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Vocal Jazz Group Recordings

The only thing better than sitting in a small, intimate club, listening to a smooth vocal jazz group deliver powerful music is taking that group's music away with you, sticking it into the CD player, and enjoying it in the privacy of your own home. With sounds so warm you can wrap yourselves in them like a comfy afghan, whether you're a fan of male groups, female groups or those who have the best of both worlds ˆ male and female voices - you'll find at least one group whose music you want to take home and cuddle up to here.

Displaying 201-250 of 261 items.


Swingle Singers : American Look

Review: Reissue of the classic 1969 release on Philips featuring the arrangements of Ward Swingle of classic American songs.

Songlist: Country Dances, When Jesus Wept, Negro Spirituals, Patriotic Songs, He's Gone Away, Saints Fugue, Stephen Foster Medley, Porgy And Bess Suite

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7676 | 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : Anthology (Box Set)

Review: Here's a great selection of classic Swingle Singers at an excellent price. Box set includes four otherwise out-of-print album releases including A Cappella Amadeus, Bach Hits Bach, 1812 and Around The World. A collection of top notch vocal jazz with those fabulous arrangements that define the "Swingle Sound".

Songlist: A Cappella Amadeus, Bach Hits Bach, 1812, Around the World

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2070 | 4 CDs | $26.95 | A Cappella |


Swingle Singers : Anyone For Mozart, Bach, Handel, Vivaldi?

Review: This is the second CD which, along with Jazz Sebastian Bach, are the rereleases of the early Les Swingle Singers who were a world renown phenomena. Ward Swingle's original intent had been to sing exact vocal versions of big band classics. All of the original octet had been classically trained musicians, most with perfect pitch. They sang Bach merely for practice to improve their sight reading and musicianship.The idea of 'swinging it' (jazzing it up) came later after the bass and drums were added. This fortuitous evolution leaves us with a wonderful compilation of "Swingleized" works by Mozart, Handel, Vivaldi and Bach, mostly Mozart's and Bach's work.

Songlist: Sonata No. 15 (Mozart), Ah! Vous Dirais-Je Maman (Mozart), Allegro (Sonata No.14, Mozart), Fugue (Sonata No. 37, Mozart), Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart), Badinerie (Bach), Air (Harpsichord Suite In E, Handel), Gigue (Cello Suite In C, Bach), Largo (Harpsichord Concerto In F, Bach), Prelude No. 19 (Well Tempered Clavier, Bach) , Preambule (Partitia No. 5 in G, Bach) , Fugue (Estro Harmonico, Op.3, No.11, Vivaldi), Prelude No. 7 (Well Tempered Clavier, Bach) , Solfeggietto (Bach), Der Fruhling (Bach), Prelude No. 24 (Well Tempered Clavier, Bach)

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6211 | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : Around the World Folk Songs

Review: Simply put, the early success of Ward Swingle's Singers in the world of jazz is a result of their applying scat singing (a vocal technique using nonsense syllables started by Louis Armstrong in 1926 when his songsheet with the words fell on the floor while recording) to incongruous well-known music, such as the orchestral and organ music of J.S. Bach. In "Around The World" the Swingles apply scat to folk songs from around the world with a result as fresh and surprising as their first hit, "Bach Hits Back." The instruments they scat in this generous, sumptious CD (over an hour, 20 songs) include flutes of the Andes on the lovely opening cut, "Cachapaya," the banjo in the American medley "Country Dances" and the didgeridoo in a lilting "Waltzing Matilda." The combination of words and vocal "instruments" create another winning, unique sound for the Swingles. Some other favorites: "Star of the County Down" from Ireland, Scotland's "Loch Lomond," "The Ash Grove" from Wales, "Joshua fought the battle of Jericho," England's haunting "Bushes and Briars"... actually, there's not a weak track here!

Songlist: Cachapaya (Peru), Star of the County Down (Ireland), El paisanito (Argentina), De punta y taco (Chile), The Ash Grove (Wales), David of the White Rock (Wales), The Drunken Sailor (England), Ciao bella ciao (Italy), L'Amour de moi (France), Country Dances (USA), Waltzing Matilda (Austrailia), Danny boy (Ireland), Charlie is My Darling (Scotland), Loch Lomond (Scotland), The Salley Gardens (England), Joshua fought the battle of Jericho Spiritual, Viel Freuden mit sich bringet (Germany), Bushes and Briers (England), Sakkijarven Polka( Finland), Vem kan segla (Sweden)

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6208 | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : Bach Hits Back / A Cappella Amadeus

Review: Over thirty years ago Ward Swingle and Les Swingle Singers gained international acclaim for their first album Jazz Sebastian Bach on which they classically scatted their way into history. The repertoire at the time was mostly fugues and chorales. In musically returning to their roots the new Swingle singers not only sing the still popular fugues and chorales but explore many more aspects of Bach's writing as befits their expanded horizons after so many years of exploration. So you will find major choral works, a solo violin sonata and orchestral works in addition, not all sung in the original scat style.

Songlist: Ein'Fest Burg, Organ Fugue, The Well-Timpered Clavier, Sleepers Awake, Wachet Auf, Liebster Jesu, Wir Sind Hier, In Dulci Jubilo, Sonata No. 2, Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, Sheep May Safely Graze, Badinerie, The Well-Tempered Clavier, Three-Part Invention, Et Resurrexit, Bist Du Bie Mir, Blute Nur, Du Liebes Herz, Organ Fugue, Air On A G String, Little Organ Fugue, Es Ist Genug, Die Zauberflote: Overture, Symphony No. 40, Ave Verum Corpus, String Quartet In G Major: Finale, Cosi Fan Tutte: Un' Aura Amorosa, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik: Finale, Horn Concerto No. 4: Finale, Don Giovanni: Canzonetta, Cosi Fan Tutte: Terzettino, Gigue , Piano Concerto No. 21: Andante, Requiem: Hostias, Requiem: Quam Olim Abrahae, Alla turca from Piano Sonata in A Major, Piano Sonata In A Major: Alla Turca Fantasia In F Minor and Major

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6209 | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs | Johann Sebastian Bach


Swingle Singers : Beauty and the Beatbox

Review: After 44 years of performing in concert and recording, the 2007 version of the Swingles are often asked how the group has changed. The answer is, slowly and naturally they have begun to add vocal percussion, which has made an exciting and indispensable impact on their live shows - and now on "Beauty and the Beatbox," the first Swingles disc where every track contains vocal percussion or human beatboxing. Shlomo, awe-inspiring beatboxer and a great friend of the group who was invited to join the group for an appearance at the London Jazz Festival in 2006, has a major and exciting presence on the album. Included in these 11 tracks are longtime Swingles favorites like "A Fifth of Beethoven, which segues into disco samples (LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade" and the BeeGees' "Stayin' Alive"), "Spain," "Adagio in G Minor," "Bolero," "Cielito Lindo," a hot cover of "Straighten Up and Fly Right" (which has some very fine faux horns), and "Piano Concerto No. 21, 2nd mvt." Besides adding a rich bass dimension to the sweet Swingles leads, Shlomo's beatboxing adds a fresh, irreverent, sassy note to this familiar material that we find very appealing-this is fun, sexy, jazzy, let-it-all-hang-out stuff. Listen to the Starsky & Hutch theme "Gotcha," Ward Swingle's arrangement of Lambert, Hendricks & Lewis's "It's Sand, Man!", and the final cut, the dynamic "Bachbeat," to get a taste of the funky, tasty new Swingles.

Songlist: A Fifth of Beethoven, Spain (I Can Recall), Dido's Lament, It's Sand, Man!, Adagio in G Minor, Bolero, Cielito Lindo, Straighten Up and Fly Right, Piano Concerto No 21, 2nd mvt, Gotcha (Theme from 'Starsky & Hutch'), Bachbeat

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7639 | 1 CD | $17.95 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : Best of

Review: A good inexpensive introduction to the group. Mostly tracks from their recordings in the 90's on Virgin Records.

