|This is the current list of album titles by the artists on the Primarily A Cappella Records roster; to read more about each of these talented groups, click on the group names. For information on ordering their CDs, please visit our catalog.|
Kind of a 3
Take Me Out To The Ballgame
Leave It To Me
What immediately strikes one upon listening to Vox One’s new “Pure Imagination” CD is how good they are not in a flashy, notice we are brilliant singers kind of way, but in a deeply felt, technically beyond question, born to sing way that shows us all of us lesser talents how its done. After seven years, one of a cappella’s most accomplished (and recognized) vocal jazz groups returns to the CD player with a satisfying collection of originals, covers and improvs. Yes, Vox One has matured and is exploring new styles, including Indian ragas and world music tinged vocal jams. For those loyal listeners who loved “Chameleon,” "Out There" and "Say You Love Me" and have been waiting for an encore, there are the standards such as “Pure Imagination” (written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley), and the traditional “Aura Lee,” but there are plenty of new songs composed by the group, as well as the six improvised tracks that offer plenty of room for the the five members (Yumiko Matsuoka, Paul Pampinella, Paul Stiller, Jodi Jenkins Ainsworth and Tom Baskett) to stake out new vocal territory. These Berklee College of Music faculty members exemplify what it is to harmonize, blend and intonate with sublime perfection, and we thank them!
Listen to Pure Imagination in Real Audio
|9245 CD $15.98|
||You Need To Know
Have A Talk with God
I Found A Love In You
Night And Day
I Thought You Cared For Me
Jesus To A Child
My Favorite Things
Over The Rainbow
Almost Like Being In Love
Baby I Need Your Loving
What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life?
One of our favorite groups on the planet from the first time we saw them on the stage of the Harmony Sweeps Finals, easily taking Audience Favorite and the National Championship, (then 5-man, now 6) jazz-pop m-pact continues to push the a cappella envelope with their unique, amazing sound. "m-pact," their 5th recording, was recorded at m-pact studios in LA, and is proudly distributed exclusively by Primarily A Cappella Records. The tagline on "m-pact," "experience the voice," refers to the pure, sumptuous tenor/soprano of Britt Quentin, whose creative arrangements, production and even engineering are evident on all 14 tracks. Especially fine are his arrangements that reinvent classics such as Cole Porter's "Night and Day," Rogers & Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things," "Over the Rainbow," Lerner & Lowe's "Almost Like Being In Love," "Bluesette," the Four Tops' "Baby I Need Your Loving," and "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life." The opening cut is "You Need to Know," a sassy, walking-jazz original by Britt, who also shines on lead. He also wrote (or co-wrote) and sings lead on the mellow finger-snapper "I Found A Love In You" and vocal percussion gem "I Thought You Cared For Me." Trist, Marco, Jake, Rudy and Jeff and their own incredible vocal talents to a smooth, sophisticated recording that surprises and touches on many levels, that we found ourselves replaying again and again to fully appreciatein short, a masterpiece!
Listen to "My Favorite Things" in RealAudio.
|2850 CD $15.95|
||At the Hop / Jump Jive and Wail
Come Go With Me
I Wonder Why
What's Your Name
Little Bitty Pretty One
Don't Be Cruel
Stand By Me
Book of Love
Get A Job
Rama Lama Ding Dong
While entertaining thousands as Disneyland's house band, (and performing a killer "Showcase Concert" at the West Coast Summit), the four-man Alley Cats, "America's Premier Doo-Wop Group," released three great studio recordings and gained many fans in concert. "Drive-In" puts us in the audience of an electric, hilarious live performance, at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center in 2003. 19 songs, like "Sh Boom," The Temptations' "My Girl," Del Shannon's "Runaround Sue," "La Bamba," "Sixteen Candles," "Don't Be Cruel," "Poison Ivy," "Stand By Me" and more. But the big fun of the Alley Cats' stage act is more than just top-drawer Doo-Wop--these guys are stone entertainers whose patter and interactions with the audience (and a great Neil Diamond impersonation) are a scream. "America's Premier Doo-Wop Group?" We'll buy that!
|8125 CD $14.98|
If butter melts in your mouth, the Alley Cats arrangement of 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes' will melt in your mind! It is beautiful, smooth, and just melts away the bands of every day tensions from around the heart. Then you'll just have to swoon to one of the sweetest versions of 'Only You' which you will ever hear. Thank goodness they launch into a upbeat 'Blue Moon' or you would end up in a emotional puddle on the floor! If you ever were touched by the romantic songs of the fifties and sixties (and a sound alike or two from the seventies), this recording is for you. Frankly, we've never heard a better recording of era's music. The voices are beautiful, the slides into falsetto breaks is seamless, and the arrangements keep true to the originals while filling out the instrumental parts with vocals. The Alley Cats have presented all of the greatest songs of an era, 'Silhouettes,' 'Twilight Time,' 'Earth Angel,' 'Stand By Me,' and more, sixteen cuts in all. The tempos and arrangements vary so you never become complacent and let a tune slide by out of predictability, but rather have to pay attention to each sweet riff. We gush, we enthuse, and we have only this to add, 'yip yip yip yip, mum mum mum mum, get a job!' With your first paycheck be sure to get the Alley Cats, 'Strike 32.'
Listen to Rockin' Robin in RealAudio.
The enthusiasm of the Alley Cats is so infectious and their energy so buoyant that they can make you like any song they sing. It's true! Having gotten their start at Disneyland's 'Magic Kingdom,' they exhibit a merry disposition that bursts through even on CD-they cannot be contained! A host of classic tunes such as 'Book Of Love,' 'Don't Be Cruel' and 'Duke Of Earl,' which could be perfunctory in lesser hands, are pounced on by the Alley Cats, and are the better for it. The arrangements are familiar but with a little added pizazz (we'd encourage more!), the intonation crisp, the rhythms fluid. A highly professional and entertaining recording.
Listen to Book of Love in RealAudio.
