This collection contains various alternate takes from 1957 to 1982, as well as live tracks recorded at The Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, Rhode Island on July 7, 1957.
Personnel: Sarah Vaughan (vocals); Billy Byers, Sammy Nestico (arranger, conductor); Frank Foster (tenor saxophone); Kenny Hing, Eric Dixon, Bobby Plater, Danny Turner, Johnny Williams (saxophone); Waymon Reed, Sonny Cohn, Frank Szabo, Willie Cook, Bob Summers, Dale Carley (trumpet); Mitchell "Booty" Wood, Bill Hughes, Dennis Wilson, Grover Mitchell (trombone); Jimmy Jones, Oscar Peterson, Roland Hanna, Mike Wofford, Jimmy Rowles, George Gaffney (piano); Joe Pass, Bucky Pizzarelli, Freddie Green (guitar); Andy Simpkins, Richard Davis, Ray Brown (bass); Grady Tate, Roy Haynes, Louie Bellson, Harold Jones, Louis Bellson (drums).
Producers: Norman Granz, Sarah Vaughan.
Compilation producer: Eric Miller.
Engineers include: Dennis Sands, Gregg Orloff, Val Valentin.
Recorded live at the Newport Jazz Festival, Newport, Rhode Island on July 7, 1957; Group IV Studios, Hollywood, California between April 25, 1978 and March 1, 1982; RCA Studios, New York, New York on September 13, 1979. Includes liner notes by Richard S. Ginell.
Digitally remastered by Kirk Felton (1999, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
In an ideal world, Sarah Vaughan's performance at the 1957 Newport Jazz Festival wouldn't have gone unreleased for 42 years. But because of various circumstances, that performance remained in Norman Granz's private collection until the release of this CD in late 1999. Here's what happened: At the 1957 Newport Festival, Granz taped sets by the Count Basie Orchestra and the Oscar Peterson Trio for release on his Verve label, and ended up taping Vaughan's set as well. But Vaughan was signed to an exclusive contract with Mercury at the time, and Mercury was close to doing some live taping of its own. (In fact, the singer's excellent live album At Mister Kelly's was recorded in Chicago only a month after her Newport appearance.) The same trio that backed a 33-year-old Sassy at that Chicago club (pianist Jimmy Jones, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Roy Haynes) backs her at Newport, where she is in fine form on performances of familiar standards such as "Black Coffee," "All of Me," "The Masquerade Is Over," and "Sometimes I'm Happy." Because Vaughan's Newport set wasn't nearly long enough to fill up a CD, roughly half of this disc is devoted to eight alternate studio takes she recorded for Granz's Pablo label from 1978 to 1982. It's interesting to hear the older Vaughan on the same CD as the younger Vaughan: Alternates of "Just Friends," "That's All," and other standards show us just how much her voice had deepened since 1957. But she still had one of the most enviable and impressive ranges in jazz, and Vaughan in her 50s was every bit as expressive and charismatic as Vaughan at 33. As a rule, the alternates are only slightly inferior to the master takes that Pablo ended up choosing -- and they will undoubtedly be of interest to collectors. Although not essential and not recommended to casual listeners, Linger Awhile is a CD that seasoned Vaughan fans will be happy to add to their collections. ~ Alex Henderson