemen to solo, but Sassy is in superb form. She is at her best on "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues," a remake of "If You Could See Me Now," and a rapid "When Your Lover Has Gone," although some listeners may enjoy her overly dramatic rendition of "Send in the Clowns."
As a composer of sacred music, Bob Chilcott has found his own niche by writing accessible choral works that speak to contemporary sensibilities. As has been noted frequently, his Requiem evokes Gabriel Fauré and Maurice Duruflé, mostly through its gentle feeling and serene melodies, though without imitating their style or content. Rather, it has its own mix of somber harmonies and fluid, chantlike lines, and the expression of the work is a little cooler and darker. Chilcott's music admits occasional and mild dissonance, though the orientation is strongly modal and the harmonies always feel like a natural result of the counterpoint. Chilcott's Salisbury Motets, Downing Service, and three shorter pieces share the same modern Anglican style, which is approachable and easy to follow. The Wells Cathedral Choir, under the direction of Matthew Owens, sings with a pure tone and clear diction, and the sound of the recordings is quite resonant, thanks to the responsive acoustics of the Cathedral of St. Andrew.