The Alley Cats, from Southern California, are your destination for fun! This four piece doo wop group also incoporates classics such as 'Barbara Ann' and 'La Bamba' into their terrific repertoire, which includes can't-miss hits like 'Under the Boardwalk' and 'Why Do Fools Fall in Love.' They mimic psychedelic guitar twanging on 'Love Potion #9' and sizzle with finger- snappin' energy on the arpeggiated chords of 'Rock and Roll is Here to Stay.' 'Runaround Sue' crackles with energy and humor-these guys are clearly veteran performers. A highly professional and entertaining recording. These Alley Cats will win you over!
Listen to Why Do Fools Fall In Love in RealAudio.
This 1997 release is a compilation of some of the group's favorite songs from their first three albums, plus three previously unreleased tunes. The new material opens the album - so the first half (the "Now" part) is accompanied, but full of the luscious vocals that has won the group so many fans. It includes a somewhat obscure Led Zeppelin cover, "That's The Way;" a solemn song about a friend's death "Fly Away;" and radio-friendly "Every Now and Then." Among the six a cappella tunes are the Christopher Cross tune "Sailing," and originals "Plainotfancy" and "Rock Your World." The CD is intended to introduce The Blenders to listeners outside the a cappella world, but it will also serve as a great introduction to the group for our catalog customers, and is a must for collectors who want a complete set by this up and coming vocal band.
Hurry, quick! Look at what the Santa's little helpers have been up to this year! It's hard to believe that these four young men from Minnesota have transfused these familiar holiday chestnuts with such inspiration and wonder, but indeed they have. "Let It Snow" takes as it's initial premise a Polynesian tiki lounge rhythm - already different - and then takes the cheery melody headlong into a ninth chord resolution! This CD is trimmed with so many gorgeous decorations that it improves the more one hears it, revealing subtleties that delight upon discovery. The creativity just saturates every song, whether as a distinctive rhythmic variation or unexpected countermelody, but always integrated into the whole (by the way, the group produced and arranged "Nog" themselves). In terms of intonation and blend, the Blenders (coinciding with their choice of name), are the best in the business: listen to "Do You Hear What I Hear" as just one excellent example. It's perfectly calibrated, the senses reveling in the purity of sound. Contemporary a cappella at its best.
Listen to The Christmas Song in RealAudio.
From the opening cut, "Tasty,"; the Blenders infuse the hackneyed "upbeat "description with real meaning. There is an occasional touch of percussion added to this mix but frequently it is hard to discriminate between that and the vocal percussion and tambourine of Darren and Ryan. The production of this release is enhanced by experience as the group records, produces, and does everything else on this second effort. Studio originals are the substance of the recording but don't miss the hysterical, live, country version of "Don't Worry, Be Happy"
Listen to Sailing in RealAudio.
Giant Robot Store
Weekend in Cincinnati
Bee Bop I Love You
A Cappella Choir in the Sky
Fluffy's Master Plan for World Domination
Hey Coach, Don't Call Me A Queer
The Wind Cries Mary
Slow Down Krishna
Share A Load
Mopping, Mopping, Mopping
Please Let Me Be Your Third World Country
Art for Art's Sake
Musical malfeasants the Bobs are simply one of the most beloved and original a cappella groups ever, writing such classics as "Slow Down Krishna," "Kill Your Television" and "Drive By Love." Not only were the Bobs acclaimed for their original material, they were also beloved for their hilarious and technically masterful renditions of cover songs including "Psycho Killer," "Helter Skelter" and "Purple Haze." Along the way they were Grammy-nominated, appeared on PBS in their own one hour special and were added to the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of American History! "Best of the Bobs" a.k.a. "Twenty Songs from Twenty Years" is an instant collector's item, with rare outtakes, 12 previously unreleased tracks in all. No greatest hits re-hash, this CD takes you through dark and winding passages into the very center of the Bobs' twisted psyches, behind the scenes to the core of the Bobs' creative genius. A must have for any Bobs fan.
Listen to "A Cappella Choir in the Sky" in RealAudio.
|2950 CD $14.98|
The Bobs have left an indelible impression since their formation as a new wave a cappella group 20 years ago. "Coaster" swerves into the 21st century, with the same wanton desire to corrupt the minds of all who listen that have characterized the Bobs' previous nine recordings. Musically, of course, the membership ‚ Matthew, Richard, Joe and Amy ‚ are exceedingly qualified, more than might be suggested by such lyrical perversions as "keeps me warm at night/she's like a fire, she's like a tire" ("Rubber Girl") and "rising from my coffin/for coffee and a muffin" ("Drive Time Blues"), while walking the high wire between classical, jazz, rap and rock. There's even an accompanied pop tune ‚ "Believe In Love" ‚ that sets aside the musical malfeasance in favor of an unabashedly sincere performance by Joe Bob. The addition of Amy's wickedly mischievous contributions such as "Bring To Boil" and "Fluffy's Master Plan For World Domination" show that the Bobs had better not plan on retiring any time soon.
Listen to The Druid Song in RealAudio.
Eu Sei Que Te Amar
Linha de Passe
Preciso Aprender a Ser So
Desfarca e Chora
O Morro Nao Tem Vez
Diz Que Fui Por Ai
Freshly signed to the Primarily A Cappella label, Brazil's 5-man, 1 woman a cappella Jazz/Salsa sextet impresses from the first few notes of the opening cut. "Batida Diferente" has a mellow, sensual infectious Samba rhythm, "Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar" builds a smoky lead and "trumpet" solo on a solid, tasty vocal percussion base, "Linha de Passe" is a surprising, fast-moving, scattish Salsa romp. "Preciso aprender a Ser So" is slow and romantic with harmonies to die for, "Flora" and the lighthearted "Upa Neguinho" are blue note jazz with a walking bass, as is "Falso Milagre do Amor." "Disfarca e Chora" is stunningly arranged rainy day jazz, the laid-back, effortless harmonies of "Wave," "O Morro Neo Tem Vez" and "O Barquinho" bubble above a minor-key base. The final cut, "Diz Que Fui Por Ai" is a finger-snapping, "trumpet" soloing delight. The beautiful, colorful liner notes contain the lyrics and some marvelous pictures of the group. Like the group's growing contingent of Brazilian fans, we fell in love with this group at first listen - we bet you will too. BR6 is fresh, hot and spicy from Brazil, on PAC Records!
