Sarah Vaughan - "A Foggy Day"
In appreciation of Black History Month, all of February will feature Black and Mixed Race artists.
In times of tumult, ripe with racial tension and vast sexism, Sarah Vaughan did the one thing a woman of color could do to help herself and her family out of poverty. She turned her natural gift, her talent for singing, into a weapon. She crafted her voice into a precise instrument and made music that the world wanted to hear. She changed her life and the minds of many around her, simply by being the very best version of herself that she could aspire to.
That, my friends, is more than inspiring, it is the stuff of legends. Quoted by Fats Domino as having the only voice that was more flexible and powerful than a trumpet, she was a woman to be reckoned with, and musician beyond compare.
Nicknamed "Sassy" and "The Divine One", Vaughan was a four-time Grammy Award winner, including a "Lifetime Achievement Award". The National Endowment for the Arts bestowed upon her its "highest honor in jazz", the NEA Jazz Masters Award, in 1989.
Parallels have been drawn between Vaughan's voice and that of opera singers. Jazz singer Betty Carter said that with training Vaughan could have "...gone as far as Leontyne Price." Bob James, Vaughan's musical director in the 1960s said that "...the instrument was there. But the knowledge, the legitimacy of that whole world were not for her...But if the aria were in Sarah's range she could bring something to it that a classically trained singer could not."
So, today with trumpets blaring, I choose Sarah Vaughan’s “A Foggy Day” as my, make your own music, you may not be angel, but i’ll string along with you, song for a, waiting never got you to the front of the line, let yourself walk gently out of the haze, when they say jump - show them you can fly Monday.