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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

At Mister Kelly's

Sarah Vaughan

1957

At Mister Kelly's

Album Summary

At Mister Kelly's is a 1957 live album by American jazz singer Sarah Vaughan, recorded at Mister Kelly's jazz club in Chicago.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.41

Votes

6231

Genres

  • Jazz
Reviews
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Thu Apr 22 2021
4

Well, I'm a fan of Sarah Vaughan, but not of live albums. She is possibly my favourite vocalist of the big band era, so I gave this an honest chance. It's pretty cool. But I'd still rather listen to her studio recordings. I don't get anything from the MC introducing, or the crowd coughing, or Sarah and the band messing up one of the tracks. On the closing track, "How High the Moon", she sings (without breaking her stride) "Ella Fitzgerald does this song real crazy", then does a kind of impression of Ella's scat singing. Now there's something cool that you wouldn't hear in the studio I guess. Her voice sounds great as always, and the original concise selection of 9 tracks is strong. (All the reissues more than double this number. Will we ever get away from the early CD era mentality of "cram as much bonus stuff on the disc as possible"?) Overall, this is probably a 3.5 from me, but I will round it up to 4 given that none of Sarah's studio material seems to appear in the 1001 list (which by the way is a fucking travesty given how many redundant picks of post-1960 white male rock music they managed to fit in).

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Tue Dec 07 2021
5

Amazing voice. A gig I'd have liked to have been at, sat at a table with an Old Fashioned and pack of cigarettes.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
5

This is unbelievably good.

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Sat Jun 26 2021
5

Loved practically everything about this. The old-timey recording nature of this live performance (I imagine in a smallish lounge at Mister Kelly's) gives this such an intimate feel. Moments like the man introducing Sarah Vaughan and cracking a joke about all the attendees being "Mercury recording artists," the artist joking about messing up a song and the crowd laughing around her, and the small talk and glasses clinking in the background really make you feel like you're a part of the performance. I typically enjoy instrumental jazz more, but she's got a great voice that really captivated me for the entire album Saved: September In The Rain, Be Anything But Darling Be Mine

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Thu Apr 22 2021
5

This album is like the smoothest cup of coffee and the warmest blanket on the coldest day.

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Tue Dec 14 2021
5

A beautiful intimate performance. Sympathetic accompaniment, tasteful playing and a great batch of songs. Sarah's voice is impeccable, rhe arrangements are perfect and her delivery; relaxed inimate and rhythmicly they swing. Don't often understand the rhyme or reason behind some of the non-rock choices but for this one I'm grateful that I was able to discover this amazing album 5 🌟

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Fri Aug 19 2022
5

Really loved her rendition of “Just One of Those Things” and “Honeysuckle Rose.” “How High the Moon” was also great. She felt really playful and that made it all the more entertaining. It’s great when jazz singers don’t take themselves so seriously. Mister Kelly’s always has great acts. Maybe the venue brings out the best in performers. Anita O’Day released her Mister Kelly’s the following year I believe, in 1958, and that’s also quite an experience. Again, very loose and fun show to listen to. Great interaction between band members. Hopefully there’s some Anita on this list… This was a great listen regardless

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Mon Jun 14 2021
4

This album takes you back to a time when lounge singers and dinner clubs were an actual option. Vaughan's voice rises and swoons as she weaves a spell capturing the magic of an era.

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Fri Oct 15 2021
4

First off, the improvised humor during the second song (Willow Weep For Me) and throughout the last song (How High The Moon) put a smile on my face. It was enjoyable to hear an artist just rolling with it in a live performance. And honestly, if you weren't paying close attention, I think it would just roll by you as a listener as well. It's a testament to how clean, tight and yet how fluid Sarah Vaughan and the Trio are across this album. Everything about this album felt in perfect balance, which I find especially remarkable given it's a recording of a live performance. Sarah's vocals are an enchanting blend of smooth, pitch perfect and with a touch of smokey rasp. She carries every tune perfectly and doesn't overly-adorn, preferring instead to be straight to the point. And sitting just below the canopy of the vocals is the remarkably stout trunk that is the backing trio. Their performance was equaly clear, concise and beautiful. All told, it's a lovely album, made more special by the candor and simplicity that comes from the stripped down production of recording a live performance.

