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"I'm sorry to say this: THIS DVD SHOULD NEVER HAD BEEN RELEASED. If you notice they call it a videocassette in the inital copy warnings, twice... Video quality is pretyy much NTSC VHS.
I'm a great fan of Sarah since 1973, when I heard her, at the Cascais Jazz festival, weeping and apologizing for a failure that occurred in the sound system, and own 13 LP's of her great art. All of them sound better that the Dolby crap on this DVD, including above all the "Mono" Mercury with Clifford Brown. The 1978 "How Long has this been going on" is a treasure..
Sarah Vaughn is to be heard and to TO BE FELT. This DVD contains too little music, too much babbling, no PCM Audio, no Subtitles.
It is pure exploitation and BMG should be ashamed of publishing it. If there is no better video/film footage of Sarah available anywhere, do no publish any video, leave us blind. I'm only sorry for the earing impared, but what can I do?..."
LET'S START IT OFF CLASSY! LET'S START IT OFF SASSY!
D. Davis | Southern CA | 02/05/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For me, after Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington comes Sarah Vaughan, and this testament to her life and career reveals the sassy power she wielded as a performer and as a human being. Highlights include clips from some of her interviews (such as with Dick Cavett), and from some of her live performances--we see her sing "Misty," "After You've Gone," and "Send in the Clowns." More tracks from her sprawling career, however, would have made this production more palpable. At the end of the video, we still feel that there is much left unsaid and untouched about this talented jazz performer. From the sound clips we're given, we don't have much of a sense of Vaughan's vocal range. We need to hear tracks from the "Live From Mr. Kelly's" album; from the superb Copenhagen concert at the Tivoli Gardens in 1963; and from her marvelous work with Count Basie and Ben Webster. There are revealing intimate moments with Vaughan's daughter, Paris (who, with bitterness, it seems, shares with us about her mother's doubts and fears as a performer), and with Vaughan's mother (who humorously unfolds the story of Vaughan's winning the amateur contest at the Apollo Theatre as a teen); as well, we learn the most from Vaughan's musical colleagues, Joe Williams and Roy Haynes, among others (we learn that Sassy could swear like a sailor and loved to drink). This video construction of Vaughan's life, while good, is not excellent. We needed more of Sass's sass. But overall, it is an adequate introduction to a great jazz songstress."
The Divine One - says it all
Avesraggiana | San Diego, CA | 10/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have loved this video-biography of Sarah Vaughan, from the day I first viewed it. I have two copies on VHS and one on DVD. If I have to fault this video, it is that the live performance clips are far too short, leaving you wanting more. They offer nothing more than a tantalizing glimpse of Sarah Vaughan's musical genius.
By far my most favourite excerpt is "The Shadow of Your Smile". This live performance outdoes any other recording I have ever heard by another artist and even outdoes Sarah Vaughan's studio recording with Mercury Records. I wish I could obtain the complete performance of this live rendition.
It sounds trite I know, but this is a must have for any self-respecting Sarah Vaughan fan."
Sarah Is Simply Divine!
firstname.lastname@example.org | Hawyard, CA | 05/31/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sarah Vaughan-The Divine One. The illustrious career of "Sass" is chronicled in this one hour video featuring interviews with The Divine One herself, family members and professional acquaintances. The interviews offering the more personal, poignant and perceptive perspectives full of professional praise, come from long time accompanying pianist George Gaffney, Billy Eckstine and Joe Williams. Other revealing insights are offered by drummer Roy Haynes and daughter Paris Vaughan. There are film and video tape excerpts of performances from every decade of her career. The producers and researchers are to be commended for their acquisition of footage of Sarah from the late 40's and early 50's, considering the media focus during those times was otherwise placed. The juxtaposition of interviews offer a sober, cogent journal of this unparalleled vocal talent and her career. We learn that Sarah, although a tremendously talented artist, had insecurities and disappointments relating to her professional accomplishments.Any lover of her music will be slightly disappointed more time was not spent on extended clips of her performances. What we are shown however, allows the viewer to observe the maturation of a phenomenal voice that is all at once, heartwarming and compelling. Earlier cuts like, "Cherokee," "Over The Rainbow" and "You're Not The Kind," give an ample display of Sarah's musicianship, unique vocal stylings and fluidity. The fabled two and a half octave vocal range is heard in the all too brief opening excerpt of "A Foggy Day In London Town," "Send In The Clowns" and "Once In A While" [Sarah accompanies herself here on piano and more adequately demonstrates her keyboard ability.] The major bonus to this production is the loving remastering of the musical tracks. The voice, piano, bass and drums are intelligently mixed which allows the music to stand on its own. Even if your VCR is not connected to your stereo set-up, the music still sounds great.For the record, my favorite female vocalists in order, are, Sarah, Betty Carter and Billie Holliday [although Diana Krall is making inroads!]. Sarah Vaughan-The Divine One, offers a penetrating look at a talent on the genius level that, unfortunately like Billie, Betty and Ella, are lost to us forever. Billy Eckstine spoke for this reviewer when he said, "We all have our favorites [female singers], and she was mine,...but if she wasn't your favorite, I want to know who was.""
Portrait of a true Diva!
Clarissa Bolding | Austin, TX USA | 07/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently saw Dianne Reeves in concert. During her show she talked about how Sarah's voice inspired her to sing. She told the story of how she met Sarah before a show and didn't realize it was her because everyone kept calling her "Sassy". After leaving that incredible performance I became even more curious about "Sass" and her legacy. I enjoyed this video tremendously. Like the previous reviews stated, it is filled with performances from her early years to later. Other greats of jazz and close friends (Joe Williams, Billy Eckstein, fellow musicians, etc) speak candidly about her as a friend and artist. Her mother and daughter also give insight to her life (her self-image woes) as well as refreshing antecdotes (the apollo experience and her "sailor's tongue")The performances are breathtaking. Sarah Vaughan didn't just sing. She SANG. Her voice was an instrument and it is truly amazing to listen to her on songs like "Summertime", "Misty" and "Send In the Clowns" She had style, grace and a presence all her own. Sarah Vaughan commanded attention and mesmorized audiences in every performance.I recommend this video for anyone who wants to learn about one of the greats of music. Sarah Vaughan: The Divine One is a wonderous glimpse into the life of a jazz jewel, whose music still sparkles.Peace. CLB."