SARAH VAUGHAN (1944- 1962)
Being a female jazz singer is an exceedingly difficult role. Jazz fans are notorious tormentors quick to assassinate all forms of hypersensitivity because it unveils a pathos that is much too heavy to bear; and they are prompt to decry any excessive technique that might defeat the sensibilities of an otherwise perfect voice. And whose voice could pride itself on its perfect technique and a totally natural sensitivity? One is tempted to answer “none,” because all the most beautiful voices, from Billie to Carmen and from Ella to Helen, have one day shown excess. Sarah Vaughan included. But when Sarah disclosed her restrained sensitivity and a technique superior to all others, she was unrivalled, even by the greatest. Her vocal range, of course, allowed her to be daring, and her inborn feeling for rhythm, melody and harmony placed her in the bosom of the orchestra, at the heart of the music. But whether her material was jazz, decidedly so, or intended for performance in front of a wider public, as in the cocktail of songs gathered here, Sarah always knew how to unveil a sensibility that was profound and yet light enough to move us. She had just what it takes to remove our shell of jaded urbanity.
The history of music shows us that different kinds and forms follow each other. And that the latest trend overshadows the one that came before it. Today it's difficult to say exactly which trend dominates, as there are so many music currents that overlap and intersect. Mainstream exists no longer. Yet one thing is certain: each music form is built on the music that precedes it. There would be no jazz without classical music, no rock without blues, no rock without jazz, no rap without soul music, no sampling without the riffs of either soul or rock… and therefore, inside each genre you find different chapters in the history of music. And that is why it is so important to understand their origins: they shed the light that is necessary for an understanding of the music born every day.
The richness of jazz lies at the origin of so much music today that it is essential to discover this creative wealth. The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz bring to light those 20th century creations that still exert an influence on the majority of musicians today — whether they are aware of it or not.
The Essential Works of Masters of Jazz gather the fundamental creations of the music of today.