So, what does he intend to do with his newfound free time? This answer seems so out of character for the longtime New Yorker that an interviewer felt compelled to ask whether he was serious.
Yes he was, and part of his thinking went back to Serkin, who came of age when endless summer festivals were not the order of the day. Summer was a time to recharge your batteries and do something different. So, there are all kinds of possibilities. The bird is the soul of every piece.
David Weininger can be reached at globeclassicalnotes gmail. Pete Checchia. Pianist Richard Goode. Steve Riskind. Vaughan achieved substantial critical acclaim. She won Esquire magazine's New Star Award for as well as awards from Down Beat magazine continually from —, and from Metronome magazine from — A handful of critics disliked her singing for its being "over-stylized", reflecting the heated controversies of the time over the new musical trends of the late '40s. However, the critical reception of the young singer was generally positive. Recording and critical success led to numerous performing opportunities, with Vaughan packing clubs around the country almost continuously throughout the years of the late s and early s.
In the summer of , Vaughan made her first appearance with a symphony orchestra in a benefit for the Philadelphia Orchestra entitled " Men and a Girl. In , with their finances improving, Vaughan and Treadwell purchased a three-story house on 21 Avon Avenue in Newark, occupying the top floor during their increasingly rare off-hours at home and relocating Vaughan's parents to the lower two floors. However, business pressures and personality conflicts led to a cooling in Treadwell and Vaughan's relationship.
Treadwell hired a road manager to handle Vaughan's touring needs, and opened a management office in Manhattan so he could work with clients in addition to Vaughan. Vaughan's relationship with Columbia Records also soured as she became dissatisfied with the commercial material she was required to record and the lackluster financial success of her records.
A set of small group sides recorded in with Miles Davis and Bennie Green are among the best of her career, but they were atypical of her Columbia output. The minute shows were broadcast in the evenings Wednesdays through Sundays from The Clique Club, described as "rendezvous of the be-bop crowd. In , Treadwell negotiated a unique contract for Vaughan with Mercury Records.
She would record commercial material for the Mercury label and more jazz-oriented material for its subsidiary EmArcy. Vaughan was paired with producer Bob Shad and their excellent working relationship yielded strong commercial and artistic success. Her debut Mercury recording session took place in February and she stayed with the label through After a stint at Roulette Records to , Vaughan returned to Mercury from to Her commercial success peaked in with "Broken Hearted Melody", a song she considered to be "corny", but, nonetheless, became her first gold record,  and a regular part of her concert repertoire for years to come.
Vaughan was reunited with Billy Eckstine for a series of duet recordings in that yielded the hit "Passing Strangers". Vaughan's commercial recordings were handled by a number of different arrangers and conductors, primarily Hugo Peretti and Hal Mooney. The jazz "track" of her recording career proceeded apace, backed either by her working trio or various combinations of stellar jazz players. One of her own favorite albums was a sextet date that included Clifford Brown. In the latter half of the s she followed a schedule of almost non-stop touring, with many famous jazz musicians. She was featured at the first Newport Jazz Festival in the summer of and starred in subsequent editions of that festival at Newport and in New York City for the remainder of her life.
That fall, she again toured Europe successfully before embarking on a "Big Show" U. Although the professional relationship between Vaughan and Treadwell was quite successful through the s, their personal relationship finally reached a breaking point and she filed for a divorce in The couple evenly divided the amount and their personal assets, terminating their business relationship. The exit of Treadwell from Vaughan's life was precipitated by the entry of Clyde "C.
Dame Sarah Connolly
Although Atkins had no experience in artist management or music, Vaughan wished to have a mixed professional and personal relationship like the one she had with Treadwell. She made Atkins her personal manager, although she was still feeling the sting of the problems she had with Treadwell and initially kept a slightly closer eye on Atkins.
Vaughan and Atkins moved into a house in Englewood, New Jersey. When Vaughan's contract with Mercury Records ended in late , she immediately signed on with Roulette Records, a small label owned by Morris Levy , who was one of the backers of New York's Birdland, where she frequently appeared.
She had some pop chart success in with "Serenata" on Roulette and a couple of residual tracks from her Mercury contract, "Eternally" and "You're My Baby".
However, the relationship with Atkins proved difficult and violent so, following a series of incidents, she filed for divorce in November She turned to two friends to help sort out the financial affairs of the marriage: club owner John "Preacher" Wells, a childhood acquaintance, and Clyde "Pumpkin" Golden, Jr. The Englewood house was ultimately seized by the IRS for nonpayment of taxes.
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Vaughan retained custody of their child and Golden essentially took Atkins' place as Vaughan's manager and lover for the remainder of the decade. Around the time of her second divorce, she became disenchanted with Roulette Records. Roulette' finances were even more deceptive and opaque than usual in the record business and its recording artists often had little to show for their efforts other than some excellent records.
When her contract with Roulette ended in , Vaughan returned to the more familiar confines of Mercury Records. In the summer of , Vaughan went to Denmark with producer Quincy Jones to record four days of live performances with her trio, Sassy Swings the Tivoli , an excellent example of her live show from this period. The following year, she made her first appearance at the White House, for President Johnson.
The Tivoli recording would be the brightest moment of her second stint with Mercury. Changing demographics and tastes in the s left jazz artists with shrinking audiences and inappropriate material. While Vaughan retained a following large and loyal enough to maintain her performing career, the quality and quantity of her recorded output dwindled even as her voice darkened and her skill remained undiminished.
