Sarah Vaughan - In the Land of Hi-Fi
Recorded: New York, October 25-27, 1955
Original Release Date: October 26, 1955
Audio CD: July 1, 1991
Label: Polygram Records
Sarah Vaughan was mucho happy with this album. The songs are terrific, the arrangements dynamic, the orchestra a blast, the recording quality first-rate and Mercury gave it all top-quality packaging. Upon release, it became a big hit and I got it when I was around 16 and it just bowled me over. It still sounds great. One day a C.D. will be released of the album plus its myriad alternate takes where Sarah over the same arrangements changes her vocal delivery drastically ("I'll Never Smile Again" emerges unique each time). Meanwhile, this is dynamic, accessible jazz at its best, with the top players in the game and Sassy in top form. Some of the songs are rarities and I was told the lyrics to "Cherokee" originated with this album (maybe, maybe not, but I was told it).
Note on the cover how slim, how hip and how fashionable Sarah is and just damned cute.
In her beginning days she was achingly homely, then she went into a too-glamorous phase, and later she became hefty. But here she is slim, hip, happy, glowing and really darling. She was always of a happy disposition, which made her a favorite to work with.
She loved to chat and chatter in recording sessions and when she recorded her single "Please Mr. Brown" first did a parody in what I guess was meant to be a Bronx accent!
Everything in this album bespeaks greatness, but intimate greatness. It's not a star turn but a great talent truly enjoying herself and offering her public the best. ~ Jim Andrews
Sarah really swings on this album, with tremendous backing from the full-bodied Ernie Williams orchestra. As with her album "with Clifford Brown," this showcases Ms. Vaughan's dramatic swoops, bends, and incredible phrasing, but there are no unnecessary dramatics. Her voice is supple, very confident, and she evokes just the right emotions. Every song is a gem, even the shop-worn "Over the Rainbow" is given a fresh treatment, and the bop "Cherokee" (featuring the first female vocal ever recorded) features stunning work by Adderley.
The band is fantastic and matches Ms. Vaughan's exuberance. There are excellent sax solos by Cannonball Adderley and Jerome Richardson, and personnel also include trombone greats J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding on trombone, Roy Haynes on drums, Jimmy Jones on piano and Ernie Royal on trumpet. Think an unrestrained Count Basie of his "Atomic album" era: This album will move you. The recording quality is excellent, both by today's standards and especially for a 1955 recording. One of the best of Ms. Vaughan's albums I've heard-get this one!
Sarah Vaughan, vocal with Ernie Wilkins and His Studio Orchestra
Trumpet: Ernie Wilkins, Ernie Royal, Bernie Glow
Trombone: J J Johnson, Kai Winding
Alto: Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, Sam Marowitz
Tenor/Flute: Jerome Richardson
Piano: Jimmy Jones
Guitar: Turk Van Lake
Bass: Joe Benjamin
Drums: Roy Haynes
Sarah Vaughan - In the Land of Hi-Fi Tracks:
01 Over The Rainbow (E Y Harburg-A Arlen)
02 Soon (G & I Gershwin)
03 Cherokee (R Noble)
04 I’ll Never Smile Again (R Lowe)
05 Don’t Be On The Outside (S Yyche-M Watts-G Kelly)
06 How High The Moon (N Hamilton)
07 It Shouldn’t Happen To A Dream (D George-D Ellington)
08 Sometimes I’m Happy (Caeser-Grey-Youmans)
09 Maybe (G & I Gershwin)
10 An Occasional Man (H Martin-R Blane)
11 Why Can’t I (L Hart-R Rodgers)
12 Oh My (J Green)