Born in a family as religious as musician, she learns the song and harmonium in a religious context, within the Church Baptiste.
She keeps the double speciality (song and piano), playing of the piano in the orchestra of her college and singing in the choruses with the church; she devotes herself to the song when she gains the contest of amateurs of the theater of Appolo to Harlem, ten years after Ella Fitzgerald which comes to congratulate it.
She joined the orchestra of Earl Hines then the modernistic orchestra, which introduces the Be Bop into the music of Big Band, of Billy Eckstine. She is in particular influenced by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, then members of the Orchestre.
In 1949, it signs at the label Columbia and records there abundantly. In the Fifties, it alternates rather commercial faces with full orchestra for Mecury and of the faces accompanied by small formations often by great quality like those by the historical album With Clifford Brown (1954).
In the Years 1960, its voice loses slightly in virtuosity but gains in-depth as proves it its formidable performance with the Tivoli of Copenhagen in 1963 or that with the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1971 recently published.
She records during these years with symphony orchestras. Starting from 1982, the recordings and concerts are done rarer.
Equipped with extraordinary faculties, its voice extends on several octaves. Its perfect vocal control allows him all the prowesses, of the jumps of register of a rare amplitude to the modulations and proportionings of volume quite as impressive.
Its musical culture, nourished by the Be Bop, nourish its improvisations of a great harmonic and rhythmic invention. Its style is also marked by a brilliant use of the Vibrato.
Splendid interpreter of ballades, it is also an extraordinary singer of Scat. One hardly knows to him of rival in this field, except Ella Fitzgerald.
All these qualities shine particularly in its Live performances the more so as it can put them in scene with humor, as in its version of " Tenderly" , recorded in Tivoli in 1963.
Partial and selective discography
1954 : Swingin' Easy, Emarcy
- 1954: Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown, Emarcy
- 1955: In the Land off Hi-fi, EmArcy
- 1957: At Mister Kelly' S, Mercury
- 1958: No Count Sarah, EmArcy
- 1963: Sassy Swings the Tivoli, Emarcy
- 1971: Live At the 1971 Monterey Jazz Festival, MJF Records , 2007
Bonds and sources
- Dictionary of the Jazz, Robert Laffont , 1994
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