At the conclusion of her Mercury deal in , she was left without a recording contract for the remainder of the decade. In , Vaughan terminated her professional relationship with Golden and relocated to the West Coast, settling first into a house near Benedict Canyon in Los Angeles and then into what would end up being her final home in Hidden Hills. Vaughan met Marshall Fisher after a performance at a casino in Las Vegas and Fisher soon fell into the familiar dual role as Vaughan's lover and manager. Fisher was another man of uncertain background with no musical or entertainment business experience but, unlike some of her earlier associates, he was a genuine fan devoted to furthering her career.
The s heralded a rebirth in Vaughan's recording activity. In , Bob Shad, who had worked with her as producer at Mercury Records, asked her to record for his new record label, Mainstream Records. In April , Vaughan recorded a collection of ballads written, arranged and conducted by Michel Legrand. Vaughan recorded Live in Japan , a live album in Tokyo with her trio in September The song would become her signature, replacing the chestnut "Tenderly" that had been with her from the beginning of her solo career.
This left Vaughan without a recording contract for three years.
Sarah's Farewell (Music)
In , conductor Michael Tilson Thomas asked Vaughan to participate in an all- Gershwin show he was planning for a guest appearance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. The arrangements were by Marty Paich and the orchestra would be augmented by established jazz artists Dave Grusin on piano, Ray Brown on double bass, drummer Shelly Manne and saxophonists Bill Perkins and Pete Christlieb.
The concert was a success and Thomas and Vaughan repeated the performance with Thomas' home orchestra in Buffalo, New York, followed by appearances in and with other symphony orchestras in the United States. These performances fulfilled a long-held interest by Vaughan in working with orchestras and she made performances without Thomas for the remainder of the decade.
In , Tom Guy, a young filmmaker and public TV producer, followed Vaughan around on tour, interviewing numerous artists speaking about her and capturing both concert and behind-the-scenes footage. The resulting sixteen hours of footage was pared down into an hour-and-a-half documentary, Listen to the Sun , that aired on September 21, , on New Jersey Public Television, but was never commercially released.
Vaughan had not had a recording contract for three years, although she had recorded a album of Beatles songs with contemporary pop arrangements for Atlantic Records that was eventually released in Vaughan's first Pablo release was I Love Brazil! It garnered a Grammy Award nomination. Vaughan remained active as a performer during the s and began receiving awards for her contribution to American music and status as elder stateswoman of jazz.
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In the summer of Vaughan received a plaque on 52nd Street outside the CBS Building Black Rock commemorating the jazz clubs she had once frequented on "Swing Street" and which had long since been replaced with office buildings. Following the end of her contract with Pablo Records in , Vaughan only committed herself to a limited number of studio recordings. She made a guest appearance in on Barry Manilow 's AM Paradise Cafe , an album of original pastiche compositions that featured a number of established jazz artists. The recording was made in Germany with an English translation by writer Gene Lees and was released by Lees on his own private label after the recording was turned down by the major labels.
This was Vaughan's final studio recording and, fittingly, it was Vaughan's only formal studio recording with Fitzgerald in a career that had begun 46 years earlier opening for Fitzgerald at the Apollo. Vaughan is featured in a number of video recordings from the s. Sarah Vaughan Live from Monterey was taped in or and featured her working trio with guest soloists.
Sass and Brass was taped in in New Orleans and features her working trio with guest soloists, including Dizzy Gillespie and Maynard Ferguson. Also in , on Independence Day in a program nationally-televised on PBS she performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich , in a medley of songs composed by George Gershwin . In , Vaughan's health began to decline, although she rarely revealed any hints in her performances.
Sarah Vaughan - Musician - Music database - Radio Swiss Jazz
She canceled a series of engagements in Europe in citing the need to seek treatment for arthritis in the hand, although she was able to complete a later series of performances in Japan. During a run at New York's Blue Note Jazz Club in , Vaughan received a diagnosis of lung cancer and was too ill to finish the final day of what would turn out to be her final series of public performances. Vaughan returned to her home in California to begin chemotherapy and spent her final months alternating stays in the hospital and at home.
Vaughan grew weary of the struggle and demanded to be taken home, where she died on the evening of April 3, , while watching a television movie featuring her daughter, a week after her 66th birthday. Vaughan's funeral was held at the new location of Mount Zion Baptist Church, Broadway in Newark, New Jersey, with the same congregation she grew up in. Following the ceremony, a horse-drawn carriage transported her body to its final resting place in Glendale Cemetery, Bloomfield in New Jersey. Parallels have been drawn between Vaughan's voice and that of opera singers.
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Jazz singer Betty Carter said that with training Vaughan could have " But the knowledge, the legitimacy of that whole world were not for her But if the aria were in Sarah's range she could bring something to it that a classically trained singer could not. Vaughan's New York Times obituary described her as a "singer who brought an operatic splendor to her performances of popular standards and jazz.
Wilson said in that Vaughan possessed "what may well be the finest voice ever applied to jazz. Late in life Vaughan retained a "youthful suppleness and remarkably luscious timbre", she was still capable of the projection of coloratura passages described as "delicate and ringingly high". Vaughan had a large vocal range of soprano through a female baritone, exceptional body, volume, a variety of vocal textures, and superb and highly personal vocal control. Her ear and sense of pitch were just about perfect, and there were no difficult intervals.