Listen to "Wave" in RealAudio.
|2975 CD $15.98|
||And (So) What If I Don't?
My Baby Just Cares For Me
Rhode island Is Famous For You
Little Girl Blues
Variations #1 on "Nightwatch"
Big Cash Deal
Bay Area favorite, 4-man, 1-woman vocal jazz group Clockwork surprised a strong field with a win in the 2004 Bay Area Regional, then went on to place 2nd in the National Finals, making many friends and new fans along the way. "Teseract" is Clockwork's debut CD (on PAC Records), produced by The Bobs' Richard Bob Greene. There are 11 songs, all with cutting-edge arrangements, particularly by group member Stephen Saxon (also including Greene and group members Angie Doctor and Jim Hale). Herbie Hancock's sassy "And (So) What If I Don't," (There's some nice alto sax on this one, otherwise "Teseract" is all a cappella), a cool, jazzy "My Baby Just Cares For Me," Lennon/McCartney's classic "Blackbird" (with actual Red-winged Blackbird sounds), and a rainy-day bluesy "DC Farewell." "Donna Lee" segues perfectly from the laid-back "Back Home Indiana" to Charley Parker's scattish, driving jazz standard, Radiohead's "Creep" runs the gamut from quiet to crazed, and jazz standard "Rhode Island Is Famous For You" features a bright, upbeat lead by Doctor. Clockwork nails John Coltrane's frantic, driving "Moment's Notice," slowing down with perfect control for Richard Rogers' moody "Little Girl Blue," and then taking off on some very nice vocal riffs on "Variation #1 on (J. Williams') 'Nightwatch" and finishing up with the con man's anthem, a bluesy, appropriately smarmy original by Jim Hale, "Big Cash Deal." We loved Clockwork live, and "Teseract" is poised, confident proof of their readiness to join a cappella's vocal jazz elite!
Listen to "Little Girl Blue" and "Rhode island Is Famous For You" in RealAudio.
|2980 CD $14.98|
Manhattan Transfer meets the Sons Of The Pioneers!! The incomparable Morgan Ames had produced, arranged and recorded the selections which she describes as "a group of a cappella cowboy and mountain songs based on pure historical American, plus a few strays, filtered through my jazz-based sense of harmony and four city singers." She goes on to add... "I grew up looking for home on the range, pretending to be Annie Oakley on rented horses at the Burbank Stables. But singing this music, our shared American heritage, was a gift and that¼s how we offer it to you." Now, all isn¼t just tradition as occasionally a new lyic or two is added, but the singers Shelby Flint, Morgan, Melissa Mackay and Michael Mishaw manage to maintain a sensibility of tradition while creating an entirely new feel, exactly as Morgan describes in her quoted comments above. Real traditional tunes such as "Home on the Range," "Old Diamond Joe," (a multi-track overdubbed recording sung entirely by Michael) and "Old Chisholm Trail" are mixed in with a leavening of newer tunes such as "Witchi Tai To," "My Real Home," and "Springtime in the Rockies." The only difficulty we face in reviewing a recording of this calibre is expressing our enthusiasm without going overboard!
Listen to Where Am I Going in RealAudio.
The four players in Just 4 Kicks are only four of the most respected (and frequently employed) arrangers and educators in the music industry. Their talent is only surpassed by their prodigious accomplishments, the results of which are ours to appreciate. Obviously influenced by the brilliant vocal jazz groups of the '50's and '60's, most notably the Four Freshmen and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, "All In Good Time" is adventurous and exuberant. Billy Strayhorn's comically ironic "Everything But You" is one of the great swing tunes in the lexicon, and Just 4 Kicks stands in for an entire jazz combo, tossing off brass solos and a drum breakdown. The arrangement of "Alice In Wonderland" frequently voices the harmony, including the enticing ninth chords, by implying the root, rather than stating it overtly. "I'm Walkin'," popularized by "Fats" Domino and arranged here by Kirby Shaw, retains the boogie-woogie party mood of the original and kicks it up a notch - now that's impressive. Many of the songs feature furious scatting, all done live. Don Shelton of the Hi-Lo's guests on "Green Dolphin Street," and the Bobs' Joe Finetti stops by to supply vocal percussion on Stevie Wonder's "Superstition."
Listen to Take the 'A' Train in RealAudio.
||Teddy Bear's Picnic
Humpty Dumpty Medley - Old King Cole - The Grand Old Duke Of York
This Old Man
Over The Hills And Far Away
King John's Christmas
The Riddle Song
Walking In The Air
The Owl And The Pussycat
Here We Go Down The Line
Wendell The Worm
I Know An Old Woman
Frog Went a-Courtin' - We All Stand Together
The King Singer's and Dame Judi Dench tell the tales we all know and love. Embrace the charm of this rare treat made for children of all ages! The Teddy Bear's Picnic and Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall, The merry soul, Old King Cole and Duke of York, the Grandest of them all. This old man, a dog and a bone. "Over the Hills and Far Away" for days and days alone. Walking on air or submerged in a "Yellow Submarine", or with an owl and a pussycat on a ship of pea green. Boys and girls and blackbirds four and twenty, they all diddle diddle in lavender blue fields of plenty. Wendell, the sunburned worm, an old woman's fate with a fly, the frog he went a-courtin while we all stand together, together you and I.
Listen to "Humpty Dumpty Medley" and "I Know An Old Woman"
|6495 CD $15.98|
Derric Johnson is the director of the 'Voices Of Liberty,' the ten-voice ensemble that performs at Walt Disney World. This collection, featuring the Voices themselves, is as unabashedly and straightforwardly patriotic as it is possible to be, with songs such as 'This Land Is Your Land,' 'America, The Beautiful' and 'Battle Hymn Of The Republic' on the set list. The CD's opener, 'Golden Dream,' is the musical equivalent of a twelve-gun salute, if for nothing other than its finale, which climbs up the scale chromatically to dizzying heights. The challenging arrangements and the virtuosity of the performances - excellent across the board - are a complement to the sometimes grave lyrical content, which emphasizes all-American values with unmitigated confidence. Whatever one's opinions on that score, musically 'A Cappella Americana' is great.
