Sarah Vaughan: Lullaby of Birdland
Lullaby of Birdland
Sarah Vaughan (vocals)
Sarah Vaughan: Verve Jazz Masters 18 (Verve 314 518 199-2)
Joe Benjamin (bass).
Arranged by Ernie Wilkins. Composed by George Shearing and George Weiss.
Recorded: New York, December 16, 1954
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
Vaughan always makes the hard stuff look easy. When bebop was shaking up the older musicians and rewriting the rules of jazz, Vaughan was mixing it up with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie on the bandstand and in the recording studio, as comfortable with their revolutionary sounds as she had been singing and playing the piano, as a child in Newark, at the New Mount Zion Baptist Church. Vaughan continued to expand her horizons during the 1950s and, on this high-profile session, she floats effortlessly over George Shearing's changes, and trades fours with the front line. Her scat-singing is first rate, and my only complaint is that the great trumpeter Clifford Brown -- who would be killed in car accident 18 months after this session -- isn't given more space to blow. His brief exchange with Vaughan on this track leaves us longing for more.
Reviewer: Ted Gioia