Female A Cappella Groups

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10fm: History of Things To Come

There are very few female A Cappella/Vocal Percussion ensembles to speak of, and 10fm is one that seems to be making headway in this very male dominated genre. Most of the song titles are familiar, including arrangements of Carole King's "I Feel the Earth Move", Garbage's "Stupid Girl", Joan Osborne's "Ladder", and The Bee Gee's "How Deep is Your Love". Very interesting arrangements of these popular radio songs, coupled with heavy use of vocal percussion, give this CD an original and distinctive zest. Overall, the work is solid, but the highlight of the CD is "The Star Spangled Banner," where the harmonies and vocal talent of this quintet are truly demonstrated.
2601 CD $14.98

A Cappella Go: Way Out West

A Cappella-Go is three exceptional women with extensive musical backgrounds whose mission is to share the great music of the past with their audiences. The vocal talents of these three are highlighted on the 15 classic hits of "Way Out West." Some particular favorites are "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down & Write Myself A Letter," "Mr. Sandman," "Lullabye of Broadway" (dedicated to Esther Smith & the Rhythm Girls), "Sentimental Journey," "Down Among The Sheltering Palms," "Sing, Sing!/Let Yourself Go Medley," "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe," "Lullabye of Birdland" and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." These beautiful young women are real audience-pleasers who harmonize with spirit and panache on some of the great songs of all time.
7404 CD $14.98

A Cappella Gold: Harmony Gone Wild

Nashville's 2000 Sweet Adelines Convention saw appropriately-named A Cappella Gold named Queens of Harmony, and since then they've released "As Good As Gold," "Pure Gold" and now "Harmony Gone Wild" to prove how right the judges were! Included here are 13 songs, from beautifully-arranged old favorites like "Here's That Rainy Day," "These Foolish Things," "Glow Worm," "Something's Gotta Give," "Red River Valley" and "Row, Row, Rosie," to new songs we haven't heard like "Somethin' About Ya," "Why Haven't I Heard From You" and the funny live cut "Generic Uptempo Barbershop Song." Elton John's "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" is beautifully sung and arranged, as is the surprising jazz tune made famous by Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, "Sermonette." The gals finish strong with a ringing Limelighters tune, "Harmony." Smiling on the cover dressed in Zebra-stripe overkill, ACG is not shy, and can belt, ring chords and harmonize with the best of them and have big fun doing it!
5634 CD $14.98

Amasong: Laulu Voim: The Power of Song

The pride of Champaign-Urbana, IL, premier lesbian/feminist chorus Amasong, over 100 strong, brings us an exuberant collection of 21 folk songs, some accompanied, from many different traditions. "Laulu's" smorgasbord of cultures begins with Brazilian (the joyful "O Xote Das Meninas"), Chinese (the love song "Kangding Qing Ge"), Estonian (the lilting "Tantsides"), Afghani (the mourning dance song "Lailaw"), Scottish ("Gone the Boat"), Finnish ("Taivas On Sininen" The Sky Is Blue), Quaker, Sephardic, Italian, Provencal, Guadeloupe, Bulgarian, American Indian and others. Beautiful, extensive liner notes with all lyrics. Amasong's third excellent CDã"Laulu" is a sumptuous joy!
9826 CD $15.98

Amasong: Amai

"Amai", the title of Amasong's second CD release, means "mother" and "woman" from the Shona Language in Zimbabwe. Amasong is a 60 women b Premier Lesbian/Feminist chorus from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Graced with traditional arrangements from around the world, this CD is both enjoyable and educational. Favorites include; "The Stove," a short and humorous Feminist composition, Four Russian Peasant Songs by Igor Stravinsky, and "Cradle Song," an Amasong original of prayer and inspiration. Intense emotion and sensitivity are generated through dynamic movement and rhythmic expression. Having chosen so many languages the degree of difficulty is incredible, yet these women sing with ease. Their diction and sympathetic perception of the music are right on the money, and their dedication is admirable.
6456 CD $15.98