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Fri Dec 03 2021
4

What a stunning voice, and what a beautifully ambient album. I'm not familiar with vocal jazz in general, and this makes me want to explore the genre more. My top pick is 'Willow Weep for Me', both for the lovely melancholic sound and the interaction with the crowd.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
4

Exquisite voice and accomplished confident performer. I usually choose to listen to Ella for this type of jazz, but Sarah Vaughan's voice is so smooth. Great piano playing (drums and bass are so good you don't notice them). Lovely recording.

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Mon Mar 28 2022
4

It's rare that a Live album should be considered a must listen, this is one of them. There is something about early Jazz and the American Songbook that only improves when performed live in a small club. Sarah Vaughn is one of the top females singers from this era, sometimes overshadowed by Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, her voice remained at it's peak throughout her career and didn't suffer the fallbacks that the others did. Good solid performance. 4/5.

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Tue Apr 05 2022
4

Sweet voice and nice toned down show. Not the most exciting thing in the world, but there was an intimacy to it I found very valuable.

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Tue May 17 2022
4

I love how relaxed the atmosphere is on the album. It is like Sarah Vaughan is putting on a show just for you. Such an intimate live album as opposed to the at times bombastic stadium fillers. I need to listen to Sarah Vaughan some more.

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Tue Jun 07 2022
4

No idea who this is, which doesn't bode well. And it appears to be a live album, so it's got that going for it too. If I vote it higher than 2 on general principle, it's going to be an amazing record. OK, so I've listened to it and it's a 4 star. Her voice is nothing short of amazing. The band are well mic'd and tighter than a gnat's twat. Obviously if this were studio recorded it'd be five stars, but there we go...

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Mon Jun 27 2022
4

This is a live album featuring Sarah Vaughan and her trio recorded at the legendary Chicago jazz club Mister Kelly's on Rush St in 1957. Sarah Vaughan also known as "Sassy" and "The Divine One" was a decorated (Grammy's, jazz awards) jazz vocalist starting in the 1940's with a great, tremendous voice. Her trio consisted of Jimmy Jones-piano, Richard Davis-double bass and Roy Haynes-drums. The songs have Sarah covering jazz and musical standards from the 20's, 30's, 40's and 50's. This is a pretty laid back affair: Sarah's voice dominates with a softer jazz backing band. The man who introduces the concert tells the audience she will be singing from lyric sheets. And, in a few songs she flat out says she doesn't know the lyrics. One of those songs, "How High the Moon", is one of my favorite on the album as she says it's an Ella Fitzgerald song, doesn't know the lyrics and starts improvising. It was fantastic. Other song highlights included "Stairway to the Star" - Incredible vocal ending, "Lucky in Love" and "Poor Butterfly." I'd imagine this would hit the spot on a Sunday afternoon while reading a book or doing something. Honestly, at 113 minutes, it was rather long. If your into more relaxing jazz music with an incredible vocalist, this is your album. I appreciated it for that.

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Fri Jul 08 2022
4

I had never heard of Sarah Vaughan before this. As soon as I heard her voice, I opened up Wikipedia and started reading up on her; evidently she was very important back in her day. Her voice sounds so inviting, and her vibrato is incredible. It's so warm and enticing that it makes one feel like they're in the room with her as she's singing. I'll definitely have to look into her other work at some point. Favorites: September in the Rain, Just One of those Things

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Mon Jul 18 2022
4

Super smooth. Sarah Vaughan is up there in my favourite jazz vocalists, and I think this is the album of hers that I have most enjoyed. Stripped of her usual highly orchestrated, string-heavy arrangements to a bare trio backing, intimately recorded, you get to hear her beautiful tone and phrasing without distraction. There is a touch more breathiness and slight husk in the quieter moments that sounds close and real. Her ability to deliver a real emotional content is wonderful. Probably my favourite Sarah Vaughan record, and I will probably pick a copy up when I see one around. Love the versions of Just a Gigolo and How High the Moon that close out this album.

