In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
The Four Freshmen were one of the top vocal groups of the 1950s, and formed the bridge between '40s ensembles like Mel-Tones and harmony-based rock & roll bands such as the Beach Boys as well as groups like Spanky & Our Gang and the Manhattan Transfer. The group's roots go back to the end of the 1940s and a barbershop quartet-influenced outfit called Hal's Harmonizers, organized at the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Butler University in Indiana by two brothers, Ross and Don Barbour. Their repertoire centered on standards such as "Moonglow" and "The Christmas Song," and they began to show an unusually free, improvisational approach to their harmony singing. A couple of membership changes brought Bob Flanigan, a cousin, into the fold alongside Hal Kratzsch, and suddenly the Four Freshmen were assembled in all but name, and that fell into place a little later.
The group struggled for a long time, living hand-to-mouth while building a repertoire and a sound -- many people who've heard the group's records or are familiar with their sound are unaware that they were also completely self-contained instrumentally, each member playing more than one instrument and allowing the others to switch off to different roles. They came to attention of various jazz figures of the era, including Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, and Stan Kenton, and it was Kenton who took matters into his own hands, bringing the group to the attention of Capitol Records, where the bandleader had a longstanding relationship. Thus began a long and fruitful relationship with the label, initially under the guidance of arranger Pete Rugolo -- gigs followed on The Steve Allen Show (then one of the top-rated entertainment showcases on television) and with Ray Anthony's band; they also managed to make an appearance in the MGM movie Rich, Young and Pretty.
Their first hit single was "It's a Blue World," released in 1952, and they enjoyed further success with "Mood Indigo" (1954), "Day By Day" (1955), and "Graduation Day" (1956). They released their first LP, Voices in Modern, in 1955 (and some dozen more 12" discs over the next five years); that album was as impressive a jazz document as it was a vocal pop effort, showcasing the group members' playing as well as their singing and showing that these guys had lots of complex musical strings in their bow. It was on these albums that the quartet also showed itself to be a very smart outfit, not just in musical terms but logistically as well. Rather than simply doing any 12 songs that might have been working well in its stage act, the group made these releases into conceptual works, either musically (built around the sounds achieved by combinations of the group's sound and specific accompaniments, such as Four Freshmen and 5 Trombones, Four Freshmen and Five Guitars, etc.) or as thematic arrays of songs (such as Voices in Love and Voices in Latin).
This approach to devising and creating albums (which paralleled the kind of work that Frank Sinatra was doing concurrently on the same label) would have an influence on groups like the Beach Boys that was nearly as important as their harmony sound; it's also an important reason why, in combination with their virtuosity, their albums have held up so well across 40 years. Their sound and range were helped by the fact that their benefactor, Kenton, was on the same label, which made it possible for them to record together on occasion. Most of their late-'50s albums were good sellers -- most have been reissued several times on vinyl and CD -- and they had no shortage of top bookings and top pay to keep them going into the early '60s.
There were membership changes along the way -- Kratzsch left in the spring of 1953, to be replaced by Ken Errair who, in turn, was succeeded by Ken Albers in April of 1956, while Don Barbour left in 1960, replaced by Bill Comstock. That lineup lasted intact for nearly 13 years, into the 1970s, but by that time the group's influence had faded to almost nothing. The Four Freshmen had managed to stay competitive with other pop acts through the mid-'60s, and even got a very visible boost from the Beach Boys, in the form of Brian Wilson's frequent expressions of admiration for the quartet as part of his inspiration behind putting together the rock & roll group's sound, but following the arrival of the British Invasion, they were no longer anywhere near the cutting edge of pop music. They continued to record and perform, even assimilating such contemporary songs as Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," but they were effectively relegated to the "easy listening" stations. Their contract with Capitol ended in 1964, and the group's last affiliation with a major label was in the second half of the decade with Liberty Records, which yielded four LPs but no hits. By 1977, Bob Flanigan was the last original member, and he retired in 1992.
New lineups of the group have continued to perform into the 21st century, however, and are considered an artistically valid ensemble -- in 2000 the Four Freshmen were voted Vocal Group of the Year by Down Beat magazine's readers. And in 2001, no less a label than Mosaic Records -- the company that issues complete catalogs of jazz legends going back to the 1930s, in deluxe packaging -- released a multi-CD box of the Four Freshmen's complete 1950s recordings, proudly (and even defiantly, given the label's catalog) proclaiming the quartet's validity as a jazz outfit. ~ Bruce Eder, All Music Guide
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Review: Two classic albums on one CD. Twenty four songs include 'Laughing On The Outside', 'Speak Low', 'Love', 'The Night We Called It a Day', 'Guilty', 'The Last Time I Saw Paris'.
