The Second Disc

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Verve Select Offers “Divine” Selection of Sarah Vaughan LPs on CD

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Sarah Vaughan - DivineThe latest from Verve Select, released earlier this week, is a collection of over a half-dozen vintage albums by jazz legend Sarah Vaughan on four discs.

Divine: The Jazz Albums encapsulates Vaughan’s first round on the Mercury label, after finding earlier success for the previous decade on first the Musicraft label (where she cut hit versions of “Tenderly” and “Nature Boy”) and later for Columbia Records, a run characterized by contemporary pop balladry. Once signed to Mercury, she was determined to get back to jazz, and thanks to producer Bob Shad and a stable of killer backing musicians including Clifford Brown, Herbie Mann, Cannonball Adderley and The Count Basie Orchestra, she did just that.

Divine showcases several releases from this glorious period: the 10″ album Images (1954), the tracks added to that program in 1957 to become Swingin’ Easy, 1954’s self-titled album, 1955’s In the Land of Hi-Fi and No Count Sarah (1958) (so named for the album’s ensemble being Basie’s orchestra sans its leader) and two live sets: 1957’s At Mister Kelly’s (featuring nine bonus tracks from a Japanese expansion in 2001) and After Hours at The London House (1959). Vaughan would retreat to Roulette Records for a brief period, but returned from 1964 to 1967.

Featuring liner notes by acclaimed writer/critic Will Friedwald, track-by-track annotations and deluxe packaging featuring great sleeves and designs from Vaughan’s Mercury LP, EP and single discography, Divine can be ordered after the jump, where you’ll of course also find the track list!

Divine: The Jazz Albums 1954-1958 (Verve Select B0017127-02, 2013)

Disc 1: ImagesSwingin’ Easy and In the Land of Hi-Fi

  1. Lover Man
  2. Shulie a Bop
  3. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
  4. Body and Soul
  5. They Can’t Take That Away from Me
  6. Prelude to a Kiss
  7. You Hit the Spot
  8. If I Knew Then (What I Know Now)
  9. I Cried for You
  10. All of Me
  11. Words Can’t Describe
  12. Pennies from Heaven
  13. Linger Awhile
  14. Over the Rainbow
  15. Soon
  16. Cherokee
  17. I’ll Never Smile Again
  18. Don’t Be on the Outside
  19. How High the Moon
  20. It Shouldn’t Happen to a Dream
  21. Sometimes I’m Happy
  22. Maybe
  23. An Occasional Man
  24. Why Can’t I
  25. Oh My

Disc 2: Sarah Vaughan

  1.  Lullaby of Birdland
  2. April in Paris
  3. He’s My Guy
  4. Jim
  5. You’re Not the Kind
  6. Embraceable You
  7. I’m Glad There is You
  8. September Song
  9. It’s Crazy

Disc 3: At Mister Kelly’s and More

  1. September in the Rain
  2. Willow Weep for Me
  3. Just One of Those Things
  4. Be Anything But Darling Be Mine
  5. Thou Swell
  6. Stairway to the Stars
  7. Honeysuckle Rose
  8. Just a Gigolo
  9. How High the Moon
  10. Dream
  11. I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
  12. It’s Got to Be Love (first night)
  13. Alone
  14. It’s Got to Be Love (second night)
  15. If This Isn’t Love
  16. Embraceable You
  17. Lucky in Love
  18. Dancing in the Dark
  19. Poor Butterfly
  20. Sometimes I’m Happy
  21. I Cover the Waterfront

Disc 4: After Hours At The London House and No Count Sarah

  1. Like Someone in Love
  2. Detour Ahead
  3. Three Little Words
  4. I’ll String Along with You
  5. You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To
  6. Speak Low
  7. All of You
  8. Thanks for the Memory
  9. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
  10. Doodlin’
  11. Darn That Dream
  12. Just One of Those Things
  13. Moonlight in Vermont
  14. No ‘Count Blues
  15. Cheek to Cheek
  16. Stardust
  17. Missing You

Disc 1, Tracks 1-8 originally released as Images (Mercury 10″ LP MG 26005, 1954)
Disc 1, Tracks 9-13 originally released on Swingin’ Easy (Mercury LP MG 36109, 1957)
Disc 1, Tracks 14-25 originally released as In the Land of Hi-Fi (EmArcy LP MG 36058, 1955)
Disc 2 originally released as Sarah Vaughan (EmArcy LP MG 36004, 1954)
Disc 3, Tracks 1-12 originally released as At Mister Kelly’s (Mercury LP MG 20326, 1957)
Disc 3, Tracks 13-21 originally released on At Mister Kelly’s: Complete Sessions (Universal UCCM-9034 (JP), 2001)
Disc 4, Tracks 1-8 originally released as After Hours At The London House (Mercury LP MG 20383, 1959)
Disc 4, Tracks 9-17 originally released as No Count Sarah (Mercury LP MG 20441, 1959)

Written by Mike Duquette

April 11, 2013 at 12:57

Posted in Box Sets, News, Reissues

4 Responses

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  1. None of this is new-to-CD, it is all simply remastered. All of it appeared in the original “Complete On Mercury” box set series, along with several alternate takes they chose to skip this time. Similarly, all of these individual albums have been on CD individually before, too. While I’m sure the sound is immaculately upgraded, the way it’s being presented is frustrating in that it makes it all seem like it hasn’t been reissued before. Granted, the “Complete On Mercury” boxes are ‘collectables’ now, but I believe the individual album reissues from before are still available at iTunes.


    April 11, 2013 at 13:27

  2. Unfortunately, the Complete on Mercury boxsets (both the CD and LP versions) had terrible sound.

    What I wonder, is whether the Clifford Brown session here has any sound improvements from the last version issued.

    I don’t see any marketing or promotional material that suggests in any way that this has not been reissued before. Though I am a “senior collector”, with all of the first vinyl editions, I still recognize these editions as being very good. Not everyone has been collecting Sarah for years, and she certainly deserves a boost in the market.


    April 12, 2013 at 08:22

  3. At any rate, this version most definitely is far better sound than iTunes!! And it is a far better value too. iTunes downloads have a value of $0.00.


    April 12, 2013 at 08:24

  4. I hope my remarks aren’t too contrary, martymarty. I too am somewhat frustrated by all of the reissues, when you already have most or all of the content. Even when you are willing to pay for a sonic upgrade, you never really know if it is an upgrade at all. Sometimes, it is a downgrade! This reissue, I note, has a high list price, so I will pass. I am surprised by the high list price. While many major labels are now finally issuing bargain priced boxsets to encourage sales, this price will discourage sales. I am virtually certain that Sarah’s estate is getting nothing or only pennies on sales, so I cannot understand such high prices.


    April 12, 2013 at 10:31

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