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Thu Jul 28 2022
4

Sarah Vaughan has a gorgeous voice and a great sense of humor! Even when she forgot the lyrics to a song, she made it work and elicited laughter from her audience. What a captivating musician. This live album captures her in sound. Excellent listening.

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Mon Apr 19 2021
3

3 stars pleasant enough, not my bag tho

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Wed Aug 18 2021
3

“At Mister Kelly’s” by Sarah Vaughan (1957) As live albums go, this one’s not bad, and of course jazz vocalist Sarah Vaughan is stellar. A somewhat haphazard collection of great songs by great songwriters is exquisitely performed by Vaughan, backed by understated piano, soulful double bass and beautifully restrained drums (although one of the backing guys occasionally and annoyingly hums throughout). The recording quality and the mix are better than one might expect. And the audience at Chicago’s Mr. Kelly’s is well behaved (they were warned that they were being taped). Under-rehearsed and nicely improvisational, these songs engage the listener, who can’t help but to ‘lean in’ to the synthesis between the composition and the performance. It captures an essential element of jazz. Sarah Vaughan’s voice is great. Her stylings are fresh and her tonal quality is superb. She hits impossible intervals with precision and apparent ease. In her diction, there’s a slight but persistent lisp (listen to end of the word “stars” on “Stairway to the Stars”) but hey, this ain’t the Met. Major flubs (in “Willow Weep for Me” and “How High the Moon”) are pulled off with humor and panache. She sings, “according to that [the lyrics sheet] I’m through, but they’re still playin’, so I’ll keep on singin’”. I laughed out loud; so did the audience and so will you. It completely blew the melancholy mood of the song (“Willow Weep for Me”), but what are you gonna do when you’ve already bumped a mic stand, the audience is staring nervously at you and the tape machine is rolling? This album is an artifact of a fine piece of entertainment that makes me wish I’d been there. 3/5

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Sat Jul 10 2021
2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcEKtVZ0XX4&t=3 this is all i could picture listening to this album.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
5

What. A. Voice.

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Tue May 11 2021
5

That was quite enjoyable. I liked her voice, and I liked the smoothness of it. I mean, this is sort of where the idea of “smooth” jazz came from, right?

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Tue Apr 06 2021
5

Very nice!

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Thu Apr 22 2021
5

I’m in love

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Wed May 19 2021
5

Lo que más me gustó de este disco es como te posiciona en un club chiquito en los 50’s. No hay nada mas que decir. Es jazz y es en vivo, no falla casi nunca.

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Wed Jun 09 2021
5

30. De certa forma, todos nós fomos hoje, entre o fumo e os chapéus de coco, artistas registados da Mercury Recordings. MotA: Willow Weep For Me "The leaves of brown came tumbling down"

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Thu Aug 26 2021
5

I was impressed.

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Mon Sep 06 2021
5

Ya like jazz? I like jazz.

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Wed Sep 15 2021
5

The chillest way to start the day. Beautiful.

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Thu Sep 16 2021
5

New one for me, though I think I recognise Willow Weep For Me. Really enjoyable and, like The Who's Live at Leeds, the live album gets across how much fun Vaughan is having. Incredible voice. Will play again. I must check whether she is touring the UK any time soon...

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Tue Oct 12 2021
5

1957 - Vocal Jazz

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Mon Oct 25 2021
5

great album the vocals sound a little weird at times but the jazz is just awesome 9/10

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Sun Nov 14 2021
5

Jazzy as fuck 10/10

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Fri Nov 19 2021
5

Why is every album from the 50s so good!? This has a despicably good vibe holy shit. 5

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Wed Dec 01 2021
5

kind of boring!

