Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Legend in the Making - - Just a Few Feet Away...

An event during what I believe was my first year as a teacher came back to me last evening, and I share it with you now:
One of my students and his girl friend, my wife and I went into the city to hear a singer we had heard quite a bit about, and had curiosity about her, and so -
We went into town by public transport, then took a taxi to the nightclub the singer was appearing in.
To call it a nightclub - well, it was in a very seedy and downtrodden part of town, with people loitering in various doorways nearby. Upon entering, we found that it was a small place, with just a few tables and a large bar. I remember our being directed to a small table just a few feet in from the entrance , and on the left side. On the opposite side, directly across from our table, was an upright piano.
After ordering drinks ( my wife and I must have had cokes or something, as neither one of us drink), we were sitting and chatting. Shortly thereafter, a man and a young woman appeared out of the smoke-filled atmosphere from the rear of the nightclub, went to the piano, and began their music. The woman was about thirty, attired in a form-fitting red dress; the man, in a dark suit, as I recall. They, as I had mentioned, were directly across from us, about six or seven feet away, and the sounds came directly to us - after a short period I realized that the sounds coming from the songstress had a style, quality and beauty that absolutely stunned me. She sang a number of pop/jazz standards, while the nightclub continued with its low hum of collective conversations among the few tables scattered about. Those closer to her were absolutely silent, eyes riveted upon this striking young woman and a sultry voice which carried sheer magic to our ears.
I remember, upon our leaving, that the general consensus among the four of us was that we had happened upon a musician of illimitable talents and power. We all agreed that she would be heard from.
That sultry young woman in a sultry red dress was Sarah Vaughan.



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