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Sarah Vaughan
The Lonely Hours

Review by Dave Glackin
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Sarah Vaughan The Lonely Hours

LP Stock Number: Classic Records SR 52104


  Sarah Vaughan is one of my all-time favorite singers, basically on a par with Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, which is as high as you can go in my book. Her expressiveness, phrasing, breath control, and vibrato are outstanding. When she is singing about The Lonely Hours, you are left with no doubt as to what she means. Sarah sets the mood and maintains it from the beginning to the end of this record. The instrumental arrangements by Benny Carter are in perfect synchronicity with Sarah's performance. This is a great record to put on for a really romantic evening, along with a good bottle of wine and a roaring fire. (The only problem might be getting up to flip the record... such are the sacrifices we make for the gorgeous sound of vinyl. What!? you say you will solve that problem by recording it to CD? Go read Stereo Review... Oops, I mean Stereophile.)

The sound quality achieved by Classic Records and Bernie Grundman is truly excellent. It sounds like the master tape was in great shape. The record surfaces are flat and dead quiet. This is classic left-center-right recording, meaning that the instruments tend to be clustered in and around the speakers and in the middle, without the type of soundstage that we have come to expect in modern recordings. Technically, I know that's there, but emotionally, I do not care one whit. Sarah's performance on this disc is so outstanding that I forget about the technical stuff as soon as she starts singing. Musically, there's nothing here I can find to criticize.

What more can I say? As usual, Classic has done a bang-up job with their reproduction of the original cover, and the multi-colored original label. Classic's products have been sounding better ever since Bernie changed to his tubed signal chain, and I think they have been sounding even better since Classic changed to the Quiex vinyl formulation (although I have yet to do a direct comparison of the two Kind of Blue pressings). Classic's choice of albums to release has been excellent (their taste overlaps quite a bit with my impeccable own!).

If you like jazz but you've never heard Sarah Vaughan, but this record. It'll be a great introduction to one of the best female vocalists of all time. If you like Sarah Vaughan but don't have this album, buy this record. It'll be a great addition to your collection, and you won't just play it once and shelve it. No matter which category you fall in, please support vinyl in general, and Classic Records in particular, by buying this record. You will not be disappointed. I predict that you'll be inspired to go out and find more recordings by Sarah Vaughan. In this household, it is going onto the "Desert Island" shelf in my record collection. And that is the best recommendation I can give.



Enjoyment: 95

Sound Quality: 90











































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