Although Listen Up! has two excellent recordings, "Shimu Na" and "Al Hanisim," in our catalog, we're happy to welcome their latest CD, "Jewphoria," to the Primarily A Cappella label. Listen Up! is Rebecca Singer, Moshe Mann, Michael Mendelson and Steve Singer. Here are 12 fresh and appealing, often funny, mostly Jewish doo-wop songs: "Oy Mamme Bin Ich Farliebt," "Etz Chayim," "Tzena," "Yom Shabbaton," "Al Kol Eileh," "Tzaddik Katamar" (w/violin accompaniment), "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen," "Under the Chuppah" (a takeoff on "Under The Boardwalk"), "Hineh Ba Hashalom," "Tum Balalaika," "Nisayon" and "Hatikvah." What comes across in all songs is a love for singing, a lot of talent and a sense of fun & celebration‚an im-pressive third CD. Listen Up!‚we want to hear more!
Listen to Oy Mame Bin Ich Farliebt in RealAudio.
Two years after his first recording, Pascal Nabet-Meyer returned for another. They are the only choir in the world, he believes, who sing in a microtonal scale. In its structure the choir is divided into groups, as many as sixteen during any given song, each of whom is responsible for its own melody. It is the most complex polyphony sung anywhere in the world. The people of Rapa Iti have kept their traditional music untouched since the beginning of their history. So visit once again the magical island for a tour of perhaps the most ancient music remaining in active practice on the face of the earth. A wonderful addition to this recording are descriptive notes of the meaning and history of each of the songs. If you have an inquisitive ear, the choir of Rapa Iti will be a fascinating adventure.
Listen to Morse Code of Love in RealAudio.
These guys have personality plus. Doo-wop and street corner harmonies only give a 'sort of' idea to their music shared on this, their first album which was released at the same time as their second. They start off doo-wop all right but immediately do Bruce Springsteen's 'Factory.' Then, thanking the Coasters, they proceed with a very funny arrangement of 'Youngblood.' Throughout the remainder of the fifteen cuts we are treated to lots of traditional oldies interspersed with Prince's 'Doves Cry,' Paul Simon & Joseph Shablala's 'Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes' and Peter Townsend's 'My Generation.' But that's what you'd expect from a bunch of guys who have been featured on TV's 'Who's The Boss,' 'Frank's Place' and 'Murphy Brown,' not to mention their roles as the singing firemen in the movie 'Wilder Napalm.' Listen to Rama Lama Ding Dong.
Listen to Rama Lama Ding Dong in RealAudio.
The Mighty Echoes have always been among our favorite Doo Woppers (not the kind you get with fries and a Coke, wise guy), so we were very pleased to see their latest release. These guys have been having way too much fun singing street corner 50s and 60s doo-wop on large stages for the last 1 years, and a great deal of seeing them live finds its way onto their CDs! "AC Doo Wop II" is their best yet, beautifully arranged, with harmonies sweet and tight enough to make the Wolfman howl.
Listen to What Time Is It? in RealAudio.
||Opening Meditation (The Path I Take)
Theme From Mahogany
Sit - Back - Relax
Bridge Over Troubled Water
All Of You
...At The Tone
Born To Worship
Y'All Hear Dat
Last Days (Reprise)
Bless This House
Closing Meditation (The Path I Take)
Have I Ever Told You (Bonus Track)
The first recording from the 1999 Harmony Sweepstakes winners, who enthralled the audience will their radiant countenances and joyful energy. These young singers from New York, though having performed as a unit for only a few short months, displayed an impressive maturity and sophistication. Their gospel background has been good preparation for the brilliant rainbow of tonalities that characterize their technically ambitious, yet passionate approach. The original compositions were written by the group; they also write their own arrangements. With seven voices, they have a palette to choose from that is deep, intense and brilliant. Definitely influenced by Take 6 (their rendition of "Bless This House" attests to this), their sound is more urbanized, funkier, immediate, as heard on the vocal percussion driven "Train". Lyrically, "Non-Fiction" espouses themes of salvation and redemption, but songs such as "Last Days," and their incredible interpretation of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" require no affiliation, aside from a love of captivating harmony.
Listen to the following in Real Audio:
"Sit - Back - Relax"
"Bless This House"
"Bridge Over Troubled Water"
|2800 CD $14.98|
The Razzcals are a dishy quartet from Sacramento, California. Formed in 1995, their brand of allure and talent has been making quite an impression, having just finished fourth in Orlando. They have made the most of the dizzy California stereotype ‚ and invoke it again with their "Beach Boys Medley," included here ‚ but they are no slackers with either taste or tone. Jo Lund¼s arrangement of "I Wish I Had My Old Pal Back Again" is a splendid setting for any quartet who wish to highlight their blend, as is "Home On The Range," and the Razzcals know how to maximize the mileage of a long legato note. Their coy "Hey Daddy" purrs with girlish guile, while "Mood Indigo" is all sultry and strapless. An exciting debut from a group (who placed 4th at International) with nowhere to go but up!
||Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Jesus, Lover of My Soul
Just a Little Talk with Jesus
Spirit of God
I Must Tell Jesus
A Mighty Fortress
I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked
O Love That Will Not Let Me Go
Just As I Am
It Is Well With My Soul
Go Down Moses
Jesus Is His Name
More That Wonderful
Velvet: a rich fabric. The harmonies of Regeneration: sumptuous, angelic outpourings of rejoicing, of which velvet is a most fitting adjective. Carrying on in the mode established by the best-selling "Christmas In Velvet" volumes one and two, the fourteen traditionals and hymns contained here (ten of which were released a few years ago in a now out-of-print recording entitled"Pure Silk"), are inspiring not only because of their thematic content of praise, but because of the arranging of Derric Johnson, the group's director. To study a Derric Johnson arrangement is to contemplate the canon of a master. Key to his style is his seamless blending of classical choral and jazz idioms that are fresh, yet easy to assimilate. What could be more uplifting than the gloriously ascending intervals of "More Than Wonderful," ending in an epic high note? The serene and resonant "Holy Ground" is set against a backdrop of plush oohs and aahs. The countermelodic texture of "Just As I Am" is engaging but never excessive. The men and women of Regeneration (some of whom moonlight as Walt Disney World's "Voices of Liberty"), could not be more pristine in their performance. Their control, phrasing and interpretation is textbook perfect. All in all, "Hymns in Velvet" is an exercise of pure enjoyment.