Songlist: Peter Gunn, Fugue VIII From Das Wohltemperirte Clavier, Joshua fit de battle of Jericho, Rondo alla turca from Piano Sonata No. 11, Cachapaya, Andante from Sonata No. 2, Country Dances, Requiem in D minor, First movement from Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, De Punto y Taco, Air from Suite No. 3 (Air on a G String), Serenade in G 'Eine kleine Nachtmusik', The Coventry Carol, Symphony No. 40 in G minor, Organ Fugue from Fantasia and Fugue

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2216 | 1 CD | $9.95 | A Cappella |


Swingle Singers : Ferris Wheels

Review: The Swingles, the mixed-voice world-class, multiple Grammy-winning, legendary a cappella octet from London and one of our favorite Vocal Jazz groups of all time, originally broke into the Jazz scene of 1963 because of Ward Swingle's innovation. He handed his group of session singers charts for an instrumental, Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier," which led to their double Grammy hit album "Bach's Greatest Hits." There is this kind of innovation and artistry on "Ferris Wheels," which comes from the Joni Mitchell hit "Both Sides Now" ("Moons and Junes and Ferris Wheels, the dizzy, dancing way you feel"), the second of 12 wonderfully crafted songs on the album. The ethereal "Unravel," James Taylor's lazy-day, bluesy "On the 4th of July," the exquisite French adaption of the theme from "Summer of '42," "L'Ete 42," Nick Drake's stunning bluenote "River Man," Sting's powerful, waltzlike "Until," and a symphonic arrangement of Lennon/McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby" by group member Kevin Fox (who also sings lead on it). David Freeman and Joseph Hughs' "No More I Love Yous," Stevie Wonder's "Summer Soft," Billy Joel's "Goodnight My Angel" and Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows" are all beautifully arranged and performed. "Ferris Wheels" is a masterpiece by the Swingles that touches and satisfies on many levels. One of the best Jazz/Pop albums of the year and highly recommended!

Songlist: Unravel, Both Sides Now, On the 4th of July, L'ete 42, River Man, Until (A Matter of Moments), Elanor Rigby, No More "I Love You's", Flying High/ Wake Me Up When September Ends, Summer Soft, Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel), God Only Knows

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2134 | 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : Getting Romantic

Review: Ward Swingle's Grammy-winning, envelope-pushing mixed-voice octet is simply one of the best and most influential vocal groups of all time. "Romantic" is a digitally-remastered reissue of recordings made in 1967, and the fresh, effortless sound on these 11 songs delights and amazes us again. The prolific Swingles have performed and recorded in many styles, Bach to the Beatles, folk songs to film themes, but they hit the big time as a vocal jazz group and it remains in our minds their forte. Beethoven's "Scherzo" and "Allegro," Chopin's "Allegro," "Etude op. 10," "Etude op. 25," and "Waltz" are particularly marvelous. Schumann's "Short Fugue," and two by Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, "Spinning Song" and "Andante," are excellent, as are Mussorgsky's "Limoges, The Market." Rounding out the CD are two gems; "Zortzinco" by Isaac Albeniz and Schubert's "Andante." There is occasional unobtrusive light percussion and double bass. Still performing, touring and recording extensively (most recently the excellent CDs "Ticket to Ride," "Keyboard Classics," "Live in Japan" and "Mood Swings" were released on our own PAC records), it is a real treat to hear some of the Swingles' work from 37 years ago, especially with the remastering. Perfect then, perfect now!

Songlist: Scherzo (Sonata for violin and piano op. 24 No. 5 in F Major "Spring") (Ludwig van Beethoven), Allegro (Piano sonata op. 26 No. 12 in A flat major) (Ludwig van Beethoven), Etude op. 10 No. 6 in E flat major (Frederic Chopin), Etude op. 25 No. 2 in F minor (Frederic Chopin), Waltz op. 64 No. 2 in C sharp minor (Frederic Chopin), Short Fugue (Album For The Young op. 68) (Robert Schumann), Spinning Song (Songs Without Words op. 67 No. 4) (Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy), Limoges, The Market (Pictures At An Exhibition) (Modest Mussorgsky), Andante (String Quartet op. 44 No. 1 in D major) (Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy), Zortzico (Isaac Albeniz), Andante (String Quartet op. 29 No. 13 in A minor D.804 "Rosamunde") (Franz Schubert)

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4563 | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : Going Baroque

Review: Ward Swingle's Swingle Singers were formed in 1962, and stepped into the vocal jazz spotlight bigtime with the success of their first album, which was based entirely on Ward's groundbreaking vocal scat interpretations of the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. On this their second album, seven of the 12 tunes are again by Johann - but to the Swingles, their homage could only be complete if they included by works of Johann's family and friends, composers who viewed Bach as their Master. Thus we are treated to the marvelous vocal gymnastics of the Swingles on pieces by Bach's two sons, Carl and Wilhelm, Handel (spelled "Haendel" in the liner notes) and Vivaldi. We are immediately drawn into the surprising power of Bach's "Badinerie" where the voices, accompanied by light, driving jazz snare drum, dance like frantic, harmonic dragonflies over the surface of a pond for a minute and 19 seconds and then are gone. Also fun and fast-moving are Bach's "Praeambulum," and "Solfegietto in C Minor," Handel's "Allegro" and Vivaldi's "Fugue." Particularly sweet and melodic are Bach's "Largo," based on his harpsichord concerto, and Wilhelm F. Bach's "Der Fruehling." It's easy to see why the Swingles created such a sensation with their voices-as-orchestra, push-the-envelope style, which sounds as fresh and revolutionary today. We would like to imagine Bach and friends in a heavenly music room, putting on headphones and grooving on this hip homage to their music!

Songlist: Badinerie - Johann Sebastian Bach, Aria And Variations: "The Harmonious Blacksmith" (Handel), Giga- Johann Sebastian Bach, Largo (Bach), Prelude No. 19 In A Major (Bach), Praeambulum (Bach), Fugue (Vivaldi), Allegro (Handel), Prelude No. 7 In E Flat Major (Bach), Solfegietto In C Minor (CPE Bach), Der Fruehling (Spring) WF Bach), Prelude No. 24 In B Minor (Bach)

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4481 | 1 CD | $13.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : Jazz Sebastian Bach Vol II

Review: This CD is a real treat for Swingles fans, as well as those just getting turned on to them, the original French Swingle Singers, featuring Ward himself doing all the arrangements and singing with the group! For those who are new to the Swingles, these are classic Bach pieces performed incredibly, unbelievably by voices only, singing in a seamless "scat-singing" style. Since their first record these 8 singers became, if possible, even more polished and refined in the years that separated the two volumes the Swingles were voted "Best Vocal Group in the World" several times. These are some of their best-known works: from the Fugue in G Major for organ, to the Concerto in D minor for 2 violins, the Choral from the Cantata BMV 147 to the Prelude in C major. Don't be misled by the names, this is all a cappella, with the exception of almost imperceptible drums. In the liner notes we find fascinating little odds and ends about the 10 pieces and such details as an "Ave Maria" being slipped into the score here or there. But know that this is marvelously original and inventive music and that the Swingles have remained true to the spirit that Bach instilled in his works, a profoundly human fervor and a joyously optimistic faith. As we know Johan Sebastian would, enjoy!

