“SONGS OF SARAH”
Review by Richard Skipper – July 2, 2018
A star hit New York on Saturday Night and I was there to witness it. I knew that it was a tribute to Sarah Vaughan but I had no idea that Rose would be appearing AS Sarah Vaughan! I am a huge fan of 'Sassy' as she was called by her friends and colleagues and as excited as I was to attend Rose's show, the excitement grew when she was introduced by her amazing musical director AS Sarah Vaughn.
She walked out to the incredible musicality of her trio, Pete Malinverni-piano, Paul Gill-bass, Paul Wells-drums, to wow us over with From This Moment On, in a gold lame gown living up to the legend that is Sarah Vaughn. For the next hour, Sarah took us on a musical journey throughout Sarah's life and career with all of the musical highlights that made Sarah the star she was. We learn about her early days in Newark, NJ, her hometown. How she snuck up to the Apollo in Harlem, and on a dare entered the talent contest and won! The prize was ten dollars and an engagement at the Apollo.
When they finally got around to calling her for the engagement, she found she would be appearing with the First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald! The vultures came out of the woodwork to try and sign her but Miss Fitzgerald sent them packing and essentially took her under her wing. She continued to sing at every opportunity.
One night during her engagement at the Apollo, she met Billy Eckstein. After hearing Sarah sing, he invited her to sit in on a session with Earl "Fatha" Hines. She was invited to sing and before she barely got through the song, Hines turned to Eckstein and asked, "Am I drunk or is she really that good?", Eckstein responded, "Both!" She was hired to travel with the band! And she was on her way.
We get the classics: Tenderly, Black Coffee, Whatever Lola Wants, and my personal favorite, Broken Hearted Melody. She could have done two hours and it still would not have been enough!
Rose made these songs come alive as well as Sarah Vaughan. NOW, I feel like I saw her perform LIVE...and I did! I'm now a huge fan!