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JAZZ RESEARCH PAPER SARAH VAUGHAN GOLDEN HITS MERCURY RECORDINGS 1990 SUBMITTED BY KATRINA GRIFFIN 20114 HUMANITIES PRO CHAMBERS According to Joseph Levey of The Jazz Experience A Guide to Appreciation The jazz song is at least partially a literary form of expression instrumental music is an abstract form of expression Jazz singing involves lyrics words and ideas whereas jazz playing is a purely musical statement Thus the jazz singer is limited improvisationally to a degree because he or she is locked into lyrics However there are few jazz singers that have managed to overcome the limitations such as The Divine OneSarah Vaughan Sarah Vaughan outstanding works on the CD Golden Hits truly promotes how ballads standards and traditional commercial pop songs can be reborn With the vocal style from the legendary Ethel Waters Vaughans success has come from her ability to master improvisation along with her male counterparts such as Billy Eckstine and Earl Hines Improvisation is the art of creating all or part of an composition at the moment of performancedealing with effective chords sequences rhymthic patterns melodic motives combined and varied allows a singer to use spontaneous creativity which is the musical mental library that makes a great jazz singer For example in Lullaby of Birdland Vaughan use upbeats techniques for the ballad which was orignally an extremely slow tempo She moulds it into this melody with varied phasing and controlled vibrato Gary Giddens replied in Rhythum-a-ning Vaughan transformed Lullaby of Birdland otherwise a pedestrian or gilded song into something qu ite remarkable and freshthis is her specialty Another unknown critic stated that if one gave Sarah Vaughan a weak song she would strangle it to death Another kind of strategy that Sarah Vaughan has mastered is the skill of scatting In scat songs singers abandon the lyrics completely These nonsense syllables and vocal sounds usually imitate various instruments The scat in Lullaby of Birdland along with
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