Andrews Sisters: Hidden Gems

It's 1943 and the war news on the radio isn't great, so you fiddle with the dial on the huge RCA Victor radio, and there are the Andrews Sisters, singing "I'm Getting Corns for My Country," a song about the painful joys of dancing at the USO. You chuckle and start tapping your feet, and think that a country that could produce a group like the plucky Sisters might win this war after all. "Now Is The Time" is a rare, 2-CD for the price of one collection of Andrews Sisters classics, many of which have not been heard since the end of the war. There are 23 songs, not in total but on each CD! Joining the Sisters are stars like Carmen Miranda on two Samba songs, Danny Kaye on three songs, Bing Crosby on two songs, Burl Ives, Nat King Cole, Dick Hayme, Ernest Tubb and Dan Dailey. All songs are swing band accompanied. Picking favorites isn't easy‚all the songs are hip, swinging, and funny and/or poignant: "The Turntable Song," "The Wedding Samba," "He Rides The Range For Republic," "Gimme Some Skin, My Friend," "Choo'n Gum," "Amelia Cordelia McHugh-McWho?" and "Big Brass Band from Brazil" with Danny Kaye, and "Too Fat Polka." Of course you've heard "Beat Me Daddy, Eight to the Bar" on all the other Andrews recordings, but have you heard "Bounce Me Brother With A Solid Four?" If you love the AS, swing music, American history or musical humor, this CD is for you!
4491 CD $15.98

Anonymous 4

Anonymous 4 is a unique vocal quartet specializing in the performance of medieval chant and polyphony. The group, which has been performing together since 1986, takes its name from the designation given by musicologists to an anonymous 13th-century Englishman who, as a student in Paris, wrote about the vocal polyphony then being performed at the Cathedral of Notre Dame

Anonymous 4: American Angels

Anonymous 4 turns from the medieval repertoire to explore the roots of American sacred music. Developed in Toni Morrison¼s Atelier program at Princeton in spring 2003, American Angels includes songs of redemption and glory from the time of the American Revolution to the present day: 18th-century psalm settings from rural New England, 19th-century shape-note and camp revival songs from the rural South, and some of the nation¼s best-loved gospel songs. Drawing from collections including „The Southern Harmony,¾ and „The Sacred Harp,¾ - the album explores the beauty and power of early American sacred music and the relatively obscure form of a cappella choral singing known as Sacred Harp.
7074 CD $16.98

Akasa: World Citizen

The Sanskrit word Akasa (pronounced A-ka-sha) means "Cavity of the Heart/Ether, that which fills everything." Vicki, Mihi, Heidi and Melanie, the four young women singers of this Melbourne-based group sing songs with an African flavor and rhythms. Their debut CD won "Best World Folk Album" at the 2000 Contemporary A Cappella Awards in the U.S. They sing of the oneness of all people on the planet, of never leaving your dreams behind, songs of the pain of divorce, songs against rich developers, songs of the power of people acting together, songs against slavery, songs of revolution-messages of social change and activism. We hear various kinds of percussion on these songs, played by the women themselves, but the emphasis is on the rich voices of the singers and their message. There are 12 songs: "World Citizen," "Eewoyi A," "Sweet Dreaming," "Power of the People," "Pin Ye Bo," "Slave," "Human Zoo," "Divorced," "Drifting," "Singing The Land," Rere Ahu" and "Walk With Me." The liner notes are beautiful and include all the lyrics. Moving, powerful, rhythmic music!
6748 CD $14.98

Aquabella: Nani

"Nani" is Armenian for "mother," and there are similar words in many languages. In Yiddish it is "Nam"Ïwet nurse, in Hungarian "Neni"Ïolder sister, in Russian "Njanja"Ïmum. "Dschann," from the original Persian, is a term of endearment which can be attached to any name. For their second CD, recorded in Berlin, the five German women singers of Aquabella looked for songs in which women tell their stories. Women seething with jealousy, women annoyed by midnight love serenades, women making fun of the village priest, women crying to their children or lovers, women who simply want to marry. The passion of Aquabella is filling these stories with life, in carefully but pointedly thinning out the song's prototype in order to enrich it with their own personal stories. These songs, most of them old ones, are thus sung to the world as responses. There are 15 songs here, all in languages like Russian, German, Armenian, Italian and Bulgarian, as we see in the beautiful full-color liner booklet. The sound is hauntingly beautiful and authentic; each song filled with spirit, feeling and passion!
6970 CD $15.98