Songlist: Angel Eyes, Love Is Just Around the Corner, Mam' selle, Speak Low, The Last Time I Saw Paris, Somebody Loves Me, You Stepped Out of a Dream, I Remember You, Love, Our Love Is Here to Stay, You Make Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It), , Guilty, Easy Street, Ev'ry TIme We Say Goodbye, Laughing on the Outside (Crying on the Inside), After You've Gone, Good-Bye, There Will Never Be Another You, Got a Date with an Angel, Something in the Wind, Someone Like You, The Night We Called It a Day, Give Me the Simple Life, Goodnight Sweetheart
Review: Let's take a moment right now to bless the record company executive who first came up with the idea to put two classic LPs on one CD. That said, here's one with a particularly wonderful pair of Four Freshmen recordings, …And Five Saxes, & …And Five Guitars. We know we needn't go into the 4F being discovered in 1950 by Stan Kenton in an Ohio lounge, or how they became one of the most influential and popular vocal jazz groups of all time. The very cool thing about this collection is the songs that appear on no other 4F CD that we carry: 'East of the Sun,' 'I May Be Wrong,' 'There's No One But You,' 'Sometimes I'm Happy,' 'This Love of Mine,' 'I Get Along Without You Very Well,' 'The More I See You,' 'This October,' 'Don't Worry 'Bout Me,' 'It All Depends On You,' 'I Never Knew' and 'Nancy.' This is slow-dance music: 24 songs, all gently accompanied, sweetly romantic, bright, light, tight-harmonied, 'rainy day' jazz!
Songlist: Liza, You've Got Me Cryin' Again, This Can't Be Love, The Very Thought Of You, East of the Sun, I May Be Wrong, There's No One But You, Sometimes I'm Happy, For All We Know, Lullaby in Rhythm, This Love Of Mine, I Get Along Without You Very Well, Rain, The More I See You, This October, Don't Worry 'Bout Me, It's A Pity To Say Goodnight, Oh Lonely Winter, It All Depends On You, Nancy (With The Laughing Face), I Never Knew, Invitation, I Understand, Come Rain or Come Shine
Review: The Four Freshmen were signed to Capitol afer auditioning for the label in 1950, an audition set up for them courtesy of bandleader Stan Kenton, who had heard them when they were appearing at the Esquire Lounge in Denton, Ohio. The band's history is described in detail in the booklet included with the CD, which contains twenty-one Freshmen tunes (all accompanied) from their Capitol Records years, commencing in 1952. Contains the best-known hits 'Graduation Day,' 'Day by Day,' 'Poinciana,' 'Route 66,' 'Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring,' 'It's A Blue World,' and so many more. The Four Freshmen, who played all of their own instruments, were the sound of the 1950's.
Songlist: It's A Blue World, The Day Isn't Long Enough, Poinciana, It Happened Once Before, Please Remember, We'll Be Together Again, Mood Indigo, It Never Occurred To Me, Day By Day, How Can I Tell Her, Charmaine, In This Whole Wide World, Angel Eyes, Love Is Just Around The Corner, Graduation Day, Whistle Me Some Blues, It Could Happen To You, Candy, Route 66, Their Hearts were Full Of Spring, And So It's Over
Review: Recorded in 1962 as part of a Public Service series sponsored by the U.S. Navy for radio broadcast, this recording includes many the Four Freshmen standards-'Day By Day,' 'Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring,' 'Route 66'-as well as some lesser known songs. Their trademark voicings made the group a popular favorite; they recorded over twenty albums for Capitol alone! Their likeable onstage persona can be heard on 'Once In Love With Amy,' a novelty number that sounds like singer Ross Barbour is on helium. 'Somebody Loves Me' and 'Taps Miller' are swung at a speed that is vivace going on dangerous-'Taps' features a challenging scat performance, while 'Somebody Loves Me' has a rubato turn of phrase that is a clever device.