Listen to Great Is Thy Faithfulness and I Must Tell Jesus in Real Audio
|5340 CD $14.98|
1991 release by Derric Johnson, esteemed director of the Voices of Liberty. Many of the arrangements are also his, and can be recognized by their dramatic codas and lofty soprano range. There are many familiar carols, such as 'God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,' 'O Come All Ye Faithful' and 'Little Drummer Boy,' just to name a few - 26 tracks in all. With that kind of variety, there is something for everyone: 'Sweet Little Jesus Boy,' a spiritual; 'Calypso Noel,' with that island rhythm; 'Pat-A-Pan,' in the French classical vein. 'Gesu Bambino' is one of the prettiest songs, a distinctive melody, coupled with an easy waltz tempo.
Listen to God rest ye Merry Gentlemen in RealAudio.
Follow-up to previous release by the Regeneration troupe. As on Volume I and II, Derric Johnson's voice-orchestra performs sensational arrangements of carols such as 'Joy To The World,' 'Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town' and 'Deck The Halls.' Particularly lovely is 'Carol Of The Russian Children/The Sleigh,' popularized by the Singers Unlimited.
Listen to Carol of the Bells in RealAudio.
Anyone who lights up their days of the Holiday Season with vocal music (and especially those who saw the group at the West Coast Summit and Sweeps Finals) must have SoVoSÛ's latest release, "Seasonings." This world-renowned ensemble has mixed together a wonderful recipe of songs that span their diverse cultural and rhythmic background, from a jazzy swing version of "Drummer Boy," a worldly chant of "O Come Emmanuel," and a classic and soaring "O Holy Night" with original songs that include Joey Blake's infectious "Holiday Season" and Sunshine Becker's portrait of the holiday Southwest style in "Christmas in Questa." The magic and light of the holidays are truly captured on this special and much awaited CD.
Listen to Holiday Season in RealAudio.
Serengeti rhythms, New Orleans style funk, Jamaican reggae dubs...SoVoSo's brand new release, entitled Bridges, spans the musical globe, transporting the listener across traditional cultures to a contemporary, one-village world of human harmony. You'll be dancing to a tribal beat one minute and closing your eyes to take in a soulful ballad the next. With titles like "Big Family," "Precious," "For I Am TheMoon," "New Groove," "Charity," "Build A Bridge," and "Say," (a remix),this all-original, genre-blending collection includes gospel-flavored R&B, rock and soul ballads, jazz riffs and spoken word poetry over African rhythms. SoVoSo forges thoughtful lyrical territory, from love songs to anthems calling us toward our universal humanity, all rendered in superlative musicianship through the fundamentally human instrument -the voice. Bridges clearly places SoVoSo on the map at the cutting edge of world-soul-beat music. Don't miss the latest from one of the most innovative a cappella groups on the planet.
Listen to Build A Bridge in RealAudio.
What happens when you get six lead singers to perform in one group? You get SoVoSo. Each of the individual musical personalities take their turns expressing themselves with the total support of the other singers. Unheard of! Amazing! And just plain wow! "Be Of Love" is David Worm's opening tune. I would pick Joey Blake's "Thank You For The Dream" as his representative composition but notice has to be taken of the fact that he wrote and arranged "Life and Love" which Sunshine Garcia has made her own. Melanie Rath's pure soprano swoops, dives and scats through Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue." Rhiannon presents her autobiographical, "In My Prime." And finally, Nicholas Bearde leaves us with a soulful, "Clear Winter Skies." In the vernacular, it don't get any better than this!
Listen to Life & Love in RealAudio.
1997 Harmony Sweepstakes Winners, SoVoSo alsowon the CARA that same year in the category Studio Album Of The Year. The majority of the six members had been singing together for ten years or so, since being members in Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra. In fact "Dirt" the six movement, twenty plus minute marvel of improvisation was written by McFerrin and SoVoSo as a dance score for the Oberlin Dance Co. of San Francisco. This reviewer particularly loves Melanie Rath's "Show Them Dance"; David Worm's "Say", Joey Blake's "Tu Para Mi" and Rhiannon's "Say A Prayer." Oh heck, all of them!
Listen to People Get Ready in RealAudio.
||Ticket To Ride
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
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.
Listen to Yesterday in RealAudio.
|3355 CD $14.98|
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.
Listen to The Lady Is A Tramp in RealAudio.
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," "Someone¼s Rocking My Dreamboat," "Largo," "Badinerie," "Air on the G String," "Ticket to Ride," Procul Harum¼s "Whiter Shade Of Pale," "Ave Maria," "The Fool on the Hill," Queen¼s 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!
Listen to in RealAudio.
A compilation recording featuring the best of Swingles¼ 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 1960¼s. 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.
Primarily A Cappella is proud to be re-releasing the ever-popular Swingle Singers recording of "The Story Of Christmas". Formerly out of print, the continued demand for this recording is extraordinary, and a tribute to thjis English group about which the Los Angeles Times extolled "Everything about the Swingles is flawless". They take a collection of traditional carols and hymns ("The Boar's Head Carol, And Is It True?") and mix it with some modern songs (Jester Hairston's "Mary's Boy Child") to tell the story of Christmas. This is a well thought out arrangement of songs to tell the tale that we know so well with interesting and varied songs.
Listen to Carol Medley in RealAudio.
||Na, Na, Na
Love You Fovever
Man Of Constant Sorrow
Scooby Doo, Where Are You?
