Sarah Vaughan (March 27, 1924 – April 3, 1990) was an American jazz singer, and easily one of the most wondrous voices of the 20th century.
Nicknamed "Sassy" and "The Divine One" Sarah Vaughan was a four-time Grammy Award winner, including a "Lifetime Achievement Award". The National Endowment for the Arts bestowed upon her its "highest honor in jazz", the NEA Jazz Masters Award, in 1989.
Just a little history for those who are not familiar with the late great Sarah Vaughan. As a new jazz singer in the '90's, I did a lot of listening. Nancy Wilson, Ella Fitzgerald, Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dinah Washington. But when I started listening to Sarah Vaughan, it changed my whole perspective. For me, she was the end all, be all for jazz. She was a true stylist. An true elitist as far as jazz vocalists go. I was a serious fan of Dianne Reeves (still am) but when it came to studying the fundamentals I learned so much listening to Sarah Vaughan.
So in 2012, I did a tribute concert at the old Hattiloo Theatre. It was an amazing experience and my first time working with my current music director, Keenan Shotwell (piano). It went so well, I said let's do it again! But this time I wanted to record it. Thus the Sarah Vaughan Project was born. We did the live recording in late 2014. However, because of serious technical difficulties, we realized that we weren't going to be able to use the a lot of the recording. My feelings were hurt so I stepped away from the project for a moment and focused on some original music that I had been writing and wanted to go ahead and produce. I reunited with my buddy Claude Hinds III to produce Blue Moon and sat down with Keenan to work on You Got Me. The two songs were completely different but equally wonderful for me. I was thoroughly pleased with their production and both songs got airplay.
However the SV Project was still looming so I had to get back to it. We went into the Memphis Slim House Collaboratory studios and did a live studio recording with an audience, which was a fun and unique experience. My band (Mood Swing) and I were able to complete several songs.What fun, what fun!!! So now here we are, preparing to roll out the finished project- Sassy's Return, my first full length album. This album will be followed by a full album of original music with several collaborations. I'm excited about that project but now I just can't wait for you to hear what we've done with this music! See the following unBLOG for more details about the music!