Artist: Sarah Vaughan
Label: Sony Music Entertainment
Format: 4-CD box set
Release date: August 28, 2012
If one was to consider the top three jazz singers of the 20th century, the first names that come to mind would be Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughan. Their recordings enjoy continued popularity and although some are older than sixty years, they are regularly reissued to this day. Such is the case for this new Sarah Vaughan box set from Sony Legacy, featuring her complete collection of albums released on Columbia.
This 4 disc box set begins with Vaughan’s earliest work for Columbia and ends in her final years. The first two discs are the 1955 releases After Hours With Sarah Vaughan and Sarah Vaughan in Hi-Fi. They document Vaughan at her best, performing numerous hits that characterized her career—“East of the Sun (And West of the Moon),” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” etc. Nearly 30 years later and near the end of her life there were two more Columbia releases, Gershwin Live (1982) and Brazilian Romance (1987), her final record, yet Vaughan still displays the talent evident when she was first discovered by Columbia. Each disc is presented in a cardboard sleeve preserving the original album art, while the liner notes provide descriptions of the original records, a brief overview of Sarah Vaughan’s career with Columbia, and track listings. The Complete Columbia Albums Collection doesn’t include anything new, but if you don’t own previous reissues of these albums or are simply someone interested in being introduced to one of the greats in vocal jazz, the box set is a good value.
Reviewed by Ian Hallagan