December 10, 2008
Mansound - Voyage
All male a cappella Vocal Jazz sextet from Kiev Ukraine ManSound was formed in 1994, the brainchild of composer/arranger Vladimir Mikhnovetsky, and they immediately began creating fans. First performing at, and winning, European Jazz festivals, ManSound hit the US by storm, wowing the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival and winning the coveted Ward Swingle Award. There are 15 tunes here, some favorites (admittedly the ones in English, as we can write their names here) are a hot salsa "Mas Que Nada," a scattish "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," an unbelievable arrangement of the BeeGee's "How Deep is Your Love," "Spain (I Can Recall)," "Air on G String," "Les Moulins de Mon Coeur" ("The Windmills of Your Mind") and "Beyond The Sea." ManSound has a powerful, exuberant sound, with spot-on vocal (and non-vocal) percussion that's scary good. The leads are sweet and soaring, and who cares if the singer knows exactly what he's singing? The arrangements are juicy and surprising, just listen to their fresh, bluesy take on "How Deep is Your Love." ManSound is the most exciting new sound in Vocal Jazz right now!
2356 CD 15.95
Listen to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Posted by acapnews at 4:00 PM
Barbershop Harmony Society - Top Choruses & Quartets 2008
The Barbershop Harmony Society returned home in 2008, converging on what is arguably the music capitol of the South, Nashville, TN. Top quartet gold went to Orange County, CA's OC Times, (here singing "You're 16, You're Beautiful and You're Mine"); the Silver to Crossroads (singing their excellent "Mobile/Down Mobile Medley"), 3rd Place Bronze to State Line Grocery (singing "East of the Rockies"), 4th Place Bronze to Redline (singing "Paper Doll") and 5th Place Bronze to Old School (singing "I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl that Married Dear Old Dad"). Sixth through 20th place finishers, Storm Front and Glory Days through Vocality and Hotshots, each have one song on this CD. An exciting live collection of the top International Quartets in the world from the heart of Nashville! The Masters of Harmony from Santa Fe Springs, CA, took home the chorus gold, winning their 7th championship! Here they sing "Wonderful One" and "Yona from Arizona." Ambassadors of Harmony took the Silver, singing "Love Walked In," "Voices of Harmony took 3rd Place Bronze with "In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town," Sound of the Rockies got 4th Place Bronze with "You're from Heaven and You're Mine," and New Tradition won 5th Place Bronze withtheir "This is the Army Mr. Jones"/"Oh How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning" medley. Sixth through twentieth place, The Alliance through Brothers in Harmony, are each represented by one song. These are all live cuts from the stage of the Nashville finals, and you can feel the excitement in the air! "2008 20 Top Choruses" brings us a powerful sampling of Barbershop's best! 5852 DVD 39.95
Posted by acapnews at 12:17 AM
Yumiko Matsuoka - To Every Thing There Is A Season
Founder of legendary Boston-based Vocal Jazz group Vox One, Yumiko has always been one of our favorite vocalists and arrangers. She has two excellent collections of arrangements in the PAC catalog, "Collection Vol. 1" and "Collection Vol. 2." The Anthology "To Every Thing" is her first solo album, and it includes a piece Yumiko wrote for acoustic guitar for some friends' wedding, "Tsubasa," her arrangement of Billy Joel's "And So It Goes," performed by the Western Wind with Yumiko, and her marvelous arrangements of the English Traditional tunes "Scarborough Fair," "Black is the Color" and the title tune, performed by Boston Jazz Voices. The Western Wind also shines on Yumiko's arrangements of Lionel Bart's "Where Is Love" and Lennon/McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby." Yumiko's classically accompanied arrangement of Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind," her lovely arrangement of Joanie Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," performed by Syncopation; and the Scottish Traditional "Skye Boat Song," performed by Yumiko with the women of the Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble, are all favorites. "To Every Thing" is a remarkable collection, highlighting the tremendous vocal, arranging and composing talents of Vocal Jazz master Yumiko!
3021 CD 15.95
Listen to "Where Is Love?
Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM
December 6, 2008
Whiffenpoofs - We Meet Again Tonight
The Whiffenpoofs, founded at Yale in 1909, are fast approaching their 100th anniversary, and the14 young men who comprise the 2008 version of the group is celebrating by releasing this sumptuous "best of" collection of 21 tunes. The oldest and best-known collegiate a cappella group in the US begins with a pair of Whiff standards, the Bohemian marching song "Aj, Lucka, Lucka, Siroka" and the title tune, which refers to a regular Monday night meeting of the group at Mory's Temple Bar, where the guys are the resident muses, going from table to table as the patrons join in the revelry. Other favorites are "Little Pony," "Midnight Train to Georgia," the traditional English tune "Down By the Salley Gardens," the foot-tapping "I've Been Everywhere." "Time after Time," "Steppin' Out With My Baby," "Bye Bye Blackbird," "The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room," "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," "My Cutie's Due," the heart-tugging "I'll Be Seeing You" and the classic "Whiffenpoof Song." This is all great, legendary stuff, perfectly harmonized by one of the great Collegiate groups of all time. Enjoy!