Songlist: Vivace, Prelude and Fugue No. 10 in E minor, Choral, Gavotte, Prelude and Fugue No. 1 in C major, Fugue in G major, Adagio, Prelude and Fugue No. 3 in C sharp major, Choral, Fugue No. 21 in B flat major

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4443 | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs | Johann Sebastian Bach


Swingle Singers : Jazz Sebastien Bach

Review: This is it! The original Les Swingle Singers, arranged and conducted by Ward Swingle. Half of this rerelease was from the l963 recording which won a Grammy for "Best Performance by a Chorus." The first Jazz Sebastian Bach was a 1968 album called Bach's Greatest Hits here in the US where Les Swingles won a Grammy in the category "Best New Artist." You'll find over sixty-five minutes of jazz/Bach sung with only the bass and drum (mostly snare) to accentuate rhythm. They became world renown because scat is an understandable language everywhere in it. None of Bach's work has been changed, not a note added or taken away! This is not improvisation (though two pieces were transposed to accommodate vocal range).

Songlist: Fugue En Re Minuer, Prelude Pour Choral D'Orgue No. 1, Aria, Prelude En Fa Majeur, Bourree, Fugue En Do Minuer Fugue En Re Majeur, Prelude No. 9, Sinfonia, Prelude En Do Majeur, Canon, Invention en Do Majeur, Fugue En Re Majeur, Vivace, Prelude Et Fugue En Mi Mineur, Choral De La Cantate, Gavotte, Prelude Et Fugue En Do Majeur, Fugue En Sol Majeur, Adagio, Prelude Et Fugue En Do Diese Majeu, Prelude Du Choral D'Orgue, Fugue No.21 Du Prelude Et Fugue En Si Bemol Majeur BWV 866

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6206 | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs | Johann Sebastian Bach


Listen to
Largo

Swingle Singers : Keyboard Classics

Review: A compilation recording featuring the best of Swingles' past and present. The Swingles are a top attraction at concert halls throughout the world, and their purely vocal arrangements of famous works from composers such as J.S. Bach, Handel, Mozart, Vivaldi, Brahms, Beethoven and Satie are a Swingles trademark. They were a sensation when the group first popularized the concept in the 1960's. Half of the arrangements on this CD are by founder Ward Swingle, including "Fugue In D Minor" and "Clair De Lune," with the remainder balanced between Ben Parry, Jonathan Rathbone, Mark Williams, Andrew Gray and current musical director, Joanna Forbes. The four male and four female voices that animate these hallmarks of European classical tradition have a modern grace and elegance, and the sound is spacious, open and fluid. These are new a cappella recorded versions of the classic repertoire.

Songlist: 'C Major Praeludium' , Prelude in F Minor, Largo, Three-Part Invention , Fugue in D Minor, Fugue in E Minor, 'Harmonious Blacksmith' Variations , Fugue (from the Estro Harmonico, op.3, no.11) , Rondo alla Turca, 'Moonlight Sonata' , Prelude (op.28, no.4 in E Minor), Etude (op.25, no.9) , Hungarian Dance No. 5 , Clair de Lune, Golliwog's Cake Walk , Gymnopedie No.1

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4315 | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : Live In Japan

Review: The Swingle Singers, Ann De Renais, soprano 1, Joanna Forbes, soprano 2, Sarah Simmonds, Alto 1, Wendy Nieper, alto 2, Andrew Gray, Tenor 1, Richard Eteson, Tenor 2, Jeremy Sadler, Bass 1 and Patrick Ardagh-Walter, Bass 2, and this is another of their very popular live albums. We can feel ourselves in the audience in December 2000, the elusive "tingle factor" in the air, as the group takes 21 classic tunes and proceeds to nail them, as only the Swingles can, one by one: "September Song," "Alabama Song," "Mack The Knife," "Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat," "Largo," "Badinerie," "Air on the G String," "Ticket to Ride," Procul Harum's "Whiter Shade Of Pale," "Ave Maria," "The Fool on the Hill," Queen's amazing "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Little Drummer Boy," "Away in a Manger," "Christmas Medley," "Amazing Grace," "White Christmas," "Intro to 1812 Overture," "1812 Overture," "September Song," "Thank You" and "Theme from Mission Impossible." Great music, incomparable singing!

Songlist: September Song (Weil - Anderson), Alabama Song (Weil - Brecht), Mack The Knife (Weil - Brecht), Largo, Badinerie (Bach), Air On The G String (Bach), Ticket To Ride (Lennon - McCartney), A Whiter Shade Of Pale (Procul Harum), Ave Maria (Gounod - Bach), The Fool On The Hill (Lennon - McCartney), Bohemian Rhapsody (Mercury), Little Drummer Boy (Davis), Away In A Manger (Traditional), Christmas Medley (Smith - Gillespie), Amazing Grace (Traditional) , White Christmas, Introduction To 1812 Overture (, 1812 Overture (Tchaikovsky), Thank you , Theme From Mission Impossible (Schifrin), Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat

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4460 | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : Mood Swings

Review: The Swingles' discography boasts a stylistic diversity unmatched by any other a cappella group--from Mozart to madrigals, Bach to the Beatles, folk songs to fugues and film themes, but "Mood" focuses on their forte: jazz. These eight gifted singers have a symbiotic relationship with some of the best arrangers in the world, Ward Swingle, Bertrand Groeger, Alexander L'Estrange, Jonathan Rathbone and others. "Mood" begins with Miles Davis's "So What," which is followed by a brilliant selection of 1960s Latin jazz, "Surfboard," Jobim's "Insensatez" and "The Girl From Ipanema" (The best version we've heard), and "Milonga del Angel." Three moody jazz ballads, "A Time For Love," "The Peacocks" and "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" follow. Then three Richard Rodgers classics, "Have You Met Miss Jones?," "My Funny Valentine" and "The Lady Is A Tramp." Then come four classic 30s and 40s standards: "Just One of those Things," "My Foolish Heart," "All The Things You Are" and "It Don't Mean A Thing," finishing with Quincy Jones' 1966 hit, "Soul Bossa Nova" (from Austin Powers). Our favorite is the stunning 60s Latin Jazz section, which we hope they devote a whole CD to, but every song is a finely-crafted jewel. "Mood Swings" swings us into a jazz mood and never lets us go. Listen to the vocal trumpet solo on "The Lady Is a Tramp"--it's almost unnecessary, because the soprano voices are already doing soaring jazz trumpet riffs throughout the song. This is breathtaking proof of our contention that the Swingles are the best at whatever style they choose to sing - simply perfect! Highly recommended.

Songlist: So What , Surfboard, Insensatez , The Girl From Ipanema , Milonga del Angel , A Time For Love , A Timeless Place , What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life? , Have You Met Miss Jones? , My Funny Valentine , The Lady Is A Tramp , Just One Of Those Things , My Foolish Heart , All The Things You Are , It Don't Mean A Thing / Swing Time , Soul Bossa Nova

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4470 | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : Pretty Ring Time

Review: Pretty Ring Time is a repertoire chosen from many of the songs that the Swingle Singers knew and loved growing up. All the composers are English from the early 20th century with the exception of one song, "Sally In Our Alley," written by the group's director and second tenor, Jonathan Rathbone. Most of this music was meant to be performed by piano and voice but lends itself wonderfully well to the group's capacities. The composers are Peter Warlock, Ivor Gurney, George Butterworth, Gerald Finzi, Frank Bridge and John Ireland. The lyrics are from Shakespeare, Tennyson, Shelley, Masefield, A.E. Houseman, Thomas Hardy and other notables of English letters whom the composers had set to music.

Songlist: Pretty Ring Time (Warlock), Rest, Sweet Nymphs (Warlock), Fair And True (Warlock), The First Mercy (Warlock), Twelve Oxen (Warlock), Cradle Song (Warlock), The Salley Gardens (Gurney), I Will Go With My Father A-Ploughing (Gurney), Sleep (Gurney), Love Went A-Riding (Bridge), O That It Were So (Bridge), The Lads In Their Hundreds (Butterworth), Look Not In My Eyes (Butterworth), Sally In Our Valley , Sea Fever (Ireland), If There Were Dreams To Sell (Ireland), The Heart's Desire (Ireland), Rollicum-Rorum (Finzi), Fair House Of Joy (Quilter), Now Sleeps The Crimson Petal (Quilter), Love's Philosophy (Quilter), Come Away Death (Quilter), O Mistress Mine (Quilter), Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind (Quilter)

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6213 | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : Retrospective

Review: This recording is a celebration of forty years of arguably the world's most famous and longest-running a cappella group. The current mixed-voice octet has gone back to its roots, teaming up with a world-class jazz rhythm section for this live CD to recreate both the look and sound of the original Swingles as it performs the greatest hits of the 60s and 70s, beginning and ending, of course with the composer on whose music the group was founded, J.S. Bach. The first part of the program includes 4 Bach gems, then 4 from Mozart's "Ein Kleine Nachtmusik and 3 Spanish romantic pieces like J. Rodrigo's "En Aranjuez con tu amor." Marvelous arrangements of Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things" and Gershwin's "Fascinating Rhythm" delight us and the crowd. We get a glimpse of the Swingle's future, "Dejeuner sur l'herbe" by Parisian composer Pascal Zavaro, who is currently writing an opera with the group. As always, breathtaking, brilliant stuff from the Swingles! Highly recommended.

Songlist: Fugue in D Minor (from 'The Art of Fugue' BWV 1080 by J.S. Bach), Air (from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major BWV 1068 by J.S. Bach), Largo (from Harpsichord Concerto in F minor BWV 1056 by J.S. Bach), Badinerie (from Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor BWV 1067 by J.S. Bach), Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Op. K.525 by W.A. Mozart:, -Allegro, -Romanze, -Menuetto, -Rondo, En Aranjuez con tu amor (based on mvt. 2 of 'Concierto de Aranjuez' by J. Rodrigo), Tango in D major (No. 2 from 'Espana' Op. 165 by I. Albeniz), Romanza Espanola, Just One of Those Things (by C. Porter), Fascinatin' Rhythm (by G. Gershwin / B. Russo / J. Hendricks), Sinfonia (from Partita No. 2 in C minor BWV 826 by J.S. Bach), Solfeggietto (Wq. 117/2 by C.P.E. Bach), Dejeuner sur l'herbe (by Pascal Zavaro)

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4530 | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : Sounds of Spain

Review: A most intriguing 1967 release of the Concerto D'Aranjuez with the Swingle Singers performing their interpretations of classical Spanish music. The result is delightful especially with singer Christine LeGrand and a couple of solos by Ward himself. Another collector's gem.

Songlist: Romanza Andaluza op. 22 No.1 , Adagio (Concierto de Aranjuez), Rondalla Aragonesa, Tango In D Major op. 165 No.2 , Granada op. 47 No.1, Sevilla op. 47 No. 3, Romance Espagnole, Spanish Tango In A Minor, Sonata In D Major S.R. 84, Andaluza

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7672 | 1 CD | $14.95 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : Swinging Mozart

Review: A hard-to-find classic and 1965 Grammy winner by the original Les Swingle Singers! Ward Swingle graduated from the Cincinnati Conservatory, then studied the piano in France under Walter Gieseking from 1951-53. After working as an accompanist and conductor he became a member of the famed Double-Six. From there he became the founder, arranger and 1st tenor for the SwingleSingers, all the other singers being French. We have Jeanette Baucomont, soprano; Christiane LeGrand, soprano; Alice Herald, alto; Jean Cussac, bass; and three Germains, Anne, alto; her husband Claude, tenor; and his brother Jose, Bass. Included are: "Zwolf Variationen fur Klavier 'Ah! Vous Dirais-Je Maman,'" "Fuga," "Sonate fur Klavier Nr. 15 C-Dur," three movements, "Serenade Nr. 13 G-Dur, 'Eine Kleine Nachtmusik,'" four movements; and "Allegro." Lightly scatting over the familiar melodies (what we recognize as the kids' song "A B C D E F G," for instance) then matching the snare drum beat for beat in a dancing multi-harmonic nonsense-syllable musical race, here was a unique sound, as fresh and original as Wolfgang himself. It was a breakthrough sound that led to the group being awarded a Grammy. Unobtrusively accompanied by Guy Pedersen on Double Bass and Daniel Humair on Drums, "Swinging" is astounding, a vocal jazz milestone!

Songlist: Ah! Vous Dirais-Je- Maman, Fugue No 37, Sonata No. 15, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Sonata No. 5

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4482 | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs | Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Swingle Singers : Swinging Telemann

Review: "Telemann" is a re-release of the Swingles' fifth album, and it features the original energetic collage album cover, the funky 1960's curlicue lettering, and a great picture of the eight 1966 Swingles, in formal dress, sharing 4 stand-up microphone in front of Guy Pedersen on double bass, Daniel Humair on drums and seven fake Classic stage columns. Having "swingled" Bach, Vivaldi, Handel, Mozart et al in their first four albums, the copy reads, next up is Georg Philipp Telemann, with single pieces by Francois Couperin, Georg Muffat, Louis-Claude Daquin, Benedetto Marcello and Johann Joachim Quantz. 15 pieces, our favorites are the 6 short movements of Telemann's "Concerto A Six," Muffat's "Fugue in D Minor," Telemann's lively "Presto," featuring lead soloist Christiane Legrand paired with Jeanette Baucomont. Daquin's bouncy "Le Coucou," Marcello's "Presto" and Quantz' "Sonata in C Minor." In 1966 "swingling" was a word spontaneously coined by music critics upon hearing the group's recordings and concerts. Its meaning: extremely musical, baroque, modern, joyous and lively. Telemann might have added "fun," but close enough!

Songlist: Concerto A Six:, Allegro, Adagio, Presto, Adagio, Allegro, LaCouperin, Gigue, Fugue En Re Mineur, Presto, Larghetto, Le Coucou, Presto, Sonate En Do Mineur

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4562 | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : The Joy of Singing

Review: This is a remastered reissue of the 1972 release of Les 4 Seasons "Le Printemps" and is classic Swingle Singers.

Songlist: Allegro Spring op. 8 No. 1, Largo Spring op. 8 No. 1, Allegro (Danse pastorale) Spring op. 8 No. 1, Canon In D Major, Sinfonia , Adagio (Oboe Concerto in D minor), Overture From "The Marriage of Figaro", Allegro, Fugue- Molto Allegro

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7670 | 1 CD | $14.95 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers : Ticket To Ride

Review: While the Swingles first won acclaim for their arrangements of Bach fugues, they have been performing Beatles songs as part of their live concerts for many years. Though Ward is no longer part of the eight-voice mixed ensemble, he acts as musical advisor, and the group continues on, revitalized by fresh new talent. A record of all-Beatles material is surely a natural! The aural landscape designed by the Beatles, with George Martin at the helm, is ably reproduced here, entirely a cappella, of course. Some adaptations swear almost complete allegiance to the originals, but others, such as "Norwegian Wood," embellish with subtle, yet distinct tonal flavors. The tempo of "Lady Madonna" is gently suppressed, with harmonic emphasis on the seventh. "All My Loving" is a sweetly earnest ballad. "Ticket To Ride" shows the Swingle Singers ready to meet the 21st century, with a winning mix of the old and the new.

Songlist: Ticket To Ride, Penny Lane, Revolution, Day Tripper, Norwegian Wood, Birthday, Lady Madonna, Yesterday, Strawberry Fields Forever, Drive My Car, Blackbird / I Will, When I'm Sixty Four, The Fool On The Hill, All My Loving, I Am The Walrus, Goodnight

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3355 | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Swingle Singers with The Modern Jazz Quartet : Place Vendome

Review: This is an absolute classic Swingle Singers recording and a must for every collector. Ward and his singers collaborated with the The Modern Jazz Quartet on this fabulous recording and was a big hit when it was released in 1966.

Songlist: Sascha (Little David's Fugue), Aria , Vendome, Ricercare 2 to 6, Dido's Lament, Alexander's Fugue, Three Windows

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7671 | 1 CD | $14.95 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Listen to
High and Dry

Syncopation : Wonderful You

Review: Mixed Vocal Jazz quartet Syncopation represented Boston well at the recent Harmony Sweeps Finals in San Rafael, CA, winning a strong ovation from the sellout crowd for songs like the sweet, soaring "High and Dry," which is here on "Wonderful You." There are 9 songs here, our favorites are the a cappella songs, Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" and the aforementioned "High and Dry." Of the others, "Invisible War," lightly piano-accompanied, is very nice, as are the more heavily accompanied songs "Breakout," "I Can Fly," the title tune (from The Big Chill), Lennon/McCartney's "Broken Wings" the Motown tune "Betcha By Golly, Wow" and "Getaway." Beautiful leads, harmonies and arrangements, but let us once again make it clear that "Wonderful You" is mostly an accompanied album.

Songlist: Breakout, I Can Fly, Wonderful You (Big Chill), High and Dry, Invisible War, Broken Wings, Betcha By Golly, Wow, Getaway, Both Sides Now

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7665 | 1 CD | $14.95 || Vocal Jazz CDs


The Puppini Sisters : Betcha Bottom Dollar

Review: From the first strains of the opening track, "Sisters," it's clear that Betcha Bottom Dollar is not a typical debut album. But then the Puppini Sisters are not a typical pop act, at least not in the 21st century. Their close, three-part harmonies are reminiscent of the vocal groups of the 1930s and 1940s, and particularly the Andrews Sisters. But rather than sounding like an anachronism, the Puppini Sisters merely demonstrate the timelessness of some of these songs. Betcha Bottom Dollar is fresh, fun and vibrant, blowing the dust off of cobwebby classics like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Mr. Sandman". Elsewhere, they also put their own unique stamp on more recent hits, with varying results. While Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" and Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" fail to get things swinging, Blondie's "Heart of Glass" and the Smiths' "Panic" are both injected with a fresh new (old?) sound. Much credit must also be given to producer Benoit Charest, who manages to employ a whole host of instrumentation and orchestration, whilst never forgetting to put the voices of the Puppini Sisters front and centre. It might be easy to dismiss the Puppini Sisters' debut as another novelty album, but their intentions and love for the style--like their voices themselves--are crystal clear.

Songlist: Sisters, Mr.Sandman, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Java Jive, Bei Mir Bist Du Sehon, Wuthering Heights, Jeepers Creepers, I Will Survive, Tu Quo Fa L'americano, Heart Of Glass, Sway, Danie, Heebie Jeebies, In Mood

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7632 | 1 CD | $15.95 || Vocal Jazz CDs


Three Hits and A Miss : Mixing It Up

Review: Minnesota-based Swing/Pop/Jazz quartet 3 Hits and a Miss, founded in 1995, really come into their vocal power with "Mixing," their third excellent CD. Return with us now to the 1940s (covers of the Turtles' "Happy Together," the 5th Dimensions' "Up, Up and Away/Aquarius," the Mamas and the Papas' "California Dreamin'" and Lennon/McCartney's "Nowhere Man" and "Got to Get You Into My Life" notwithstanding)--this is wonderfully crafted "high-fidelity" harmony. The afore-mentioned covers fit in beautifully because they have the kind of beautiful melodies that could have been hits in the 40s. All accompanied, these 12 hits just keep on comin': "Bounce Me Brother with a Solid Four/Four," "Pop Goes the Weasel," "Goody Goody," "Glow Worm," "Dream" and bonus track, Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land." This CD is big fun from start to finish, and 3 Hits and a Miss are having it--they prove that they can sing with the best of any musical period!

Songlist: Bounce Me Brother With A Solid Four (Raye, Prince/Davis), Nowhere Man (Lennon McCartney), Happy Together (Bonner, Gordon), Pop Goes the Weasel, Goody Goody (Malneck, Mercer), Glow Worm (Incke, Robinson, Mercer), Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, Psychadelic Flashback, Up, Up and Away / Aquarius (Webb/McDermott, Ragni, Rado), California Dreamin' (Phillips, Gilliam), Dream (Mercer), Got To Get You Into My Life (Lennon, McCartney), This Land Is Your Land (Guthrie)

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4518 | 1 CD | $14.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs


Three Hits and A Miss : Sing, Sing Swing

Review: Jody Briskey, Rob Dorn, Jerry Elbernd and JP Fitzgibbons, missionaries of "high fidelity harmony" are determined to preserve the music of the 1940s and 50s with fresh, new recordings. In 12 (accompanied) fun covers, they tip their hats to the Pied Pipers, Merry Macs, Modernaires, Rosemary Clooney ("Mambo Italiano") and the Lettermen ("Canadian Sunset" and L-O-V-E). There's a great "Radio Cavalcade/Glow worm/Mairzy Doats" medley. Other favorites: "I'll Never Smile Again," "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," "I Got Rhythm/It Don't Mean A Thing" and "Memories of You." This CD is a swinging, foot-tapping good time!

Songlist: The Sweetest Sound / Sing Sing Sing / Hit That Jive Jack, Sentimental Journey, Mambo Italiano, Canadian Sunset, Radio Cavalcade / Glow Worm / Mairzy Doats, I'll Never Smile Again, Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree, Reprise: Radio Cavalcade, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, L-O-V-E, I Got Rhythm / It Don't Mean A Thing, Memories Of You

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4488 | 1 CD | $14.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs


Tom Anderson : Basin Street Blues - Parts CD

Review: Recorded by American jazz legend Louis Armstrong here is a great teaching tool for introducing blues styles to your younger choirs. Available separately: 3-Part Mixed 2-Part VoiceTrax CD. Duration: ca. 2:25.

Songlist: Basin Street Blues

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2016 | Parts CD | $24.95 |


UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot IX: United Jazz Artists

Review: Master director and educator Gene Aitken of the famed University of Northern Colorado's Jazz Studies Program shows off three of his best groups on "Hot IX," mixed-voice jazz quintet the Axidentals, who are accompanied by a hot jazz band on 8 songs like Duke Ellington's "Caravan," Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al" and Kurt Weil's "Mack the Knife," also perform one nice a cappella cut, "Quiet Now." 3-men, 3-women a cappella ensemble Et Cetera then gives us nice covers of "Singing In The Rain," Harold Arlen's "If I Only Had a Brain" and Randy Crenshaw's "Scat Blues in C." All woman jazz quartet Sus 4 finishes with a hot accompanied cover of Dizzy Gillespie's "A Night in Tunisia," a moody a cappella cover of "For All We Know," and accompanied covers of "We" and Gloria Estefan's "Get On Your Feet." This is another strong, spirited collection from these 3 great UNC jazz ensembles.

Songlist: Bam Bam Bam, Caravan, A Sleeping Bee, Quiet Now, You're Nobody, Gotta Get You Into My Life, You Can Call Me Al, Mack the Knife, Ray Idea, Singing in the Rain, If I Only Had A Brain, Scat Blues in C, A Night In Tunisia, For All We Know, We, Get On Your Feet

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7644 | 1 CD | $14.95 || Vocal Jazz CDs


UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot V

Review: "Hot V" is a mostly accompanied collection of 10 tunes by the award-winning University of Northern Colorado's 2-man, 2-woman Jazz quartet, the Axidentals. Three very nice a cappella selections, Jeremy Lubbock's "Goodbye Love" and "Not Like This," and "How Do You Keep The Music Playing" are standouts. Accompanied favorites are Richie Cole's "New York Afternoon," Gene Puerling's "Gotcha," Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad," Al Jarreau's "Easy" and a powerful live cover of "Waitin' For the Robert E. Lee." Every one of these Roman numeral-numbered collections from Aitken's UNC program has been a spirited, entertaining, beautifully-recorded winner, some of the best Collegiate Jazz we've heard!

Songlist: I Got It Bad, Epainos, Goodbye Love, New York Afternoon, A Night in Tunisia, Gotcha, Not Like This, Easy, How Do You Keep the Music Playing?, Waitin For the Robert E. Lee

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7643 | 1 CD | $14.95 || Vocal Jazz CDs


UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XI: Signed, Sealed, & Delivered

Review: Renowned director Gene Aitken is considered one of the most exciting and energetic educators and clinicians today, and his Jazz Studies Program at the University of Northern Colorado has received a Grammy nomination and more Down Beat magazine awards and National Endowment for the Arts grants than any other institution. The 3-man, 2-women Axidentals perform with a very hot 5-piece jazz ensemble, but they also have several fine a cappella cuts on "Hot XI," including Rodgers & Hart's "My Heart Stood Still," Mark Murphy's "Gone," "It Don't Mean a Thing," and Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday." All woman jazz quartet Sus 4 also perform "Invitation" and "Love for Sale" with 5-piece jazz accompaniment. Two man, 3 woman a cappella jazz ensemble Et Cetera's "Paradise," "Old Man River" and a cover of the Average White Band's "Pick Up The Pieces" are other favorites. An excellent collection from some of the best Collegiate jazz groups in the country!

Songlist: Somethin's Coming, My Heart Stood Still, Gone, Lazy River, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, It Don't Mean a Thing, Yatra Ta, Teach Me Tonight, Come Sunday, Night and Day, Invitation, Love for Sale, Paradise, Old Man River, Pick Up the Pieces

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7642 | 1 CD | $14.95 || Vocal Jazz CDs


UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XII: Dancing Particles

Review: The University of North Colorado in Greeley's choice of renowned educator and clinician Gene Aitken as Director of their Jazz Studies Program was a very, very good move, leading to an unprecedented Grammy nomination and more Down Beat magazine awards and National Endowment for the Arts grants than any other institution. Featured here are his 3-man, 2-woman Axidentals, performing here with some jazz ensemble accompaniment on P. Winter's title tune (arranged by Randy Crenshaw), "Soul With a Capital "S," and Rodgers & Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things;" but also a cappella on the traditional "Shenandoah," Anders Edenroth's "Chile Con Carne" and the scattish "There'll Never Be Another You." Two man, 3 woman a cappella jazz ensemble Et Cetera's "For the Beauty of the Earth," which soars into surprising directions, and a cover of Sting's "Seven Days" follow. All woman jazz quartet Sus 4 close with B. Dorough's upbeat, accompanied "I've Got Just About Everything" and the moody, a cappella "You Don't Know What Love Is." "Hot XII" is everything we've come to expect fro the UNC Jazz Studies Program, top-quality, well-chosen, beautifully performed and directed, Collegiate Jazz!

Songlist: Dancing Particles, I'm Beginning to See the Light, Shenandoah, Chili Con Carne, There'll Never Be Another You, Soul With a Capital"S", My Favorite Things, For the Beauty of the Earth, Seven Days, I've Got Just About Everything, You Don't Know What Love is

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7641 | 1 CD | $14.95 || Vocal Jazz CDs


UNC Vocal Jazz Ensembles : Hot XIII: It Ain't Necessarily So

Review: The University of Northern Colorado is one of the most well respected educational centers for vocal jazz studies thanks to the efforts of Gene Aitken, the director of the program since 1976. You will not believe that these are all "students" for their singing is so good and the arrangements so sophisticated it doesn't seem possible, even though it is true. The bulk of the album, 14 of the 17 tracks, is sung by Et Cetera a mixed sextet. Though jazz predominates with such selections as "For The One I Love" and "As Rain" by Anders Edenroth of the Real Group or "One More Time Chuck Corea" by Gene Puerling, there is a strong rock 'n roll presence. The final three tunes were recorded live by a larger jazz chorus, Vocal Jazz I. Discover this one! It's a sleeper.

Songlist: It Ain't Necessarily So, Episode: Prelude, For The One I Love, Every Breath You Take, Kiss From A Rose, Kite, Out Of Town, Shambala, Gone With The Wind, I'll Be There For You, As Rain, Won't You Be My Neighbor, One More Time Chuck Corea, Unchained Melody, Vocal Jazz I, Brasilia, Move On Over, Harvest

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4797 | 1 CD | $14.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs


Listen to
The Gang

Urban Voices : The Gang

Review: Urban Voices, three men and two women from Switzerland, have brought us a strikingly impressive debut jazz CD here. Much of the content is composed by members of the group and the arrangements, as intricate and complex as those of a state-of-the-art instrumental band, tailor-made to fit the singers. Among the vocal percussion sounds is the sharp sound of a hi hat, giving UV a trademark jazz sound, to go with some of the best vocal "horns" we've heard. 12 songs: "City Lights," "How Insensitive," the title tune, "When I Fall In Love," "On The Run," "The Sky so High," "En Eranjuez Con Tu Amor," "Lullaby," "Superheroes," "Almost There," "My Foolish Heart" and "WYSIWYG--DJ Micri Remix." "The Gang" shows Urban Voices to be, seemingly effortlessly, in the company of such greats as Manhattan Transfer, the NY Voices and Vox One. And like Vox One's "Chameleon," you'll find yourself listening to it again and again to truly appreciate what the singers are doing. Amazing and highly recommended!

Songlist: City Lights, How Insensitive, The Gang, When I Fall In Love, On The Run, The Sky So High, En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor, Lullaby, Superheroes, Almost There, My Foolish Heart, WYSIWYG

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4513 | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Various : All Woman: Jazz

Review: Complete piano, voice, and guitar arrangements. The accompanying CD gives complete backing tracks which match the arrangements in the book.

Songlist: 'Round Midnight, A Foggy Day (In London Town), Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (from "Pal Joey"), Misty, Nice Work If You Can Get It (from "Damsel in Distress"), The Girl from Ipanema, Where or When (from "Babes in Arms")

Style: Jazz

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7910 | Book & 1 CD | $19.25 | Solo |


Various : Scat Singing - The Art of Vocal Jazz

Review: It's always a good idea to remember that jazz, together with cinema, has been the major form of artistic expression for the past hundred years. The intention of SAGAJAZZ is to relate its history, and explore it in a new, original way. Seen from a different angle, its historic figures - Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, etc. - can now be rediscovered through a series of records devoted to various aspects of their work. This journey through Jazz-land is also accompanied by albums that are thematic, dealing with subjects as serious as styles, instruments, repertoire, humor, love, dancing, trains, cats...

Songlist: Hotter Than That, Four or Five Times, Decatur Street Tutti, Beedle-Um-Bum, I Got Rhythm, Some of These Days, Sweet Sue, Just You, Zaz Zuz Zah, I've Found a New Baby, Ring Dem Bells, What's This?, I Love the Rhythm in a Riff, Flying Home, Sonny Boy, Budella (Blue Skies), Oh, Lady Be Good, Honesuckle Rose, Oop-Pop-A-Da, Rockin' in Rhythm, How High the Moon, Cherokee, Jump Did-Le-Ba

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3099 | 1 CD | $10.95 |


Various Artists : Amazing Voice 2007

Review: If you love a cappella vocal jazz then this CD is for you. These four groups from four countries are certainly some of the top vocal groups performing today and this compilation features some of their best songs. The Real Group (Sweden), Idea of North (Australia), M-Pact (US) and Rajaton (Finland) are highly regarded by aficionados and this recording is a great introduction to the genre.