Songlist: Day By Day, Lulu's Back In Town, Polka Dots And Moonbeams, Teach Me Tonight, (It's Only A) Paper Moon, This October, Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring, Candy, Once In Love With Amy, Show Me The Way To Get Out Of This World, Fools Rush In, Somebody Loves Me, Taps Miller, Route 66, In This Whole Wide World
Review: OK, first we have to admit once again to our bias for compilation CDs like this-24 songs, two LPs worth, digitally remastered so they're smooth and clean-sounding as you please. Two classic Four Freshmen lps from their bright, jazzy 1960s' prime, the romantic 'First Affair' and the upbeat, funny 'Voices in Fun'-what could be better? 'Please Be Kind,' 'At Last,' 'Polka Dots and Moonbeams,' 'Long Ago and Far Away,' 'Be Careful It's My Heart' and the title tune-these are slow dance anthems to fall in love to. 'I Want to Be Happy,' 'Ole Buttermilk Sky,' 'You Make Me Feel So Young,' the silly 'Save the Bones For Henry Jones,' 'On The Sunny Side of the Street,' 'Manana,' 'Aren't You Glad You're You' and 'Happy Talk'-these are joyous, feel good tunes featuring the 4F's trademark butter-smooth jazz/pop harmonies. All accompanied. Too much good stuff!
Songlist: Please Be Kind, I Hadn't Anyone Till You, At Last, I Didn't Know About You, Polka Dots And Moonbeams, I'm Beginning To See The Light, Long Ago And Far Away, I've Never Been In Love Before, Be Careful It's My Heart, I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me, First Affair, I Want To Be HAppy , Old Buttermilk Sky, I Can't Give Yo u Anything But Love, You Make Me Feel So Young, Save The Bones For Henry Jones, Swinging On A Star, On The Sunny Side Of The Street, Manana, On The Atchison Topeka And The Santa Fe, Aren't You Glad Your You, Happy Talk, Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive, It's A New World
The First Noel
Review: The last CD featuring original member Bob Flanigan and the arrangements of Dick Reynolds, this mostly-accompanied CD (listen to the spectacular 'trombone choir' on 'Silent Night'!) was recorded in 1992. The Freshmen have become a sort of post-graduate institution for singers everywhere; their approach to chord voicings - dropping the root of a five-part chord, and the ingenious placement of the remaining notes - galvanized audiences and critics alike. Phil Mattson contributes an arrangement of 'I'll Be Home For Christmas,' showing his respect, while 'And The Bells Rang' chimes brightly with the excitement of this very special 'Freshmas'!
Songlist: Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town, We Wish you a Merry Christmas, I'll Be Home For Christmas, White Christmas, Christmas Song, And the Bells Rang, The First Noel, Away in a Manger, We Three Kings, Silent Night, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Review: Twenty-five (previously unreleased on CD), songs from the Four Freshmen to commemorate their fiftieth, compiled by the group themselves! The group worked with the great arrangers and songwriters of their era, and exemplified the vocal jazz sound that has been so frequently emulated since: rich, lush and opulent, with harmonies so close they are painted-on! Their first single, 'Then I'll Be Happy,' opens the CD, followed by the first song they recorded by the great Bobby Troup: 'Now You Know.' 'Baltimore Oriole,' written by Hoagy Carmichael, features the sinewy lead vocal of Don Barbour, and is real Americana. Billy Strayhorn's 'Chelsea Bridge' merges with Afro-Cuban percussion (most of the record is accompanied to one degree or another) and shows the group stretching their sound by adding elements from other styles. 'I Will Wait For You' is introduced by a brash trumpet solo and swings to an active bass line; released in 1969, the 'sixties influence is evident. Some of the songs have different mixes than those previously heard on Four Freshmen records; the group's intent is to offer something new, and shall we say, fresh? This CD is a wonderful holiday gift!
Songlist: Then I'll Be Happy, Now You Know, Tuxedo Junction, Baltimore Oriole, Love Turns Winter To Spring, The Nearness Of You, I'll Be Seeing You, Chelsea Bridge, Star Eyes, Invitation, Rain, First Affair, Please Be Kind, The Freshman Year, Opus One, Imagination, Tom Dooley, Act 3, Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone, Once In Love With Amy, Moon River, Its A Blue World/By The Time I Get To Phoenix Medley, I Will Wait For You, Misty Roses, Old Friends
Review: Of course there's the story of the four 20-year-olds who called themselves the Toppers at Butler U., of their discovery by Stan Kenton and all that. But all the brouhaha in 1950, continuing up into the 1990s, was about the smooth, harmonic sound of the Four Freshmen and there are 10 sweet slices of that on this CD. All 10 are beautifully crafted (accompanied) beauties, and it's hard to pick favorites: 'Graduation Day,' their biggest hit, bops us right in the nostalgia bone; 'Poinciana,' 'It's A Blue World,' 'In This Whole Wide World,' 'The Day Isn't Long Enough,' 'Lovin' You,' 'Everytime You Touch Me' and 'In You' are all treats. Yum
Songlist: Graduation Day, Poinciana, It's a Blue World, In This Whole WIde World, The Day Isn't Long Enough, I've Never Loved Anyone More, Lovin' You, Everytime You Touch Me (I Get High), In You, Carnival of Live
Review: There are 10 classic Four Freshmen songs here: 'Graduation Day,' 'Day by Day,' 'It's A Blue World,' 'Charmaine,' 'Poinciana,' 'Satin Doll,' 'Lullaby of Birdland,' 'I'm Gonna Go Fishin',' 'Do Nothing 'Til You Hear From Me' and 'When My Sugar Walks Down The Street,' all from the original studio recordings. Every song is one of the 4F's biggest hits, as opposed to their other CDs, where every song merely sounds like it's one of their biggest hits. The point is, the 4F are incapable of doing a bad song or cover, so buy with confidence, and enjoy!
