b. Sarah Lois Vaughan, 27th March 1924, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.
d. 3rd April 1990, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
As a child Sarah Vaughan sang in church and had extensive piano lessons from 1931-39, which helped her become a capable keyboardist.
After she won an amateur contest at the Apollo Theatre, she was hired for the Earl Hines big band as a singer and second vocalist.
Unfortunately, the musicians' recording strike kept her off record during this period (1943-44).
When lifelong friend Billy Eckstine broke away to form his own orchestra, Vaughan joined him, making her recording debut.
Vaughan was one of the first singers to fully incorporate bop phrasing in her singing, and to have the vocal chops to pull it off on the level of a Parker and Gillespie.
Apart from a few months with John Kirby from 1945-46, Sarah Vaughan spent the remainder of her career as a solo star.
Although Sarah held an unusual stage appearance in 1945 (her first husband George Treadwell would greatly assist her with her appearance), there was no denying her excellent voice.
She made several early sessions for Continental: a 31st December, 1944 date highlighted by her vocal version of 'A Night In Tunisia,' which was called 'Interlude,' and a 25th May, 1945 session for that label that had Gillespie and Parker as sidemen.
However, it was her 1946-48 selections for Musicraft (which included 'If You Could See Me Now,' 'Tenderly' and 'It's Magic') that found her rapidly gaining maturity and adding bop-oriented phrasing to popular songs.
Signed to Columbia where she recorded during 1949-53, 'Sassy' continued to build on her popularity.
Although some of those sessions were quite commercial, eight classic selections cut with Jimmy Jones' band during 18-19th May, 1950 (an octet including Miles Davis) showed that she could sing jazz with the best.
During the 1950's, Sarah recorded middle-of-the-road pop material with orchestras for Mercury, and jazz dates (including a memorable collaboration with Clifford Brown) for the label's subsidiary, EmArcy.
Later record label associations included Roulette (1960-64), back with Mercury (1963-67), and after a surprising four years off records, Mainstream (1971-74).
Through the years, Vaughan's voice deepened a bit, but never lost its power, flexibility or range.
She was a masterful scat singer and was able to outswing nearly everyone (except for Ella).
Vaughan was with Norman Granz's Pablo label from 1977-82, and only during her last few years did her recording career falter a bit, with only two forgettable efforts after 1982.
On of her final recordings were the 'Brazilian Romance' sessions, where Sarah worked alongside many greats from that country, including Ivan Lins.
A fine swansong to an excellent career.
Sarah Vaughan [Musica Jazz] (Musica Jazz 1944)
Time After Time (Drive Archive 1944)
Lover Man [Musicraft] (Musicraft 1945)
The Man I Love [Musicraft] (Musicraft 1945)
The Divine Sarah (Mercury 1946)
It's You or No One (Musicraft 1946)
Tenderly (Musicraft 1946)
Time and Again (Musicraft 1946)
One Night Stand: The Town Hall Concert 1947 [live] (Capitol 1947)
In Hi Fi (Columbia 1949)
Sarah Vaughan in Hi-Fi (Columbia/Legac 1949)
I'll Be Seeing You (Vintage Jazz 1949)
Perdido! Live (1953) (Natasha 1951)
Hot Jazz (Remington 1953)
The George Gershwin Songbook, Vol. 1 (EmArcy 1954)
Swingin' Easy (EmArcy 1954)
The Divine Sarah Sings (Mercury 1954)
Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown (Verve 1954)
Sarah Vaughan [Emarcy] (EmArcy 1954)
The Gershwin Songbook (Mercury 1954)
The Rodgers & Hart Songbook (EmArcy 1954)
Tops in Pops (Mercury 1955)
With John Kirby and His Orchestra (Riverside 1955)
In the Land of Hi-Fi (EmArcy 1955)
The George Gershwin Songbook, Vol. 2 (EmArcy 1955)
Sassy (EmArcy 1956)
Linger Awhile [Columbia] (Columbia 1956)
At Mister Kelly's (EmArcy 1957)
Sarah Vaughan Sings Great Songs from Hit... (Mercury 1957)
The Irving Berlin Songbook (EmArcy 1957)
Recorded Live (EmArcy 1957)
Misty (Mercury 1958)
No Count Sarah (EmArcy 1958)
After Hours at the London House (Mercury 1959)
Great Songs from Hit Shows, Vol. 1 (Mercury 1959)
Great Songs from Hit Shows, Vol. 2 (Mercury 1959)
Sarah Vaughan Sings George Gershwin, Vol. 1 (Mercury 1959)
Sarah Vaughan Sings George Gershwin, Vol. 2 (Mercury 1959)
Dreamy (Roulette 1960)
The Singles Sessions (Roulette 1960)
After Hours [Capitol] (Capitol 1961)
Star Eyes (Roulette 1962)
You're Mine You (Roulette 1962)
Lonely Hours (Roulette 1963)
Sarah Slightly Classical (Roulette 1963)
Sarah Sings Soulfully (Roulette 1963)
Sassy Swings the Tivoli [live] (Mercury 1963)
Live Guard Sessions (1963) (Jazz Band 1963)
Vaughan with Voices (Mercury 1964)
Viva! Vaughan (Mercury 1965)
Sarah Vaughan Sings the Mancini Songbook (Mercury 1965)
Pop Artistry of Sarah Vaughan (Mercury 1966)
Sassy Swings Again (Mercury 1967)
Jazz Fest Masters [live] (Scotti Bros. 1969)
Time in My Life (Mainstream 1971)
With Michel Legrand (Mainstream 1972)
Live in Japan, Vol. 1 (Mainstream 1973)
Live in Japan, Vol. 2 (Mainstream 1973)
Send in the Clowns [Columbia/Legacy] (Columbia/Legac 1974)
Sarah Vaughan & Jimmy Rowles Quintet (Mainstream 1975)
More Sarah Vaughan from Japan Live (Mainstream 1976)
I Love Brazil (Pablo 1977)
How Long Has This Been Going On? (Pablo 1978)
The Duke Ellington Songbook, Vol. 1 (Pablo 1979)
The Duke Ellington Songbook, Vol. 2 (Pablo 1979)
Copacabana (Pablo 1979)
Send in the Clowns [Pablo] (Pablo 1981)
Crazy and Mixed Up (Pablo 1982)
Gershwin Live! (Columbia 1982)
The Mystery of Man (Kokopelli 1984)
The Best of Irving Berlin (Mercury 1985)
Billy and Sarah (Lion 1985)
The Explosive Side of Sarah (Roulette 1985)
In a Romantic Mood (Mercury 1985)
The Mancini Songbook (Mercury 1985)
My Heart Sings (Mercury 1985)
Sarah Vaughan at Mr. Kelly's (Mercury 1985)
Sarah Vaughan at the Blue Note [live] (Mercury 1985)
Sarah Vaughan Sings George Gershwin (Mercury 1985)
Brazilian Romance (CBS 1987)
Close to You (Mercury 1990)
Songs of the Beatles (Atlantic 1990)
Sassy at Ronnie's [live] (Jazz House 1991)
1963 Live Guard Sessions (Jazz Band 1994)
Benny Carter Sessions (Capitol 1994)
After Hours [Columbia Special Products] (Columbia 1995)
Live in Chicago (Jazz Hour 1995)
Sings Broadway: Great Songs from Hit Shows (Verve 1995)
Lover Man [Collector's Edition] (Collector's 1997)
Sings George Gershwin (Verve 1998)
Linger Awhile: Live at Newport and More (Pablo 2000)