Songlist: Amazing Voice Song, A Cappella in Acapulco, Singin' A Cappella, Fantasy, Butterfly, Words, Almost Like Being in Love, The Wild Song, Thou Shalt, You Need to Know, A Life for Me, Salty Water, Isn't She Lovely

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7638 | 1 CD | $16.95 |


Velvet Voices : Essence

Review: Founded in 2002, all-women Dutch Vocal Jazz quartet Velvet Voices has been appearing in some serious European and international events, like the 2003 Voice Mania in Vienna, the Jeunesse-the largest German a cappella festival in Munich), and they won the Jazz Gold at the international "Ward Swingle Awards." There are 11 finely-crafted tunes on "Essence," the group's 5th excellent album, some wonderful covers like Lennon/McCartney's "Come Together," Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," Cy Coleman's "With every breath I take," Freddie Mercury's "You take my breath away," Brown, Sutton and Brody's "Stop," a fine faux trumpet solo on Harold Arlen's "Somewhere over the rainbow," Jones and Wilder's "A child is born," and Paul Jabara and Paul Shaffer's "It's raining man." There's also a pair of very nice originals by group member Gerda, the moody "Try to remember" and "Quarter to five," and one original by group member Monika, the title tune. Each of these beautiful young women can easily sing perfect solos and leads, so even a difficult, dissonant piece like "A child is born" comes off as effortless, and the harmonies are clean, sharp and on perfect pitch. Even a powerful rocker like "It's raining man," which is reprised as a surprise bonus cut with amped-up vocal percussion, is cleanly nailed both times with no sweat. The voices here are so perfect, the sound so effortlessly clean, we had to listen to it again just to fully appreciate it. "Essence" is a gift for the ears by the Velvet Voices, who have, in a very short time, risen to a level attained by only a few elite Vocal Jazz groups, like the Real Group, Vox One and the Swingle Singers. Treat yourself to one of the best of the year!

Songlist: Come Together, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, With Every Breath I Take, Try to Remember, Quarter to Five, You Take my Breath Away, Stop, Somewhere over the Rainbow, A Child is Born, Essence, It's Raining Men, Surprise

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2507 | 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Vocalogy : Distilled

Review: Arising from an artist-in-residency program under Grammy-nominee Phil Mattson, who recorded their debut CD with them, "Is God a Three-Letter Word for Love?," and now self-directed, "Distilled" is Vocalogy's 3rd excellent CD. "Distilled" is an all jazz-band accompanied collection of 13 jazz standards and originals, some favorites: Charles Mingus/Joni Mitchell's tongue-in-cheek "Dry Cleaner from Des Moines," smoky-jazz arrangements of Lennon/McCartney's "Oh Darlin'," and Leonard Bernstein's "Some Other Time," a latin treatment of "Just Friends," two Jimmy Van Heusen classics, "It Could Happen to You" and "I Thought About You," Rachmaninoff's "Piano Concerto #2" turned into a bluenote lament, a sassy, upbeat "Groove Merchant," a stark arrangement of Paul Simon's "Old Friends," and, despite our interest in the local Giants, David Frishberg's "Dodger Blue." As we've noticed in a number of cases, Phil Mattson's musical progeny are unfailingly outstanding, and vocally, all accompaniment aside, Vocalogy is right up there with the best in jazz!

Songlist: Dry Cleaner From Des Moines, Black Orpheus, Oh Darlin', Nutville, Some Other Time, Just Friends, It Could Happen To You, I Thought About You, Theme From Piano Concerto #2, Groove Merchant, Old Friends, Time Is A Healer, Dodger Blue

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4631 | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Vocation : Vocation

Review: Three men, three women sextet Vocation was formed in 1999 at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden,and were helped by conductor Lone Larsen in shaping their unique sound. Reviewers have compared them to a heady list - the Real Group, Take 6, Manhattan Transfer and the New York Voices. Playing regularily on Swedish radio and TV, Vocation won "Choice of the Audience Award" at the International Vocal Group Fest in Tilburg, Holland in 2002. Eleven songs, a few accompanied by jazz band, eight in English: Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing," "Without a Song," Johnny Mercer's "I Remember You" and "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Gee Baby ain't I Good to You?," plus the a cappella "Almost Like Being in Love," "Not Like This" and "Nature Boy." There's also three very nice pieces in Swedish, particularly "Nar Charlie ar fudd," with music by Hoagy Carmichael, we would guess that "Charlie" refers to jazz great Charlie Parker. The sound is bright and hot, the English flawless, and Vocation swims easily in the company of MT, NY Voices, Real Group and other big fishes in the vocal jazz school. A very impressive and enjoyable debut CD!

Songlist: It Don't Mean A Thing, Without A Song, Regnets sang, Nar Charlie ar todd, I Remember You, Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You, Almost Like Being In Love, Imorron, Hot Like This, Nature Boy, Come Rain of Come Shine

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7619 | 1 CD | $15.95 || Vocal Jazz CDs


Listen to
Take Five

Voice Trek : An A Cappella Trek

Review: St. Paul, MN-based 3-woman, 2-man jazz quintet Voice Trek has a rich, clean, poised sound, and arrangements that can turn very familiar tunes like the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride," Dave Brubeck's jazz anthem "Take Five," Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" and Michel LeGrand's "Windmills of Your Mind" and turn them into new songs, unexpectedly tasty musical treats. There's a spirited, sassy cover of Rossini's "William Tell Overture" that would have the Swingles looking over their shoulders, Sinatra's "Fly Me To The Moon" becomes a (lightly accompanied) scattish, salsa romp, and Toto's "Rosanna" is a finger-snapping winner, as is Brazilian composer Manfredo Fest's energetic "That's What She Says." A bonus track, "America the Beautiful," was included "after the tremendous response from the a cappella community when they performed it at the West Coast Summit!" 11 songs, each a many-faceted gem. "An A cappella Trek," Voice Trek's 5th recording, is a joy from beginning to end, one of the best Vocal Jazz CDs we've heard this year!

Songlist: That's What She Says, Ticket to Ride, Take Five, Both Sides Now, The William Tell Overture, A Little Luck, Fly Me to the Moon, The Windmills of Your Mind, Rosanna, America the Beautiful

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4646 | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


Voice Trek : At Last!

Review: Voice Trek established their reputation as one of the premiere vocal groups through the release of three seasonal albums (Christmas). For years they have been implored by fans to record a jazz record to which their lush harmonies are so suited. Thus, after 10 years of singing together, they recorded At Last. Three sisters, Shelley, Vicki, and Rae, are complemented by tenor Denis Alaire, and baritone Howard Hilde in this primarily accompanied selection of 9 songs which are each long enough for thorough expression.Though accompaniment includes a piano/bass/drum combo and midi, rich vocals toward the easy listening end of the jazz spectrum are substance of this recording.

Songlist: Yesterdays, Nina, Jamaica Farewell, Not Like This, La Fiesta, Mickey's Diner, You're Everything, Peace, At Last

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9232 | 1 CD | $14.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs


Voice Trek : Celestial Voices of Harmony

Review:

Songlist: To Be Sung Of A Summer Night On The Water, The Lords Prayer, Cavatina, Adoro Te Devote, An Angels Song, Sanctus, For The Beauty Of The Earth, Gymnopedie, Ubi Caritus, Clair De Lune, The Lord Bless You And Keep You

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4461 | 1 CD | $14.98 || Gospel Christmas


Listen to
My Happiness

Voice Trek : Celestial Voices of Peace

Review: Twenty-strong, mixed-voice RSVP was founded in 2000 by Artistic Director Julie Adams, with the purpose of bringing people together through the arts and giving back to the community. They have presented uplifting and powerful live performances, donating all proceeds to to 15 local charities. RSVP's concerts have supported programs for the elderly, the abused, the neglected, the hungry, the poor, the illiterate and the homeless. We like the chosen purpose of this talented ensemble, and we love their music!