Songlist: Graduation Day, Day By Day, It's a Blue World, Charmaine, Pionciana, Satin Doll, Lullaby of Birdland, I'm Gonna Go Fishin', Do Nothin' 'Til You Hear From Me, When My Sugar Walks Down the Street
Review: The liner notes merely tell us that 'In Concert' was recorded in the early sixties, probably at a number of live performances. The signature tight, bright harmonies are there, lightly accompanied by what sounds like an excellent jazz combo, but in fact are the 4F themselves, which always prompts the question: how can these guys sing so well and play instruments at the same time? There are 11 songs, mostly of the 'torch song' variety: 'You've Got Me Crying Again,' 'I'm Always Chasing Rainbows,' 'Love Lost,' 'There Will Never Be Another You,' 'Polka Dots and Moonbeams,' 'How Can I Tell Her,' 'Angel Eyes,' 'Blues In The Night,' 'Fools Rush In,' 'Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring' and 'In This Whole Wide World.' The electricity of a live performance, while losing none of the excellent recording quality and tone–music to slow dance to!
Songlist: You've Got Me Crying Again, I'm Always Chasing Rainbows, Love Lostwomens, There Will Never Be Another You, Polka Dots and Moonbeams, How Can I Tell Her, Angel Eyes, Blues In the Night, Fools Rush In, Their Hearts Were Full of Spring, In This Whole Wide World
Review: We are big fans of the Four Freshmen, whose clean, jazz/pop sound made them popular stars in the 1950s and 60s. 'In Person/Voices and Brass' is another 2 remastered lps on one CD deal, 'In Person' having been recorded live in 1958, and 'Voices' in a recording studio in 1960. All accompanied, but the focus is on the Four's marvelous harmonies. 26 songs, 'Somebody Loves Me,' 'Day By Day,' their trademark 'It's a Blue World,' 'Them There Eyes,' 'Route 66,' 'It Had to Be You,' 'Pennies from Heaven' and 'Autumn Leaves' are particularly fine. A great collection by the legendary 4 Freshmen that contrasts their entertaining and very funny live performances with their flawless studio recording technique.
Songlist: Somebody Loves Me, In This Whole Wide World, Holiday, Sweet Lorraine, You've Got Me Cryin' Again, My Heart Stood Still, Old Folks, Day by Day, Malaya, Indian Summer, Them There Eyes, Circus, Its a Blue World, Mr. B's Blues, Voices and Brass:, Stella by Starlight, Route 66, I had the Craziest Dream, I'm Glad There Is You, It Had to Be You, Laura, Candy, Lonely for My Love, Pennies from heaven, Never Again, Sunday, Autumn Leaves
That Old Feeling
Review: Brian Eichenberger, Curtis Calderon, Vince Johnson and Bob Ferreira, the 'new' Four Freshmen, play their own instruments on this sweet-sounding studio recording, which was produced by The Four Freshmen Society. OK, the album is all accompanied, but the smooth, bright, tight-knit harmonies that, for us, define the best of 50s and 60s Vocal Jazz, are here in spades. 11 well-chosen covers, standards such as Cole Porter's 'It's All Right With Me,' Mercer's moody 'Skylark,' his lesser-known, bluesy 'Early Autumn' and his more upbeat 'Something's Gotta Give;' Harold Arlen's 'If I Only Had a Brain,' 'September Song' (with a nice a cappella intro), and the hits just keep on coming with 'That Old Feeling' and 'You've Changed.' The sound that launched dozens of top 40 hits, made millions fall in love while slow dancing, and influenced every male Vocal Jazz quartet that came after the 4Fs is sounding as new, and as fresh, as ever!
