This first installment in the complete chronological recordings of Sarah Vaughan is a gold mine of great jazz dating from turbulent and transitional times. It's also one of the very best Sarah Vaughan retrospectives ever made available to the public. Vaughan positively glows in front of every ensemble lucky enough to back her, as she performs in an almost bewildering series of outstanding recordings on the De Luxe, Continental, Guild, Crown, Gotham, H.R.S., and Musicraft labels. She appears as a 20-year-old featured with Billy Eckstine's Orchestra, then sitting in with Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, with violinist Stuff Smith's Trio, and with the amazing John Kirby Sextet (here billed as his orchestra). She rubs shoulders with Trummy Young, Dicky Wells, Tony Scott, Ben Webster, Freddy Webster, Al Cohn, Serge Chaloff, Flip Phillips, Tadd Dameron, Bud Powell, Dexter Gordon, Gene Ammons, Leo Parker, Georgie Auld, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Sid Catlett, Max Roach, and pianist Jimmy Jones, destined to accompany Vaughan intermittently until 1958. The jazz talent assembled on this one disc is nothing short of formidable. Sarah Vaughan began her recording career in the eye of the hurricane of jazz in New York during the mid-'40s. This incredible compilation documents exactly how she went about it.
AllMusic Review by arwulf arwulf
feat: Billy Eckstine
feat: Dizzy Gillespie
feat: Stuff Smith and His Trio