Sarah Vaughan Sings for Lovers is a collection taken from late recordings she made for the Pablo label between 1977 and 1982. Before clicking to somewhere else, consider some of the albums she made for the label: two volumes of Duke Ellington tunes that have been critically acclaimed, the brilliant Crazy and Mixed Up, and the Brazilian jazz delight Copacabana, just to name a few. In other words, Vaughan's voice was in top form until she passed away after over 50 years of recording! These 11 tracks have been chosen rather carefully and feature the great songstress in various settings. There are a number of cuts from the Ellington albums, and two of these feature the singer and her band with strings, another ("Prelude to a Kiss") with Joe Pass on guitar and pianist Mike Wofford. The reading of "Daydream" employs flutist Frank Wess, Jimmy Rowles, Zoot Sims, and Grady Tate as well as Pass. The other standards place Vaughan in amazing company as well, such as "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" with Pass and Sir Roland Hanna and "Like a Lover" with Dori Caymmi on acoustic guitar and duet vocal. All of these players are accompanists. No one has to prop up this singer. Vaughan's voice is deeply emotive, full of grace, depth, and slow-burning passion. Her phrasing is tight, and she allows the natural grain in her voice to come through the mix unfiltered. This is a beautiful love song collection, and stands in a way as a testament that many jazz artists do indeed get better with age.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek