Sarah Vaughan's two Roulette orchestra sessions that featured Benny Carter arrangements (The Explosive Side of Sarah Vaughan and The Lonely Hours) are reissued in full on The Benny Carter Sessions from 1994. The unidentified musicians (which include strings on the second set) are chiefly accompanists behind the frequently miraculous singer. The "explosive" album (which mostly does not live up to its billing) is the better of the two dates with more variety and highlights in songs such as "Honeysuckle Rose," "The Lady's in Love with You," "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" and a spirited "Trolley Song." The later set is more ballad-oriented and less memorable, though it does offer a classic rendition of "Solitude." Throughout, Vaughan is in prime voice, overcoming the weaker material and uplifting the more superior songs. Not essential but Sarah Vaughan fans will enjoy this reissue.
AllMusic Review by Scott Yanow