Black Voices: Space To Breath

The five beautiful young women who are Black Voices bring us a rich and varied collection of traditional music ("The Lord's Prayer," "Amen," the spiritual "Steal Away," the Scottish folk song "Caledonia," and "In The Upper Room"), Contemporary music (the powerful "I'm Goin' Stand," Stevie Wonder's "Love's in Need," C. Pemberton's "Living In a Real World," "Ayiya‚An African Feel," and "Blues Strands") and Reggae ("Reggae Medley" of five songs. There is a lot of feeling and strength in this CD, in the choice of the music and especially in the harmonies of the perfectly pitched voices. There's some electric bass on "Blues Strands," otherwise all a cappella.
2542 CD $15.98

Boswell Sisters: Shout, Sister, Shout

Connee (1907-1976), Martha (1908-1958) and Helvetia ("Vet") Boswell (1909-1988) constituted the most popular female vocal group before The Andrews Sisters, and created some of the most exciting recordings of the early 30s - still sounding amazing today. They enjoyed 20 hits before breaking up, when the remarkable, wheelchair-bound Connee continued a great solo career, influencing a generation of singers such as Ella Fitzgerald. But as a trio, the Sisters were never matched. Shout, Sister, Shout! was their signature tune, and now the title of a 25-track selection of their very best recordings. 11 of them were major hits, including their first success, the incredible "When I Take My Sugar To Tea", and "Dinah", "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter", "Roll On Mississippi Roll On", "Rock And Roll", "It's The Girl" and the chart-topping "The Object Of My Affection" - each one a tour de force. The Sisters' jazz flair was invariably enhanced by the accompaniment of some of the top musicians in jazz, and fine solos by such as Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Bunny Berigan, Benny Goodman, Manny Klein, Artie Shaw and Joe Venuti and Eddie Lang all add to the enjoyment.
4523 CD $12.98

Boswell Sisters: Never-Issued Tunes & Takes (1930-1935)

We've been transported back into 1930, and turning on one of those beautiful old radios, we hear a live Boswell Sisters' program, sometimes with actual static, and a hopelessly straight-laced announcer. These are 1930-35 original broadcast transcriptions, tracks that have never been released in any form, of popular Southern girl group the Boswells, the most original trio of their time. This is pretty racy stuff, especially for its time ("If you see me necking somebody new, I'm in training for you!"‚from "I'm in Training For You." 25 live, authentic gems, all at least lightly piano-accompanied, some with full orchestra, (Glenn Miller's and Tommy Dorsey's): "Does My Baby Love?," "Gee, But I'd Love to Make You Happy," "Rarin' To Go," "There's Wah-Wah Girl in Agua Caliente," "My Mad Moment," "I Thank You, Mr. Moon," "Me Minus You," "Puttin' It On"äThis was the jazz age, time of the scandalous, liberated flapper, and the harmonizing Boswells celebrated this new freedom to the max. This CD is a recommended joy!
4524 CD $14.98

Bulgarian Women's Choir - Angelite: Voices Of Life

Bulgaria is a musical empire of ancient times. This unknown style of female vocal singing is finally receiving the recognition it deserves after years of isolation. Demonstrating mastery in advanced harmony and developed breath control, these women will amaze you with tonality and resonance that suggests a deeper look into the oppression and humanity of this mystical land of the Rhodope Mountains. "There is a clarion purity to their singing which continues to express timeless sentiments of the human condition." Created by contemporary classic composers the music is rich with traditional melodies yet complex in harmony and texture, using the distinctive vocal timbres and techniques indigenous to Bulgaria. This is a fascinating introduction to a musical legacy.
6496 CD $15.98