Songlist: It's All Right With Me, My One And Only Love, Skylark, If Only I Had A Brain, Early Autumn, Something's Gotta Give, How Do You Keep The Music Playing, That Old Feeling, September Song, If I Had You, You've Changed
Review: Recorded Live on October 18th, 1971 at the Ft. Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, FL featuring Hen Albers, Ross Barbour, Bill Comstock and Bob Flanigan. The show opened with 'Day In, Day Out' and showcased throughout the evening a sampling of the songs that successed these four guys such as: 'Girl Talk', 'Day By Day', and 'Angel Eyes'. Comedy relief and a gulf full of great tunes make the night complete. Here are a few more tunes to wet the palate a temptation more: 'Graduation Day', 'Sweet Lorraine', 'it's A Blue Day', and 'We'll Be Together Again'. If you are a lover of live music this is an epic event to add to your collection! Warning, This cd does not come unaccompanied.
Songlist: Day In, Day Out, Freshmen Introduction, Misty Roses, Bird Avenue, Girl Talk, Day By Day, Come Back To Me, In This Whole Wide World, Angel Eyes, Route 66, I Can Sing A Rainbow, Poinciana, Candy, Teach Me Tonight, Graduation Day, Beautiful Friendship, Sweet Lorraine, Polka Dots and Moonbeams, It's A Blue World, We'll Be Together Again
Review: Local boys make good (jazz), and Butler is where, in 1947, Ross Barbour, his brother Don, their cousin Bob Flanigan and buddy Hal Kratzsch formed a quartet called the Toppers when they were freshmen there. They became the Four Freshmen after their discovery by Kenton at Denton, Ohio's Esquire Lounge. Stan celebrates his discovery with a delighted audience in this 1986 recording (originally a 2-record set) that includes 18 smooth and smokin' (all accompanied) jazz hits, from 'There Will Never Be Another You,' 'After You,' 'Byrd Avenue,' 'Girl Talk' and 'When The Feeling Hits You' to 'Walk On By,' 'Brand New Key,' 'Teach Me Tonight,' 'Summer Has Gone,' 'Come Back To Me' and 'Walk Softly.' All present are having big fun, and so, listening in, are we!
Songlist: *with Stan Kenton and his Orchestra*, There Will Never Be another You, After You, Byrd Avenue, Surfer Girl, Girl Talk, When the Feeling Hits You, Walk On By, What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?, Brand New Key, A Beautiful Friendship, Teach Me Tonight, Summer Has Gone, Hymn To Her, Come Back To Me, It's Not Unusual, She'll Be Coming Around The Mountain, Walk Softly, Artistry In Rhythm
I Left My Heart In San Francisco
Review: This is another of those wonderful 2 lps on one CD compilations. We particularly like that they print the original covers (these two from 1963 and 1964), back and front, on the liner notes. All that wouldn't mean much if the music wasn't wonderful, and of course Four Freshmen sing first class, influential vocal jazz. There are 11 songs on 'More,' songs like 'Hello, Dolly,' 'Midnight Sun,' 'The Girl from Ipanema,' 'Days of Wine and Roses,' 'More,' 'Misty,' 'What Kind of Fool Am I?,' and 'Second Time Around.' 'In Person' has 'Route 66,' 'Poinciana,' 'Moon River,' 'Once In Love With Amy,' 'Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone,' 'Blues In The Night,' and 'And So It's Over.' 23 slices of the bright, jazzy FF sound, smooth stunning harmonies, incredible arrangements–this CD is a treat!
Songlist: Hello Dolly!, I Left My Heart In San Francisco, Midnight Sun, The Girl From Ipanema, Days Of Wine and Roses, Call Me Irresponsible, More, Misty, A Taste Of Honey, What Kind Of Fool Am I?, Second Time Around, Route 66, Poinciana, You Came A Long Way From St Louis, Moon River, Take Your Shoes Off Baby, Once In Love With Amy, Wail For The Bread, Please Don't Talk About Me When I've Gone, Act 111, Santa Claus Is Flat Gonna Come To Town, Blues In The Night, And So It's Over
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Review: The 'new' Four Freshmen bring us a smooth, upbeat, jazzy collection of 13 Christmas standards, lightly accompanied by guitar, acoustic bass, drums and group member Curtis Calderon on trumpet. But 'Snowfall' remains a great Christmas album because of the Freshmen's trademark blend of seamless, bright harmonies that simply make us feel good to listen to. Just listen to the 4F nail the flawlessly arranged 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,' 'Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland,' 'I'll Be Home for Christmas,' the bluenote 'My Favorite Things,' 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas,' the moody title tune, 'Let It Snow,' 'A Child is Born,' 'Oh, Holy Night' and the requisite 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,' and notice that you are in fact having one, even though it might only be July. The Freshmen are all about classic romantic tunes, slow dancing, falling in love and white Christmases, so give 'Snowfall' to yourself or a loved one and enjoy!
