Includes liner notes by Harvey Pekar.
Personnel: Sarah Vaughan (vocals); Billy Eckstine (vocals); Freddie Green, Pierre Cullaz, Turk VanLake (guitar); Lewis Eley, Leo Kruczek, Tosha Samaroff, Bernard Eichen, Charles Libove, Gene Orloff, Emanuel Green, Harry Lookofsky (strings); Frank Wess (flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Jerome Richardson (flute, tenor saxophone); Herbie Mann (flute); Marshall Royal (clarinet, alto saxophone); William Boycaya, Jo Hrasko, Marcel Hrasko, Zoot Sims (reeds); Cannonball Adderley (saxophone); Sam Marowitz (alto saxophone); Frank Foster, Paul Quinichette, Billy Mitchell (tenor saxophone); Charlie Fowlkes (baritone saxophone); Clifford Brown , Ernie Royal, Joe Newman , Snooky Young, Bernie Glow, Thad Jones, Wendell Culley (trumpet); Dick Hixson, Henry Coker, J.J. Johnson , Jimmy Cleveland, Kai Winding, Al Grey, Benny Powell, Billy Byers, Paul Faulise (trombone); Jimmy Jones , Ronnell Bright, Bob James (piano); Michael A. Hauser (vibraphone); Ray Haynes, Kenny Clarke, Sonny Payne, Bobby Donaldson (drums); Juan Cadavieco, Rafael Sierra, Jose Mangual (percussion).
Audio Remasterer: Gary N. Mayo.
Recording information: London House, Chicago, IL (09/24/1958-08/14/1964); New York, NY (09/24/1958-08/14/1964); Paris, France (09/24/1958-08/14/1964).
Editor: Peter Pullman.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Hal Mooney Orchestra; Ray Ellis Orchestra; Richard Davis .
Arrangers: Ernie Wilkins; Quincy Jones; Thad Jones.
Sarah Vaughan was blessed with one of the strongest and most indelible voices of the 20th century. Her ability to caress a note, scat on the level of Ella Fitzgerald, and jump octaves as if she was a saxophonist made her truly one of a kind. Known as "the Divine One," Vaughan performed interpretations of jazz standards that rival any of her contemporaries.
THE ESSENTIAL SARAH VAUGHAN captures some of Vaughan's most diverse recorded moments. She is presented in three different contexts on this compilation, backed by a remarkable array of musicians. Her scaled-down trio versions of "All of Me," "I Cried for You," and "Speak Low" (featuring pianist Jimmy Jones, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Roy Haynes) show off Vaughan's jazzier side, while orchestral renditions of "A Sinner Kissed an Angel," "My Man's Gone Now," and others highlight her pop leanings. Vaughan's big-band numbers, however, make up the album's hottest tracks. On "No Count Blues," she trades licks with trumpeter Thad Jones, and, on the swinging "Just One of Those Things," Vaughan really turns up the heat, proving that she's far more than a contemplative ballad singer.