Go Tell it on the Mountain
Land of 1,000 Dances
Tonic Sol-Fa is Mark McGowan, Shaun Johnson, Greg Bannwarth, and Jared Dove, this is their 4th CD, and these guys are total pros! Hot vocal percussion, smooth, sweet melodies & harmonies, tight, innovative arrangements?Tonic Sol Fa has it all. "Na Na Na is the kind of hit that made Rockapella famous?one that grabs you from the first note, carries you along and drops you off a couple minutes later, breathless and grinning. "Love You Forever " is sweet and melodic with cool little Motown samples. "Eleanor Rigby" is a driving, soaring tour de force. "Man of Constant Sorrow" is a foot-stomping 30s barn dance of a song. "Ready Made" is a macho anthem that struts, swaggers and pleases. "Land of 1000 Dreams" has some great sampling, including Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Something." "Go Tell It On The Mountain" would have had the apostles up and boogying. We'd love to see TSL live?these four guys are on the road to stardom!
Listen to "Na, Na, Na" "Go Tell it on the Mountain" or "Witchy Woman"
|2923 CD $14.98|
This may well be the last (sob, tell me it ain't so!) album of jazz virtuosos, Vox One." These musicians created the most polished jazz (on the rock and blues edge of the spectrum) by anyone so far. Meticulous arrangements sung by superb performers make you forget any prior arrangement that was the benchmark to your mind's ear for how a particular song was supposed to sound. From the opening wail of the vocal electric guitar and definitive drum beat on "Chameleon" to the complex chord structures on "Round Midnight," you will be lost in a panoply of possibilities for the human voice. John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Harold Arlen, Herbie Hancock, Theolonius Monk and more are treated with nothing short of the genius they deserve. The title cut from one of our best selling CD's ever, "Chameleon,2 is a cool and refreshing cocktail of vocal jazz. Having emerged from the highly regarded Berklee School of Music, their sound reflects the talent and training that enables them to articulate sophisticated musical concepts with ease. This amazingly rich sonic tapestry is heard in the bent notes of the 3guitar2 and the slur of the 3bass2 on this track-amazing!
Listen to Round Midnight in RealAudio.
This Japanese release features seven songs not before released in the U.S.. For fans of Vox One, we are already preaching to the choir, but for the uninitiated, this contemporary jazz quintet has all of the technique of the Real Group, with a compelling edge of intensity and emotion. Therefore, a traditional such as "Shenandoah," using brilliant dynamics, phrasing and an admirable combination of tension and release, is transcendent, whereas classic pop - Carol King's "It's Too Late" - is given a heartbreaking harmonic complexity and richness. The arpeggiated chord accompaniment in the verse, so simple, yet effective, shows why a talented arranger can elevate the ordinary to greatness. When Vox One swings into the standard, "Autumn Leaves," they prove that they do no less than weave straw into gold.
Listen to Say You Love Me in RealAudio.
||Acoustix - "This Is The Moment"
Boston Common - "Caroline"
Bluegrass Student Union - "A Foggy Day"
Main Event - "Long Ago and Far Away"
Revival - "Sentimental Gentleman from Georgia"
Keepsake - "Royal Garden Blues"
Panache - "When October Goes"
Fred - "Jungle Book"
Chordiac Arrest - "Five-Oh-Two, Where Are You"
Rumors - "Jeepers Creepers"
Platinum - "WhatÕll I Do"
Joker's Wild - "I Got A Gal In Kalamazoo"
Weekend Edition - "Feels Like Home"
The Gas House Gang - "Eine Kleine NOT Music"
Marquis - "I Will Never Pass This Way Again"
Ambiance - "Excerpts from "Rhapsody in Blue"
Hot off the presses from our own record label comes a great collection of some of the finest barbershop quartets aptly named "Barbershop's Best".This is the first recording to feature a wide selection of both champion male and female quartets and includes some of the finest groups to ever perform in the barbershop style. These studio tracks were in great part selected by the groups themselves and represents, in their opinion, some of their finest work. Featured are cuts from Platinum, Acoustix, Ambiance, Boston Common, Bluegrass Student Union, Panache, Fred and Rumors and more. 16 great tracks.
|2603 CD $14.98|
The women of Sweet Adelines, like their male counterparts, represent the most jubilant, and essentially American, style of harmony singing of the 20th century. This best-of compilation is a long-overdue salute to the stars (and spangles!) of SAI and its spirited membership. Featuring both the rousing and upbeat - High Society's "Thank You World," Showtime's "Ya Gotta Know/I Can't Give You Anything But Love," Classic Edition's "Hit Me With A Hot Note" and the brand new Signature Sound track, "Mama's Gone Goodbye Medley," - as well as the exquisite ache of Ambiance's "Bundle of Old Love Letters," Panache's "Someone Like You" and Swing Street's "All Of My Life," this collection of studio cuts is the first of its kind. We think your ears will agree that it's also the finest!
Our own compilation, featuring a diverse line-up of artists. It's an original gift idea, particularly for those ears not yet familiar with a cappella. The track list includes the most popular, such as the contemporary Christian group Glad ("O Come All Ye Faithful"), the legendary doo-wop group the Persuasions ("Christmas Means Love") and The Swingle Singers ("Carol Medley"), whose vocal jazz technique is flawless. Several of the new and exciting vocal groups, such as Naturally Seven, m-pact, Go Fish and the Edlos are represented. All a cappella fans will appreciate Acoustix' "You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch" (from their new "Cool Yule" CD), Just For Kick's "A Child is Born" and ReGeneration "Do You Hear What I Hear?". The Blenders "Christmas Song," from Nog (one of the greatest holiday CD's ever), Chanticleer's "In Dulci Jubilo," (Chanticleer's holiday concerts are a highlight of every season) and the Accidentals' signature "Rudiana" are also included. 17 tracks in all.