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Tue Dec 07 2021
5

Awesome

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Tue Dec 07 2021
5

Nice jazz

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Mon Jan 03 2022
5

Did listen. Loved.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
5

Épico 😎👌

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

Usually not a fan of live albums but on this one the ambient noise only adds to the experience.

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Sat Jan 15 2022
5

Sarah Vaughan has one of the most beautiful and versatile voices I have ever heard. This album is perfect down to the vocals, the accompaniment, and her natural humor. I absolutely adore this artist and this album.

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Wed Jan 19 2022
5

Such a great intro to the live performance in the beginning of the album. Amazing singer and sometimes a bit forgotten amongst other great names of the same era, like Billie Holiday. Highly recommended.

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Thu Jan 27 2022
5

One of the greatest voices in jazz, accompanied in a tasteful, low-key, style by an excellent piano trio. This was a wonderful live recording of the album, which transported me to the actual jazz club in Chicago. The improv moments toward the end of Willow Weep for Me and the nod to Ella Fitzgerald in the final song were quite amusing. It was also nice to hear another interpretation of Thou Swell, which I only knew in Betty Carter's fast version (and which, to be fair, I still prefer).

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

Oh man, I love live jazz albums. I admit to having a bias on this front. I just REALLY love the silkiness in jazz singers' voices. It's interesting, one of my other favorite albums on this list--Sam Cooke--I enjoyed just as much, but they are SO different. Instead of being energizing, this album is calming and mellow. And Sarah Vaughan is VERY funny, in a natural, effortless way. Classic jazz attitude, I love her energy. Fave track: Willow Weep for Me. Extra points for the funny crowd interactions. She's like a damn comedian dealing with a heckler.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
5

incredibly charming. will revisit.

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Wed Feb 23 2022
5

So very good.

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Fri Mar 04 2022
5

Vraiment solide comme album. J’ai adore 5*

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Mon Mar 07 2022
5

De Rigueur for 70's suburban sprawl. Still love this record to death.

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Tue Mar 29 2022
5

Beautiful album, beautiful voice. The live aspect didn't detract much from the experience and sometimes even added to it!

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Tue Mar 29 2022
5

Lovely live album. Especially funny if you listen to some of the lyrics that are just her singing that she doesn't know. Gives it a very intimate touch.

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Sun Apr 03 2022
5

wonderfull

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Thu Apr 07 2022
5

Authentic and fun to listen to. Her music was fun and I liked how she interacted with the audience.

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Mon Apr 18 2022
5

God I need a cigarette

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Tue May 10 2022
5

Wow. What a special live performance. Loved it.

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Sun May 22 2022
5

Wow...yesterday Ella Fitzgerald appears in my rotation and today I get Sarah Vaughan? I don't know what I did to deserve such royal treatment, but I'll take it. Ms. Vaughan's voice makes me cry in the best possible way. PS - I'm cracking up as she sings 'How High The Moon' and she has to improv because she doesn't know the words, and she's singing about how she doesn't know the words. Awesome.

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Wed Jul 06 2022
5

Fab voice, absolutley fantastic

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Mon Jul 11 2022
5

not mine

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Sat Jul 16 2022
5

Fantastic. The live spirit of the record shines through.

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Mon Jul 25 2022
5

Amazing.

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Tue Aug 09 2022
5

holy shit sarah sounds great! Sarah Vaugn makes each song leap to life and is just so effortlessly musical. That and so playful with her skat and call outs to various artists and flubs.

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Mon Aug 15 2022
5

Wonderful. I was delighted.

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Mon Aug 15 2022
5

This was delightful.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
5

Amazing.

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Tue Aug 30 2022
5

Wonderful

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

Voce meravigliosa e performance strordinaria.

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Mon Oct 03 2022
5

Sarah's voice is so rich and beautiful. I was listening to the album right before bed, and it was the perfect soothing way to end a day. Most definitely 5/5 <3

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Wed Nov 16 2022
5

Amazing voice! Can't believe I hadn't heard of her before.

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Thu Nov 17 2022
5

Warm vocals over a smooth jazz trio. Playfulness and improvisation along side emotionally driven lyrics create a dynamic listening experience. Enjoyed leaving the crowd reactions in the album makes it feel more like the listener is present at the show.

