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The Divine One [Roulette]
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  • Recorded just after Sarah Vaughan joined the Roulette label in 1960, The Divine One found her in exactly the right circumstances to suit her excellent talents. Arranged by Jimmy Jones, who also sits in on piano, the setting was a small group that included one strong voice to accentuate hers -- and no less a strong and clear voice than trumpeter Harry "Sweets" Edison (the perfect accompaniment for Vaughan). The Divine One is mostly a ballads collection, and it includes a few songs that were new to her repertoire -- good choices like "Have You Met Miss Jones?" (aka "Old Jones"), "When Your Lover Has Gone," "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," and "Jump for Joy." One great left-field choice is "Ain't No Use," the R&B song taken as a slow torch song that Big Maybelle had first recorded (Nina Simone didn't record it until several years later). Roulette would soon push Vaughan in many different directions -- releasing over a dozen LPs in just a few short years -- but this small-group date is a gem. ~ John Bush
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