Sarah Vaughan: My Funny Valentine


My Funny Valentine


Sarah Vaughan (vocals)


Live In Japan, Volume 1 (Mainstream 701)

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Sarah Vaughan (vocals),

Carl Schroeder (piano)


Composed by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart


Recorded: live at Sun Plaza Hall, Tokyo, September 24, 1973


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

As her voice became deeper and richer, Sarah Vaughan's interpretive powers grew even more profound. As Gunther Schuller has noted, she had "an arsenal of vibratos, ranging from none to a rich throbbing, almost at times excessive one, all varying as to speed size and intensity at will." Further, she could move freely from one part of her voice to another, performing leaps that would shred a lesser voice. This remarkable version of "My Funny Valentine" was recorded live, and there is a concentrated intensity by both performer and audience as Vaughan completely reconstructs the classic song. Her interpretation goes far beyond basic variations and represents an aesthetic towards her material that was different from any other singer now or then. While it's possible to point out specific harmonic and melodic risks she takes (and there are many), it is more important to hear Vaughan's statement as a whole. Almost more Vaughan than Rodgers & Hart, it is unparalleled in the history of vocal jazz.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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