1776 CD 14.95
Listen to "Little Pony
Posted by acapnews at 12:05 AM
December 5, 2008
Sixth Wave - Happy Madness
It was a quick jump for these 3 men and 3 women from Los Angeles from the founding of their Vocal Jazz group in 1999 to realizing their dream of appearing in the Harmony Sweepstakes competition. Sixth Wave won the 2001 L.A. Harmony Sweeps Regionals, and then they found themselves on the stage of the National Finals in San Rafael, where they performed an incredible set and were named Harmony Sweeps National Champions! A pair of excellent CDs followed, "Sixth Wave" and "It Will Come to You," and now we hold their long-awaited third album, "Happy Madness" in our hot little hands. Fourteen songs, and it's not easy to pick favorites. We'll start with the title tune, the New-York-jazzy "This Happy Madness," a bubbly, crazy, romantic delight; the surprising, joyful "Verlieben, Verlieren," sung in perfect German, a pair of nice original by group member Jennifer Barnes, "Life's Too Good to Sing the Blues" and the surprising, brilliant "Meet Us (Intro);" James Taylor's sublime "Another Grey Morning;" the moody "Kindred Souls (Cerebral Thoughts)," with lyrics by Jennifer, a scattish arrangement of "This Joint is Jumpin';" a pair of originals by group member Greg Jasperse, "Voice Dance IV" and "Oh How Beautiful This Finely Woven Earth;" and a wonderfully arranged cover of Stevie Wonder's "You Haven't Done Nothin'." "Happy Madness" is a joyous little jazz masterpiece from one of our favorite mixed-voice Vocal Jazz sextets!
7678 CD 15.95
Listen to "This Happy Madness
Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM
December 4, 2008
Chapter 6 - With the Windows Down
We have had a number of memorable opportunities to become major fans of Illinois-based, 7-man Chapter 6 since their founding at Decatur, IL's Millikin University in 2001. They were Harmony Sweeps Chicago Regional Champs 3 times, giving us dynamite live sets at the Finals, where signature tunes like "Ode to Krispy Crème," "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Wizard of Oz Medley" led to standing O's and their being named National Champions in 2004. "With The Windows Down" is the sixth Chapter 6 recording in the PAC catalog, each of them featuring the group's cutting edge arrangements and flawless a cappella harmonies. The first of our favorites of these 12 tunes are a pair of mellow originals written by Mark Grizzard, master arranger, "There I Go" and "Highway," and one by Nathan Pufall, the poignant "I Wanted to Say." Then we have to choose several Grizzard-arranged covers, "Pinball Number Count," "Change the World," the best version of Lennon/McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby" we've heard, Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)," Sylvester Stewart's 5th Dimension hit, "Hot Fun in the Summertime," "Peg" and the soaring, delicious "Clocks." Rich harmonies, deep, powerful, "walking-bass" vocal percussion, perfect, spirited leads—this is a cappella heaven from a group that simply keeps getting better at what they love to do. "With The Windows Down" is a joy from the first cut to the last!
2352 CD 15.95
Listen to "I've Known You All My Life
Posted by acapnews at 12:03 AM
December 3, 2008
The Eddies - Songs of Work, Love & Death
The five men who call themselves Eddies were a book club before they became a singing group. They live on St. Paul, MN's famous West Side, on the banks of the Mississippi River. "Eddies" are whirlpools or currents that run contrary to the mainstream, which describes these five male voices, who sing testosterone-soaked sea shanties and traditional sailing songs, often a cappella and occasionally with instrumental backup of acoustic guitar, accordion and mandola. They choose music that is "well enough know that we actually remembered it and thought we could make it sound good." There are 16 songs here, our favorites include the a cappella "Fire Down Below," "Blow the Man Down," the drinking songs "Roll The Old Chariots" "All For Me Grog" and "Whiskey Johnny," "South Australia," "Cape Cod Girls," "Bully in the Alley," "Rolling Down To Old Maui," "Haul Away Joe," "Roll The Woodpile Down," "Boney Was A Warrior," "Fire Marengo," the slightly racy "A Rovin" and "Bold Riley-O." A number of these authentic, fascinating songs are new to us, and it is all the more enjoyable to hear them for the first time. "Hold Fast" is a well-crafted, spirited collection from a group that is always fun, in their live performances and on all cuts of this debut recording.
9930 CD 15.95
Listen to "Cape Cod Girls
Posted by acapnews at 12:02 AM
December 2, 2008
The Accidentals - I'm Not Going Home For Christmas
NYC-based, 9-member, mixed-voice Accidentals have been personal favorites of ours since their 1995 Harmony Sweepstakes win. The group has gone through five wonderful CDS, numerous awards and some personnel changes since then (their alumni remain a cherished part of their family, and they are joined by Kevin, Todd and Stewart on this recording). The group is not going home for Christmas because New York City is their home, and the CD has a very New York flavor to it. "Winter in Manhattan" is a funny, surprising, hip Christmas song, and standards "Carol of the Bells," "Frosty the Snowman," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "What Child is This," "Three Traditional Carols," "Balulalow," and "Silent Night" are as beautifully and brightly arranged and harmonized as we have ever heard these songs. Several excellent group originals, including the title tune by Bill Mitchell and Jim Vincent, and two winners written by Dennis Deal, the accompanied, funny, brutally honest "The Last 12 Days of the World" and "(I Honestly Hate) This Gift." A pair of lovely classical pieces by Maurice Durufle, "Tota Pulchra" and "Ubi Caritas;" and Francis Poulenc's joyous "Hodie Christmas" are icing on the yummy musical cake that is "I'm not going home for Christmas!"
2489 CD 15.95
Listen to "Carol Medley
Posted by acapnews at 12:52 AM