Songlist: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Walkin' In A Winter Wonderland, Christmas Is Here, I'll Be Home For Christmas, My Favorite Things, White Christmas, Snowfall, It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, The Christmas Song, Let It Snow, A Child Is Born, Oh Holy Night, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Review: Under the direction of original Freshman Bob Flanigan, this recent release (on Pat Boone's independent label, no less) maintains the quality of the original group, with an absolute allegiance to the unmistakable chord voicings of their style! Accompanied, with the group members playing their own instruments in Frosh tradition, songs such as 'Walkin' My Baby Back Home' and 'Straighten Up And Fly Right' will have you reveling with joy. 'Meaning Of The Blues' (written by Bobby Troup) and 'Moonlight In Vermont' are redolent with a liquid sensuality that hasn't lost its magic after all these years.
Songlist: My Shining Hour, Moonlight in Vermont, Get Out of Town, Where Do You Start?, Straighten Out And Fly Right, Unforgettable, More Love, Close Enough For Love, Once In Awhile, Meaning of the Blues, Walkin' My Baby Back Home
Review: We return to the 60's with the legendary Four Freshmen, where they spent most of the decade and had a half-dozen LPs released on the Liberty label, none of which have come out on CD. So, thoughtfully, Collector's Choice Music picked the 24 best tracks from those albums, including 7 from the hard-to-find LP 'Four Freshmen in Tokyo,' and put them on 'The Liberty Years' at a great price. Includes 'It's Not Unusual,' 'A Man and a Woman,' 'Everyday People,' 'I Will Wait for You,' 'Walk On By,' 'Fools Rush In,' 'Byrd Avenue,' 'Michelle,' 'California My Way,' 'Shadow of Your Smile,' 'When the Feeling Hits You,' 'The Wonderful World of Color,' 'Love Is a Happy Thing,' 'Daydream,' 'Cherish/Windy' medley, 'Come Fly with Me/Up, Up and Away' medley, 'It's a Blue World/By the Time I Get to Phoenix' medley, 'Misty Roses,' 'My Special Angel,' 'Old Friends,' 'Winchester Cathedral,' 'Canadian Sunset,' 'Girl Talk' and 'A Beautiful Friendship.' Most of these don't appear on any other 4F CD. If you were there in the 60's (even if you remember nothing), this collection is for you.
Songlist: It's Not Unusual, A Man and a Woman, Everyday People, I Will Wait for You, Walk On By, Fools Rush In, Byrd Avenue, Michelle, California My Way, Shadow of your Smile, When The feeling Hits you, The Wonderful World of Color, Love is A Happy Thing, Daydream, Medley: Cherish/Windy, Medley: Come Fly With Me/Up-up and away, Medley: It's a Blue World/By the time I get to Phoenix, Misty Roses, My Special Angel, Old Friends, Winchester Cathedral, Canadian Sunset, Girl Talk, A Beautiful Friendship
Review: It's a twofer! Two classic albums are included on this CD of one of the great male quartets of the twentieth century! Their ability to maintain perfect intervals in vertical harmony is legendary. Fortunately the legend lives anew as almost every one of their tremendous discography has now been remastered for CD. Actually, it's amazing that 'Stars In Our Eyes' and 'The Swingers' haven't been released until now. The songs released originally on the album 'Stars In Our Eyes' are the first twelve tunes. Each of them is a testimonial of regard for the other artists of their day who helped to create the cultural climate which saw the Four Freshmen rise to stardom. They sing songs made famous by The Four Coins, The Ames Brothers, The Four Lads, The Modernaires, The DeCastros, The Mills Brothers, The Hi-Los, The Brothers Four, The Andrews Sisters, and the King Sisters. There is even one of the rare a cappella tunes, 'Tom Dooley,' which was responsible for catapulting the Kingston Trio to instant acclaim. On the second half of this fabulous reissue, the music ranges from smoothly swinging Frosh-styled ballads to several tunes which used to be strictly big-band instrumentals like Duke Ellington's 'Satin Doll,' Count Basie's famous 'Taps Miller,' and 'Dynaflow' which was a Stan Kenton/Art Pepper original. Those as well as the jazz 'national anthem,' 'Lullaby of Birdland,' are done as wordless vocals, utilizing syllables instead of lyrics. Among all the songs on this production is a complete purview of one of the great vocal jazz quartets of all times.
