Count Basie / Sarah Vaughan

Count Basie & Sarah Vaughan

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Although Count Basie gets top billing, he actually doesn't even appear on this set. Basie's Orchestra and pianist Kirk Stuart are purely in a supporting role behind the magnificent voice of Sarah Vaughan, other than a couple of short spots for trumpeter Joe Newman and Frank Foster's tenor. Sometimes Vaughan sounds overly mannered and seems to give little weight to the words she is singing, but her wide range and impeccable musicianship carry the day. Highlights include "Perdido," "Mean to Me," and "You Go to My Head," and the set is understandably recommended more for Sarah Vaughan fans than Count Basie collectors. [Some reissues add a pair of charming Vaughan duets with Joe Williams, "Teach Me Tonight" and "If I Were a Bell," that were originally released as a single, plus an alternate take of "Until I Met You."]

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