||Adams Family - Hi-Fidelity
My Baby Just Cares For Me - Clockwork
Only You - Regency
Take the A train - Round Midnight
Last Train to Clarksville - ElmoThumm
Blackbird - Hi-Fidelity
Jump, Jive & Wail - Regency
As - Traces
Creep - Clockwork
Tin Roof Blues - Round Midnight
Shooting Star - ElmoThumm
We Built This City - Tongue Tied A Cappella
Long Train Runnin' - Curious Gage
Sunglasses - Tongue Tied A Cappella
Windmills - Curious G
Wonderful World II - Traces
It's the first weekend in May, and the sold-out audience at Marin Veterans Auditorium in San Rafael, CA is buzzing with anticipation of seeing the Harmony Sweepstakes Finals, possibly the best live show in a cappella! 8 Regional-winning groups are backstage, having beat out as many as 8 other groups for the privilege of singing their hearts out for the National Championship. "Finals" has 16 of the best tunes from that memorable night, including Bay Area winner Clockwork's jazzy "My Baby Just Cares For Me," and wonderful cover of Radiohead's "Creep," part of an excellent set that won them 3rd place, and the award for "Best Original Arrangement." We hear Mid-Atlantic-winning Regency's "Only You" and high-energy "Jump, Jive and Wail," part of a great set that won them 2nd place. LA barbershop quartet Hi Fidelity, in "Addams Family" costume, bring us the "Addams Family" theme and a key-bending, hilarious "Blackbird," they won both Audience Favorite and the National Championship. New York Quartet 'Round Midnight's "Take the A-Train" and "Tin Roof Blues," Chicago's Elmo Thumm's "Last Train to Clarksville" and "Shooting Star," Denver's Curious Gage's "Long Train Runnin'" and "Windmills" show us how good Hi-Fidelity had to be to win. Boston's Traces sing "As" and "Wonderful World," which won Best Original Song," and the Pacific NW's Tongue Tied A Cappella give us a dynamic cover of the Starship's "We Built This City." Exciting cuts from a magic May evening in San Rafael!
Listen to Blackbird (Hi Fidelity) and Only You (Regency) in Real Audio
|2006 CD $14.98|
||-Ode To Krispy Kreme (Chapter 6)
-Don't Worry 'Bout A Thing (Chapter 6)
-Paper Moon (Moodswing)
-Mary Don't You Weep (Traces)
-Joy To The World (Groove For Thought)
-Superstitious/I Wish (Fiveplay)
-Can't Stop Thinking About You (Firedrill!)
-Crazy Love (Cartoon Johnny)
-What's Goin' On? (Undivided)
-I Never Knew (Fiveplay)
-Englishman In New York (Traces)
-Chain OfFools (Firedrill!)
-Pink Panther Theme (Face)
-Walk The Straighter Road (Groove For Thought)
-Rock Your Body (Cartoon Johnny)
-Amazing Grace (Undivided)
-Harder To Breathe (Face)
-Safety Dance (Face)
It always seems to us as the Harmony Sweeps celebrates another year of its existence (its 21st, in this case), that "last year's Finals were so sublime, how could this year's possibly…etc., etc."but then we're in the sold-out, excited audience for this year's, and the first group is about to come on… what we're trying to say is somehow each Sweeps Final is better than the last. And what we love about the CDs is that they're live, 9 of the best a cappella groups in the world on one stage, singing their hearts out for 13 short minutes, for the National Championship. Last May, Mid-Atlantic's Cartoon Johnny, Boston's Firedrill, Chicago's Fiveplay, NYC's Traces, Denver's Face, Pacific NW's Groove for Thought, LA's Undivided and SF's own Moodswing were those groups. 19 songs, including "Joy to the World" and Best Original Song, "Walk the Straighter Road" by Kevin Kunz of National Champions Groove For Thought, David Lichtman Best Original Arrangement winner "Paper Moon" by Greg Murai of Moodswing, ("Moanin'" by Moodswing is also happily included), 3rd Place finishers Fiveplay sing Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious/IWish" and "I Never Knew," and runner-up and Audience Favorite Face have 3 winners, "Pink Panther Theme," "Harder To Breathe" and "Safety Dance." But let us not forget hosts Chapter 6, whose "Ode to Krispy Kreme" and "Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing" drew standing O's, Firedrill's Motown classic "Chain of Fools," Traces' "Mary Don't You Weep," Undivided's "What's Goin' On" and Cartoon Johnny's "Crazy Love." A savory sampler from a magic night in May in San Rafael, CA!
Listen to Walk The Straighter Road (Groove For Thought) and Paper Moon (Moodswing) in Real Audio
|2005 CD $14.98|
||Happy Birthday - Alpha
Themes/Variations on It Don't Mean A Thing- Chapter 6
Blue Bayou - Idea Of North
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Clockwork
Salsa Te Triago Yo - Alpha
7th Wheel - Chapter 6
Charlie on the M.T.A - Heebee-Jeebees
Take 5 - Mosaic
St. Louis Blues - Road Show
I've Got Rhythm/Fascinatin' Rhythm - Clockwork
God Bless This Child - Vox Bop
Obsession - Impulse
Cree (Believe) - Alpha
Kiss From A Rose - Impulse
Isn't She Lovely - Idea of North
Use the Force - Heebee Jeebees
The Commercial Medley - Vox Bop
Bye Bye Blues - Road Show
Shining Star - Mosaic
This year's Harmony Sweepstakes reminded all who participated, how magical making music can be. Now, we all can share that magic by listening toÊthis excellent live recording. With 20 years gone by, this national competition is still going strong and bringing out the very best in a cappella singing.This year's show had an excellent assortment of various styles, including jazz, pop, contemporary, latin and much more. There were lots of humorous moments, including the national champions, Chapter Six's original song, "7th Wheel", as well as somber/uplifting moments including the beautiful performance of "Kiss From A Rose" by Impulse. Of course no one could forget Clockwork's performance of "Inna-Godda-Da-Vida" or Vox Bop's "Commercial medley". With continuous stellar performances from all eight groups, this 19 track CD is sure to keep you entertained.