Songlist: Shangri-La, Sentimental Me, Standing On the Corner, The Lamplighter's Serenade, Teach Me Tonight, Tom Dooley, Opus One, I Thought About You, Green Fields, Love Is A Many Splendored Thing, In Apple Blossom Time, Imagination, Lulu's Back in Town, Li'l Darlin', Let's Take A Walk Around the Block, Dynaflow, Do Nothin' Til You Hear From Me, Spring Isn't Spring Without You, Taps Miller, When My Sugar Walks Down the Street, Satin Doll, This Could Be the Start of Something, Lullaby of Birdland, I'm Gonna Go Fishin'
Review: Two re-released CD's from one of the greatest vocal jazz groups of all time. What's even more amazing is that the 'Frosh,' as they were affectionately known, played their own instruments! Their characteristic voicings are unmistakeable, written in part by mellophone and trumpet player Ken Albers (the rest, by Dick Reynolds and Pete Rugelo). The Latin spin is, dare we say, fresh; 'Chelsea Bridge' (written by Billy Strayhorn), 'What's New' and 'Mine' (Gershwin) are uniquely interpreted, the elegant and colorful rhythms a vivid infusion. 'The Freshmen Year' begins with the title track, where the four voices introduce the verse with step-wise motion, announcing their arrival; it's a frequently-used Freshmen trick. 'Fools Rush In' is an advanced lesson in phrasing - listen how they slide into the line and then stop it staccato. 'I'm Getting Sentimental Over You' is precision vertical harmony, the voices in lock-step, a contract to the Bob Flanigan solo lead on 'Show Me The Way To Get Out Of This World' (he also handles bass and trombone duties). 'My Funny Valentine' is almost spoken, rather than sung, poignantly articulated by Don Barbour, without harmonic relief of any sort from his fraternity; a wrenching performance.
Songlist: Frenesi, If I Should Lose You, Granada, Yesterdays, Tangerine, What's New, Brazil, Chelsea Bridge, Mine, Star Eyes, The Breeze And I, Again, The Freshman Year, Fools Rush In, Where Do I Go From Here, I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You, It Happens Every Spring, Show Me The Way To Get Out Of This World ('Cause That's Where Everything Is), Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring, If I Knew Then, My Funny Valentine, It's Only A Paper Moon, But Beautiful, Dream
I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
Review: A two CD value-priced collection that includes 24 songs (most of which are accompanied), and how gorgeous they are. These standards ('I'm Always Chasing Rainbows,' 'It Could Happen to You,' 'I'm a Fool to Want You' amongst them) are the sketchpads on which the Freshmen practice their vocal art, their harmonic palette filled with rich hues that create a unique tonal interplay. Their approach produced a legacy that is still influencing the vocal groups of today.
Songlist: I'm Always Chasing Rainbows, There Is No Greater Love, Moonlight, It Could Happen to You, Out of Nowhere, In the Still of the Night, I'll Remember April, While You Are Gone, Warm, Time Was (Duerme), You're All I See, I Heard You Cried Last Night (And So Did I), Love Lost, Spring Is Here, I'm a Fool to Want You, I Should Care, I Could Have Told You, If I Ever Love Again, The Gal That Got Away, When Your Lover Has Gone, I Wish I Didn't Love You So, I Wish I Knew, I'll Never Smile Again, Little Girl Blue
Street of Dreams
Review: 'Voices/Funny' by The Four Freshmen is another of those 2-LPs-on-one-CD re-releases that we love so much. That's particularly true in this case, as the Freshmen were such an influential jazz/pop group, with a smooth sound that kept the Freshmen high on the charts from the early 1950s, when 'Voices in Modern' was recorded, into the mid-60s, when 'Funny ' was recorded. All 23 cuts are accompanied, but these songs are the very definition of 'classic:' 'Over the Rainbow,' 'My Heart Stood Still,' 'The Nearness of You,' 'Stormy Weather,' 'Mood Indigo,' 'It's A Blue World,' 'Funny How Time Slips Away,' 'Graduation Day,' 'Charade,' 'Wake the Town and Tell the People'…great stuff by composers like Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington and Henry Mancini. And the Freshmen's bright, upbeat sound is such that their covers of these songs are the ones that people remember and associate with the songs. This is a great collection of hits by a group whose work influenced jazz/pop music and generations of musicians!
