Sarah Vaughan, one of the pre-eminent voices to ever grace American music, once said, "When I sing, trouble can sit right on my shoulder and I don't even notice." Vaughan's voice embodied all of the right qualities to make just about anyone forget their troubles.
Like Vaughan, singer/songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway possesses one of those transcendent voices. The multi-Platinum selling and Tony nominated singer/songwriter is blessed with an impressive vocal range complete with great depth and emotion. At times her instrument is operatic but at a moment's notice it can transform to a bluesy pitch. Her riveting live performances showcase her graceful and agile scatting, unrivaled improvisatory wit and her mesmerizing and rich vocal timbre. Callaway seamlessly shifts from one genre to another, giving everything she sings the classic Callaway touch.
Today, September 16, 2014, Shanachie Entertainment will release the highly anticipated tribute album From Sassy to Divine: The Sarah Vaughan Project.
"Over the years, I have been creating a legacy series about artists who have inspired me and Sarah is a critical missing piece that I've wanted to explore," shares Callaway. "Applying my imagination to her body of work has been challenging and enriching- it's given me a chance to dig more deeply into the jazz part of my artistry, which she helped to spark when I was a little girl."
From Sassy to Divine: The Sarah Vaughan Project promises to become one of the quintessential recorded tributes to Sassy along with Carmen McRae's Sarah: Dedicated to You and Dianne Reeves' The Calling: Celebrating Sarah Vaughan.
Shanachie VP of A&R Danny Weiss states, "Putting one's own stamp on such Sarah Vaughan classics as 'Misty' and 'Send in the Clowns,' is a feat that few should attempt and only the very elite can accomplish. The passion and depth Ann brings to her performances of these great songs is astounding!"
From Sassy to Divine: The Sarah Vaughan Project was recorded live at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola and joins Callaway with pianist Ted Rosenthal, bassist Dean Johnson, drummer Tim Horner, saxophonist and flutist Dick Oatts and trumpeter and flugelhornist Randy Sandke. Grammy Award-winning engineer Todd Whitelock mixed the album.
Taking note from some of Sarah Vaughan's classic recorded live albums like Sassy Sings the Tivoli, Live in Japan, and Gershwin Live!, Callaway aptly captures the magic and spontaneity of live performance. She adds, "Jazz is at its most raw, real and in the moment when there's an audience to communicate to. It inspired Sarah, and it certainly inspires me to dig deeper into the stories of these songs and really let go." Like Vaughan, Callaway is at home in any musical context and shines with such diverse repertoire as "Send in the Clowns," "A Night in Tunisia/Interlude," "Chelsea Bridge," "Mean to Me, "and "Poor Butterfly," among others. Callaway shares, "I tried to cover the broad range of her musical appetites and loved cooking up the feast."
Ann Hampton Callaway has written over 250 songs including the theme to the hit TV series "The Nanny" and multi-Platinum hits for seven of Barbra Streisand's recent CDs. Booked by the premier jazz booking agency in the country, Ted Kurland Associates, the dynamic vocalist keeps a heavy touring schedule performing at PACs, theatres and jazz festivals all over the world. The past two years, Ann has taken the symphony world by storm with her award-winning tribute to her legendary mentor with "The Streisand Songbook," which she premiered with The Boston Pops and continues to tour nationwide. Callaway's starring role in the jazz Broadway musical "Swing!" earned her a Tony nomination and The Theater World Award.