Count Basie (with Sarah Vaughan and Joe Williams): Teach Me Tonight


Teach Me Tonight


Count Basie Orchestra (with Sarah Vaughan and Joe Williams)


Count Basie & Sarah Vaughan (Roulette Jazz 7243 8 37241 2 3)

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Sarah Vaughan (vocals), Joe Williams (vocals), Sonny Cohn (trumpet), Joe Newman (trumpet), Snooky Young (trumpet), Henry Coker (trombone), Al Grey (trombone), Benny Powell (trombone), Marshall Royal (alto sax), Frank Wess (alto sax), Frank Foster (tenor sax), Billy Mitchell (tenor sax), Charlie Fowlkes (baritone sax), Freddie Green (guitar), Kirk Stuart (piano), Eddie Jones (bass), Sonny Payne (drums).

Arranged by Ernie Wilkins. Composed by Gene DePaul and Sammy Cahn


Recorded: Capitol Recording Studios, New York, July 14, 1960


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Vaughan and Basie were regulars at the jazz club Birdland on Broadway in New York City; Williams was still the vocalist with the Count's ensemble. All were on career highs and signed to Roulette Records. It was natural that label head Morris Levy would combine Basie and Vaughan for a record album. According to Frank Foster, "Teach Me Tonight" was the song of choice when Vaughan would drop by the club and sit in with the band, and she and Williams would "break up the house every time." The familiarity of the material shows in the performance by Vaughan and Williams, which crackles with excitement; clearly these two are having a great time with this roaring Wilkins setting. This performance is a standout by all participants, and is a deserved classic. Ironically, it was only available briefly on Roulette single #4273 until it was issued on CD in 1996. Equally ironic, Basie himself was missing from the proceedings; the pianist was Ms. Vaughan's regular accompanist, Kirk Stuart.

Reviewer: Jeff Sultanof

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