|2004 CD $14.98|
We're of the almost certainly biased opinion that the Harmony Sweeps Finals are the best a cappella shows in the world. Imagine 8 groups, who have come in first in Regional competition with 10 other groups in places like New York, Boston, the Bay Area, Chicago and LA, performing before a packed auditorium in San Rafael, CA for 12 minutes each, for the coveted National Championship. Each year outdoes the last, and "electric" doesn't do justice to the 2003 Finals. There are 18 songs on the CD, two from each group and two from '02 Champs, and very funny hosts, LA's Perfect Gentlemen, "Gimme Some Skin" and the guitar accompanied (!) "Meanest Thing You Ever Did Was Kiss Me." The Bay Area's hilarious Moosebutter brings us "Psycho, The Musical," winner of "Best Original Song" (lyrics), and their trademark parody, "Star Wars," part of a set that won them 2nd place honors. The Pacific NW's Second Chance contribute a funky "Go Tell It On The Mountain" and the very funny beach song parody "Sand Down My Pants." LA's Undivided Musical Group sing "Amarte Mas" and nail Ward Swingle's arrangement of "Mission Impossible Theme." Boston's All About Buford do wonderful covers of the Gershwins' "Summertime" and Rodgers & Hart's "My Funny Valentine." Chicago's Nightwatch sing two songs from their infamous "Diner Set" (complete with ballistic donut), "Truck Drivin' Man" and "Yes Sir, That's My Baby," and New York's very smooth Cadence covers "Straighten Up and Fly Right" and "Tempted' beautifully. Denver's Groove Society gets the crowd up and rocking with "You're No Good" and the classic "Listen to the Music." Unbelievably, as good as all these groups were, the best was saved for last, Mid-Atlantic winner Idea of North from Australia, who shine on "Mas Que Nada" (which won the David Lichtman Award for Best Arrangement) and Randy Newman's heart-tugging "When She Loved Me." Idea of North got the nod from the judges, and won Audience Favorite, while Moosebutter and Cadence placed 2nd and 3rd. A chorus of "Goodnight Sweetheart" later we were all walking out of beautiful Marin Veterans Auditorium, not believing how good a show we had just seen and heard!
The sellout crowd at Marin Veterans Aud. in San Rafael, CA once again saw a dazzling Harmony Sweepstakes Final - Eight Regional winners from all over the country, giving their all in the "most exciting twelve minutes in a cappella." In this wonderfully recorded CD we hear Denver winner Eclipse's "Danny Boy" and "Look My Way," Bay Area Winner III of a Kind's incredible cover of "Man in the Mirror" and the Asian hit tune "Anak;" returning winner (Pacific NW) The Standards' "Ain't Got Nothing But Love" and heartfelt "Prayer of the Children;" Boston Winner Groove's great covers of "Anna Begins" and James Brown's classic "I Feel Good," and New York winner, the Russian group Autri, sings "Keimanchuli" and a stunning original by one of its members, "Tale of War." Los Angeles' Perfect Gentlemen's cutting edge barbershop harmony soars into "Blue Skies" and "Patty Cake." Washington, DC's Tone Rangers score with their offbeat covers of "I Need You" and Simon & Garfunkel's "Keep The Customer Satisfied." Finally, Chicago winner Chapter 6 nails Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and finishes with a hilarious "Wizard Of Oz Medley." In the end the judges chose The Perfect Gentlemen as National Champion, (also chosen Audience Favorite) and we walked into the night, smiling and raving about one of the best a cappella shows of all time!
If you were there in San Rafael on May 5th, 2001, you know what an incredible show this was. Eight of the best groups in the world, Sixth Wave, Voice Trek, Freestyle, Vox Bop, So Rare, T Minus 5, 4:2:5 and Eclipse, on stage for 12 incredible minutes each, the show hilariously hosted by last year's winner, Toxic Audio. The sellout (always) audience was blown away by one amazing performance after another, ranging from the ridiculous, T Minus 5's side-splitting "Red Neck Avenger" and Freestyle's very funny "Paper Doll," to the unbelievable, Vox Bop's genre-hopping commentary on all things a cappella, "Slinky Variations," and Voice Trek's tour-de-force "William Tell Overture;" to the sublime, So Rare's "Ain't Misbehavin' and 4:2:5's "Still The One." In the end, the judges had a difficult choice, and went with Los Angeles' Sixth Wave, whose "Grazin' in the Grass" and "Mambo" are representative of their wonderful vocal jazz set. Add two songs by Toxic Audio, which makes 18, and you have a barn-burner CD of one of the best a cappella shows of all time. Wow!
The professionalism of the competing groups becomes more impressive with each passing year! Each and every ensemble that graces the stage with their talent has something special, and each group is distinct in its own way. Of course the contemporary and jazz groups are always popular - and in fact, Toxic Audio, the contemporary/jazz quintet from Florida, took first place, and another mixed jazz quintet, Bay Area favorites +4 db, were third - but, in addition, we feature the Perfect Gentlemen, a barbershop group from Los Angeles (2nd place), and the Total Experience Gospel Choir. Of course, 1999 champs, and your hosts, the contemporary Christian septet, Seven, perform two songs, and their virtuosity is undeniable. Audience favorites the Exboyfriends (who have won this category in previous New York regionals, flexing their performance muscles), swagger with Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On," while the reconstituted All Star Vocal Band (formerly the 17th Ave. All Stars) cover Journey and Stevie Wonder. Live Wire and Chapter Six represent the hot retro swing craze. It's a panoply of sound!
This year's program was the most diverse and exciting yet. Filled with emerging groups, as well as Sweepstakes favorites such as Chicago Voice Exchange, the competition was intense indeed. Seven, from New York, garnered top honors, with their intricate and multi-textured voicings, heard to best advantage on "Bridge Over Troubled Water"; the group's arrangements are expanding the universe of sound. Taking second place were the Standards, five brothers whose onstage appeal and energy charmed everyone. Minimum Wage's outrageous humor, as exemplified by "The Last Cowboy Song," had the audience begging for mercy (or more?) Other musical highlights include the ringing tones of last year's champs, Metropolis (a barbershop quartet), the Euphorics, with "Message In A Bottle" and Pickup 6's medley of Beatles favorites.
We are fortunate indeed to have assembled such a truly talented group of finalists for the 1998 Harmony Sweeps. Winners Metropolis, the barbershop quartet from Southern California, sing "Some Lucky Day" and the entertaining "Yakko's World." Audience favorite (and second-place finishers) +4dB begin the festivities with "In A Mellow Tone" and also perform the Real Group's "Chile Con Carne." Other groups include Canadians the Heebee-jeebees, catalog favorites Blind Man's Bluff, Ball in the House and Acapelicans (from Australia), Cool Shooz and the third place winners, the Sweet Adelines' quartet City Lights. Bonus performance: An improvised jam by our evening's hosts, SoVoSo.
For more information on PAC Records, please call John Neal at (415) 455-8602, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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