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Sat Dec 03 2022
5

Hot take, good voice!

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Mon Dec 19 2022
5

incredible. iconic. gorgeous

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Thu Dec 22 2022
5

"I don't know the words of this song but I'm going to sing it anyway"

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Thu Dec 22 2022
5

And just like that -click- I was a Sarah Vaughan fan.

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Tue Jan 10 2023
5

Incredible. Absolutely loved it.

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Thu Jan 12 2023
5

Mister Kelly’s was the club in Chicago to perform or watch . Sarah’s rendition of Stairway to the Stars is tremendous.

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Thu Jan 19 2023
5

September In The Rain- 8 Willow Weep For Me- 9 Just One Of Those Things- 8 Be Anything But Darling Be Mine- 9 Thou Swell- 8 Stairway To The Stars- 8 Honeysuckle Rose- 9 Just a Gigolo- 7 How High The Moon- 10 (kinda funny)

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Tue Jan 24 2023
5

Loved it. She was a great artist

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Fri Jan 27 2023
5

Beautiful live album. You really feel like you are in the club listening to it.

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Thu Feb 09 2023
5

Excellent album. Great peak jazz. 5/5

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Sat Feb 25 2023
5

LO AME

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Tue Mar 07 2023
5

Fantastic

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Tue Mar 07 2023
5

I'm stoked to get a live album from the 1950's on here. Piano and a sweet voice, with a great drummer backing up and idk what else. The theme or intention of the singer hit hard at the End. Idk hard to not feel the artist wanting to get the people to see the black struggle and fucking back off. I don't know enough to comment further. This is the kinda music I'd like to be in the room for, the stuff I live to hear. Appreciated this one.

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Tue Mar 14 2023
5

BEAUTIFUL VOICE!! i absolutely love this album its very jazzy and nice, and pleasing to the ear.

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Fri Mar 17 2023
5

Microphone stands falling over, forgotten lyrics, and a band who just won't end the song make out what might be the most live album ever. This is my first time listening to Sarah Vaughan, having only learned her name via a name drop in a Father John Misty track. What a voice and what a presence in each and every note. On 'Be Anything (But Be Mine)' it is as if you're transported to Chicago in 1957 with Vaughan singing directly at you and only for you. Vaughan is in complete symbiosis with her trio, and even when they disagree, as on 'Willow Weep For Me', the resulting improvisation is delightful. Jimmy Jones behind the keys especially delivers an incredible performance. And speaking of improvisation, breaking into 'How High The Moon' without knowing a single lyric is just phenomenal.

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Tue Mar 21 2023
5

Fantastic jazz pop. The couple of moments where Vaughn makes a mistake only humanize her and add to the live experience.

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Tue Mar 21 2023
5

Gorgeous classic jazz, the fact that it’s live really adds to the charm

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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

Loved the second track. Sarah Vaughan's vocals exposed all the flaws in modern R&B vocals.

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Thu Jun 24 2021
4

her voice is smooth like honey and the album as a whole has a serene peacefullness over it

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Fri Jun 11 2021
4

jazz! voice! smoky club vibes.

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Wed Jul 14 2021
4

Espectacular voz. Bohemio e inspirador.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
4

Beautiful voice, not really my style of music but her talent is amazing.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
4

What a voice!

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Sat Jul 10 2021
4

AND IT'S LIVE! I actually think it's pretty cool. Mister Kelly is a bit of a nonce though.

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Thu May 27 2021
4

.

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Mon Jun 07 2021
4

De kleine details zoals het lachende publiek wanneer een microfoon omvalt of de aankondiging aan het begin geven dit album extra diepte.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
4

What a voice! And what a performance!

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Mon Apr 12 2021
4

false

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Elle et Tom Waits aurait formé un duo à faire pâlir les Chevaliers du Fiel.

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Fri Apr 30 2021
4

Chouette découverte. Album plaisant pour travailler.

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