AT MISTER KELLY'S -- SARAH VAUGHAN
TRACK LISTING: September in the Rain, Willow Weep For Me, Just One of Those Things, Be Anything (But Be Mine), Thou Swell, Stairway To the Stars, Honeysuckle Rose, Just A Gigolo, How High the Moon, Dream, I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, It's Got To Be Love, Alone, If This Isn't Love, Embraceable You, Lucky In Love, Dancing in the Dark, Poor Butterfly, Sometimes I'm Happy, I Cover the Waterfront
IMPRESSIONS: Sarah Vaughan's first live album is an easy and swinging affair with the Divine One bantering easily with the audience. The cd release has, of course, given us much more of the original performances including one or two lyrical flubs by Sassy (despite using lyrics sheets as stated by the emcee at the beginning of the concert). This album was fairly early in the live LP stakes but it still sounds fresh and modern without any sense of archaic production. As I've said, Sassy swings the up-tempo songs and sounds really on point vocally in the ballads as well; she sounds really involved in the performance. She expertly lays back in the tempo of such songs as Fats Waller's "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter" or Johnny Mercer's "Dream" with a confidence and assuredness of masterly control that is astonishing. John Bush of Allmusic states it rather better: "her unerring sense of rhythm carries her through every song on this set, whether the occasion calls for playfulness and wit ("Thou Swell," "Honeysuckle Rose") or a world-wise melancholia ("Willow Weep for Me")" and that the album captures her at her "best and most relaxed". There are also some nice surprises on display i.e. her slowed-down version of the usually frenetic "Just a Gigolo" or her playful imitation of Ella Fitzgerald's scat singing on "How High the Moon".
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: September in the Rain, Willow Weep For Me, Thou Swell, Stairway to the Stars, Honeysuckle Rose, Just a Gigolo, How High the Moon, Dream, I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, It's Got To Be Love, Embraceable You, Poor Butterfly, I Cover the Waterfront
FACT SHEET: AT MISTER KELLY'S is Sarah Vaughan's first live album; it was recorded between August 6 - 8, 1957 at Mister Kelly's Club in Chicago. Sarah Vaughan's trio includes Jimmy Jones (piano), Richard Davis (double bass) and Roy Haynes (drums).