Songlist: After You, Over the Rainbow, My Heart Stood Still, The Nearness of You, Holiday, Stormy Weather, We'll Be Together Again, Circus, Mood Indigo, It Happened Once Before, It's a Blue World, Funny How Time Slips Away, Graduation Day, Do You Really Love Me, Tears in Our Eyes, Hold Me, We've Got a World That Swings, Don't Make Me Sorry, My Baby's Gone, Charade, Looking Over My Shoulder, Wake the Town and Tell the People, Street of Dreams
Review: 'Easy Street' is a rare treat, an opportunity to see the Four Freshmen (Bob Flanigan, Ken Albers and the Barbour brothers, Don and Ross) in their prime, in a live (black and white) performance on the Ray Anthony show in 1956! Featured are 21 of the 4F's favorite pop hits: 'Day By Day,' 'You're So Far Above Me,' 'Charmaine,' 'Got A Date With an Angel,' The Day Isn't Long Enough,' 'How Do You Like Your Eggs in the Morning,' 'Someone Like You,' 'Graduation Day,' 'There'll Never Be Another You,' the title tune, and our personal favorite, 'It's a Blue World.' The four play their own instruments, or act in little skits, singing 'You Stepped Out of a Dream' to a librarian who tries to keep her composure, for instance. It's a corny 1956 variety show, the Four Freshmen are singing with their bright, fresh sound and ringing harmonies, and we've got a front-row seat!'
Songlist: Day By Day, You're So Far Above Me, Love Is Just Around the Corner, You Stepped Out of a Dream, Charmaine, Got a Date with an Angel, Easy Street, After You've Gone, Somebody Loves Me, It's a Blue World, He Who Loves and Runs Away, Crazy Bones, The Day Isn't Long Enough, How Do You Like Your Eggs in the Morning?, Someone Like You, We'll Be Together Again, This Can't Be Love, Graduation Day, Frosty the Snowman, Love Turns Winter to Spring, There'll Never Be Another You
Review: Bob Flanigan, one of the founding members of the legendary Four Freshmen, is on the stage in Las Vegas for this live, 23 song performance of the new incarnation of the 4Fs, Brian, Curtis, Vince and Bob, before a very appreciative audience. Where Flanigan and his mates would perform with a single member on the guitar, and often perform and record with a jazz band (such as Stan Kenton's) or orchestra, the new 4Fs play their own instruments, guitar, trumpet, bass and drums. But their voices are what makes this dvd special. The original Four Freshmen (founded at Butler U. in 1948) had a marvelous, era-defining, tight-harmonied tenor sound that sold millions of records and influenced every vocal jazz group that followed--and these four men simply nail it. So don't be put off by the fact that they are posing, very confidently, on the cover of 'Live' holding their instruments. Instead, sit back and enjoy the show's amazing vocal harmony and wonderful jazz selections! Some favorites are the standards 'Day In, Day Out,' 'Invitation,' 'Young and Foolish,' 'If I Only Had A Brain,' 'Angel Eyes,' 'Something's Gotta Give,' 'If I Had You,' 'Blue World,' 'September Song,' 'After You've Gone' and 'We'll Be Together Again.' A top-drawer show, and a great new incarnation of one of our favorite groups!
Songlist: Introduction (Bob Flanigan), Day In, Day Out, You Stepped Out Of A Dream, Invitation, Young and Foolish, You've Got Me Cryin' Again, If Only I Had A Brain, Angel Eyes, Somebody Loves Me, Mamselle, Something's Gotta Give, Skylark, That Old Feelin', If I Had You, You've Changed, There Will Never Be Another You, It's A Blue World, September Song, Rain, Indian Summer, How Do You Keep The Music Playing, After You've Gone, We'll Be Together Again
Review: 'Love Lost' is a collective work by Bob Flanigan, Don and Ross Barbour and Ken Albers. 'Oh, Lonely Winter' is from the Four Freshmen and Five Guitars Capitol record album. Lyrics by Bill Comstock and music by Ken Albers. 'This October' is considered one of the greatest of all hits of the Four Freshmen. 'I'll Remember April' was recorded on the Voices in Love albums, this great arrangement by Dick Reynolds is one of the all-time favorites. The cappella arrangement of Indian Summer by Nelson Riddle is stunning.
Songlist: Indian Summer, Love Lost, Oh, Lonely Winter, This October, I'll Remember April