Sarah Vaughan – After Hours on Emus

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  • With outstanding Double Plus (A++) sound from first note to last, this copy of After Hours put the living, breathing Divine One right between our speakers
  • With simple arrangements, featuring Mundell Lowe’s guitar and George Duvivier’s double bass, Vaughan’s soulful voice can take center stage
  • This copy was pressed on exceptionally quiet vinyl – it plays as quietly as any copy we have ever heard
  • “…a quiet and intimate affair, with Vaughan more subtle than she sometimes was… some fine jazz singing.”

This early Emus Stereo pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio, this is the record for you. It’s what Vintage Records are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

Having done this for so long, we understand and appreciate that rich, full, solid, Tubey Magical sound is key to the presentation of this primarily vocal music. We rate these qualities higher than others we might be listening for (e.g., bass definition, soundstage, depth, etc.). The music is not so much about the details in the recording, but rather in trying to recreate a solid, palpable, real Sarah Vaughan singing live in your listening room. The best copies have an uncanny way of doing just that.

All Analog in’ 61

What both sides of this Sarah Vaughan album have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1961
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied double bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with both instruments of this stellar duo having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we describe above, and for that you will need to take this copy of the record home and throw it on your table.

Old and New Work Well Together

This reissue is spacious, open, transparent, rich and sweet. It’s yet another remarkable disc from the Golden Age of Vacuum Tube Recording Technology, with the added benefit of mastering using the more modern cutting equipment of the ’60s and ’70s. We are of course here referring to the good modern mastering of 40+ years ago, not the dubious modern mastering of today.

The combination of old and new works wonders on this title as you will surely hear for yourself on these superb sides.

We were impressed with the fact that these pressings excel in so many areas of reproduction. What was odd about it — odd to most audiophiles but not necessarily to us — was just how rich and Tubey Magical the reissue can be on the right pressing.

This leads me to think that most of the natural, full-bodied, lively, clear, rich sound of the album is on the tape, and that all one has to do to get that vintage sound on to a record is simply to thread up the tape on the right machine and hit play.

The fact that practically nobody seems to be able to make a record that sounds this good nowadays tells me that I’m wrong to think that such an approach would work. In our experience that is rarely the case in the modern world of vinyl reissues, and has been that way for many years.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

My Favorite Things
Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye
Wonder Why
Easy To Love
Sophisticated Lady

Side Two

Great Day
Ill Wind
If Love Is Good To Me
In A Sentimental Mood
Vanity

Allmusic Review

From 1961-1962, Sarah Vaughan recorded two albums while accompanied by just guitar and bass. Her 1962 outing for the obscure Reactivation label (with guitarist Barney Kessel and bassist Joe Comfort) is hard to find, as is her earlier set with guitarist Mundell Lowe and bassist George Duvivier. Surprisingly, Lowe only has one solo, so the emphasis throughout is exclusively on Vaughan’s magnificent voice.

The program mostly sticks to ballads, with a couple of exceptions (most notably “Great Day”), and is a quiet and intimate affair, with Vaughan more subtle than she sometimes was.

…this is an excellent if brief set (34-and-a-half minutes) with some fine jazz singing.