Sarah Vaughan: Shulie-A-Bop
Sarah Vaughan (vocals)
Swingin' Easy (Emarcy 314 514 072)
John Malachi (piano), Joe Benjamin (bass).
Composed by George Treadwell & Sarah Vaughan.
Recorded: New York, April 2, 1954
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
Sarah Vaughan had the jazz singer's perfect combination: a flexible voice and an acute harmonic sense. Naturally, she improvised every time she went on stage, but considering the length and breadth of her recording career, there aren’t many full-fledged scat solos on record. “Shulie-A-Bop”, which may have been created at the recording session, features Sarah and her working trio on a 16-bar minor blues. Other than a quote of "I Ain't Mad At You" and the introductions of the musicians, the performance is entirely wordless. Sarah gets most of the solo space and makes the best of it, displaying her fine way of developing ideas and inserting several bop melodic sequences. Sarah’s trio was one of the finest touring groups of its day, and each member of the trio takes a 16-bar solo here, and as noted, each is introduced by Sarah. Bop pioneer Roy Haynes is the best-known member of the group, but John Malachi had been an arranger and pianist for the Billy Eckstine bop band and Joe Benjamin would gain greater fame when he joined the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Sarah’s unique introduction of “Roy (tap, tap, tap) Haynes” was developed for this recording, and the drummer still uses it in performances with his own groups.
Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe