Proper's Introduction series has offered excellent overviews of classic artists ranging from Lefty Frizzell to Charley Patton. This volume on Sarah Vaughan just barely fits the bill for a compilation, since it includes material from only two sessions, both recorded for EmArcy in 1954. If fans voted to choose just two sessions, however, first place would likely go to the December 1954 date that closes this disc (including a septet with trumpeter Clifford Brown), while the other, a trio session from the previous April, would trail close behind. The session with Brown, released as Lullaby of Birdland as well as Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown, is one of the prime examples of a singer's collaboration with horn creating more than the sum of their parts, while the other, released as Swingin' Easy, demonstrated Vaughan's expertise swinging with minimal guidance from her band. Overall it's not a bad introduction by any means, but it's certainly not the career-spanning introduction that Proper is marketing with the title.
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AllMusic Review by John Bush