Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sassy Sarah Vaughan, The Divine One

The magnificent American singer, Sarah Vaughan, was born on this day in 1924. She was a performer if not a magician who could wring emotion out of a song with her warmth and three-octave range. Indeed she was a symphony of sound over her fifty years on the stage. Her passing 26 years ago leaves a void still unfilled in the world of popular music and jazz. Of course with female vocalists like Jane Monhoit, Diana Krall, Nancy LaMott, Madeleine Peyroux, Kat Edmonson, Nora Jones and others we'll be entertained with plenty of quality. It's just that the sass won't be quite the same.

Here is Sassy, the Divine One, at work on two of her signature songs:

And once more I ask the question, "Where is the spirit of jazz today, a genre birthed in the United States?" It is alive in many limited markets across the country but it remains a small portfolio in the financial departments of our corporate music industry. The corporate bottom line drives the industry today and it drives some of our best musical talent into a parallel universe. These niches of excellence exist for those who want seek them out but it is far easier to succumb to the mediocrity forced upon the market by the accountants and their search for profit through the lowest common denominators in music. The consumers can do better. Start your search tomorrow.

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