Sarah Vaughan

Copacabana

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This 1979 production has a smooth, polished, and relaxed feeling. The arrangements are heavy with vocal choruses, electric guitar and languid Latin rhythms. Sarah Vaughn's crooning glows and smolders, creating a magnificent dynamic contrast. Vaughn completely possesses the ballad "Tete," captivating the listener in much the same way she did with her hit "Misty," 20 years previously. Like all her greatest work, it's multi-textured; prolonged whispers, powerful hollering, low moaning, staccato bopping, and a myriad of other techniques she employs with facility and finesse.

"Gentle Rain" finds Vaughn alone with a guitar. The spare orchestration has the profound simplicity of a haiku. Her voice is like a saxophone on this number, holding notes for lush intervals in her lower registers. "To Say Goodbye" has Vaughn modulating her resonant voice from bass to soprano. She is solely responsible for this tune's musical drama, giving it great emotional gravity.

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