Songlist: The Swan, Ave Maria, Agnus Dei , In Paradisum, All Things Bright And Beautiful, Reverie, Pange Lingua (Chant), Tantum Ergo, Panis Angelicus, Beati Quorum Via, Pavane , Gaelic Blessing (Deep Peace)

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4462 | 1 CD | $14.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs


VoicesIowa : Here's To Life!

Review: The bouyant sound of the Voices Iowa, conducted and arranged by Phil Mattson, certainly one of the most prominent jazz educators in the field. Emanating from the same general neighborhood as the Singers Unlimited or Real Group, Voices Iowa actually covers one Real Group arrangement on this CD-"Sa Skimrande Var Aldrig Havet"-as well as Take 6's "Gold Mine," so they certainly set a high standard for themselves. "Blues In the Night" is smoky and seductive, "Satchmo" a picaresque tribute to Louis Armstrong that sets lyrics to a Joplin rag. "If I Loved You" is is an economical a cappella version that shows why Phil Mattson is so respected-every note is important, neither too many or too few. Five of the songs are accompanied.

Songlist: Here's To Life, Almighty God/Heaven, Gold Mine, Corcavado, Blues In The Night, If I Loved You, Satchmo, I Remember Clifford, Sa Skimrande Var Aldrig Havet

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1112 | 1 CD | $14.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs


VoicesIowa : How Do You Keep the Music Playing

Review: Protogees of Phil Mattson, Voices Iowa are students at the prestigious School For Music Vocations/Southwestern Community College. Under such tutelage, one recognizes a burgeoning talent that will be the vocal jazz sound of tomorrow. Indeed, Bobby McFerrin's "Jubilee" is an athletic workout requiring stamina and fortitude, while, on the opposite end of the spectrum, "Body and Soul" demands an equal measure of control and abandon (the latter a Grammy nominated arrangement originally written for the Manhattan Transfer, and complimented by Richie Cole's saxophone). Cole Porter's "Love For Sale" (a cappella) is anchored by a finger-snapping rhythm and connected by walking bass notes, and finishes with an aexhilarating vocal glissando, a veritable firecracker.

Songlist: Since All is Passing, I Hear Music, How Do You Keep The Music Playing, Jubilee, Body And Soul, Yag Vet In Delig Rosa, Love For Sale, Embraceable You, Yours In My Heart Alone, Dancing In The Dark, Bons Amigos, That Lonesome Road

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1108 | 1 CD | $14.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs


VoicesIowa : September Song

Review: Mixed sextet (3 men, 3 women) VoicesIowa, ably produced by the renowned Phil Mattson (who also did all the arrangements), brings us ten mellow jazz classics: George and Ira Gershwin's "Fascinating Rhythm" and 'S Wonderful," Kurt Weill's "Speak Low," "Mack The Knife" and "September Song," Duke Ellington's "I'm Beginning To See The Light," "Close Enough For Love," "I've Got You Under My Skin," Stevie Wonder's "That's What Friends Are For" and "I'm In The Mood For Love." VoicesIowa is associated with the excellent Southwestern Community College School For Music Vocations, where the CD was recorded. This is bright, crisp, tight-harmonied, stunningly arranged, lightly accompanied (bass, drums and piano), smoky cool vocal jazz.

Songlist: Facinating Rhythm, Speak Low, I'm Beginning To See The Light, Close Enough For Love, I've Got You Under My Skin, That's What Friends Are For, I'm In The Mood For Love, Mack The Knive, 'S Wonderful, September Song

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4492 | 1 CD | $14.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs


VoicesIowa : Without A Song - Tribute To Hoagy Carmichael

Review: Renowned jazz educator Phil Mattson's sure touch is everywhere on "Without A Song;" all the arrangements are his, and he produces and plays light piano on the CD (bass and drums are also included on some cuts). Mattson protegees VoicesIowa, students or alumni of prestigious Southwestern Community College's School for Music Vocations (4 men, 2 women) have a bright, effortless sound that invites comparison with the Real Group and The Idea of North. Technically there are just 5 cuts on the CD, but on the first cut, for instance, a sleepy "Without A Song," segues into a scattish "The Song Is You," continues with a sweetly jazzy "You Are The Sunshine of My Life before returning to an upbeat "Without A Song" refrain; and cut 4, "A Hoagy Carmichael Tribute," includes the lightly accompanied "The Nearness of You," "Heart and Soul," "I Get Along Without You Very Well," "Georgia On My Mind," "Ole Buttermilk Sky," "Stardust," "Lazybones," "Two Sleepy People," "Skylark" and "Lazy River." Two a cappella tunes, "Alfie" and the final cut , "Over the Rainbow" are particularly nice. Mattson doesn't waste a note, and VoicesIowa is an apt, finely-tuned instrument for his genius.

Songlist: Without A Song , The Song Is You, You Are The Sunshine of My Life, Alfie, Just The Way You Are, The Nearness Of You, Heart and Soul , I Get Along Without You Very Well, Georgia On My Mind, Ole' Buttermilk Sky, Stardust, Lazybones, Two Sleepy People, Skylark, Lazy River, Over The Rainbow

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4588 | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs


VoicesIowa : You Must Believe in Spring

Review: The Southwestern Community College has a tradition of turning out excellent harmony singers, under the direction of the highly-respected director Phil Mattson. The six-piece mixed "Voices Iowa" is a fine example. "Pick Yourself Up" is a dizzying rendition of the Kern/Fields classic, a daring flight into the upper registers. Bach's "Largo" yields willingly to a fine scat treatment; "Come Sunday" has the same heartbreakingly beautiful arrangement as that of the Real Group, but the tone qualities of the voices are quite distinct to Voices Iowa. "What A Wonderful World" comes alive, the notes a joyous burst of sunshine on a spring morning.

Songlist: What A Wonderful World, Pick Yourself Up, Largo, Revoici Venir Du Printemps, Come Sunday, Lo How A Rose E're Blooming, Love is Here to Stay, Music For Lovers, More I Cannot Wish You, And So It Goes, Look for the Silver Lining, You Must Believe in Spring

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1109 | 1 CD | $14.95 || Vocal Jazz CDs


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Smile

Vox Concordia : Making Notes

Review: Vox Concordia is a four-man, four-women Vocal Jazz octet from England, who bring us this excellent debut recording of 14 a cappella tunes. They begin with two arranged by Jonathan Rathbone, ex-Musical Director of the Swingle Singers, "Jeepers Creepers" and "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," a Graham Smith arrangement of the Carpenters' hit "Superstar, a Swingles arrangement of "It Don't Mean a Thing (if it Ain't Got that Swing)," a live, rousing cover of Stephen Foster's "Oh, Susannah!" (with the first faux banjo we've heard)," the very funny live "Adieu, Mon Amour," Irving Berlin's "Puttin' on the Ritz," Randy Newman's touching "When She Loved Me," the pulse-quickening "All Rise," and finally "A Celtic Prayer" with music by Graham Webb are favorites. This is a fine recording and a great addition to anybody's collection.

Songlist: Jeepers Creepers, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, Superstar, The Way You Look Tonight, It Don't Mean a Thing, If It Aint Got That Swing, Smile, Oh Susannah!, Adieu, Mon Amour, A Dream Is A Wish, Puttin On The Ritz, When She Loved Me, Soul Bossa Nova, All Rise, A Celtic Prayer

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7649 | 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella |

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