Calamity Jane: The Road Ahead

The Janes take a collection of songs that Thirty-Something Girls Like-"I Can't Make You Love Me," "Woodstock" and "Like A Prayer" are just several, but they're all good-begin with carefully constructed arrangements and pour their seven voices in a thick layer over the top. Sometimes "all-girl" groups can lack ballast on the bottom end, but Calamity Jane-as their name implies-gets the job done, relying on a foundation of dense block chords and ground bass figures. These gals aren't striving for a delicate, girly sound, but demonstrate that they can more than hold their own in the male-dominated world of contemporary a cappella.
2887 CD $14.98

de Castro Sisters: Teach Me Tonight

Most popular in the 50s, the de Castros began a decade earlier as a Latin act, which they virtually dropped when they were signed by the otherwise hillbilly-oriented Abbott label. Besides 31 (big band accompanied) period hits, "Teach Me" includes a thick photo album with the history of these 3 Cuban rich girls who shared an amazing musical career stretching from the 1940s to the present day (at least as of 1999, when the CD was released), from Miami to Hollywood to New York City. Sneaking off from their gig at Miami's Clover Club to sing (and record) with Tito Puente's band, being invited to Hollywood by Walt Disney to sing background vocals on "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah"ãit's an amazing musical story. The title tune was on the flip side of the supposed-to-be hit "It's Love." A Cleveland disc jockey turned it over, played it and got bags of mail. The "suggestive" tune became the Sisters' biggest hit. Novelty and pop tunes like "Boom Boom Boomerang," "Cuckoo In The Clock," "Rockin' and Rollin' In Hawaii," "Cowboys Don't Cry," "Don't Call Me Sweetie," "Old Timer's Tune" the upbeat "Biddle-Dee Bop" and "You Take Of Me (I'll Take Care of You;" torch songs like "No One to Blame But You," "Give Me Time," "If I Ever Fall In Love," "It's Yours," and the country tune "That Little Word Called Love"‚we've never heard most of these songs, but we like them. They are as full of energy, spirit and innocence as the 1950s, and the improbable de Castro Sisters!
4548 CD $15.98

Chordettes: Harmony Encores / Your Requests

As this is another two-LPs for the price of one CD, we can hear you say, "Let me guess, they'll love this one too." Bingo! The Chordettes, who we think of as the first great Sweet Adelines group, pioneered women's barbershop singing when there was no such thing, and they did it with class, professionalism and style. "Harmony Encores" was released by Columbia in 1952, and "Sing Your Requests" in 1954, and they contain 23 classics of harmony and arrangement. While finding the original LPs in any kind of condition to play is unlikely, here you get the original master recordings on a CD with pictures of the four women, the original album covers and the original liner notes. From the opening cut, "Carolina Moon," to "Drifting and Dreaming," "Kentucky Babe," "The Anniversary Waltz," "Wait 'Til the Sun Shines, Nellie," "I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now," "Hello! Ma Baby" and the final cut "Darkness On The Delta," this is Entertainment!
4494 CD $13.98

Coco's Lunch: Landing On Our Feet

The five young women singers who call themselves Coco's Lunch have got rhythm, they've got music, and they've got that swing (the kind that it don't mean a thing if you ain't got it)! For the five years they've been together they've built a reputation as one of Australia's most outstanding and innovative a cappella groups. They weave earthy songs with driving (non-vocal) percussion (and there is your odd flute passage), drawing on the sounds of the world in a distinctly Australian way. "Dressed" is Coco's third CD, following "Invisible Rhythm" and "Wally Wombat Shuffle." The Songs (all written and/or composed by group members) are: "Shine," "Thulele Mama Ya," "Nature's Vanishing Points," "All The Wild Wonders," "A Whole New Way," "Fly Away," "Shifting Time," "Sleepless," "Night Reserviert," "Unity" and "Sister My Sister." The words, all included on the nice-looking liner notes, are moving poems of freedom, love and wildness. "Dressed" is a fun, refreshing, toe-tapper of a CD that satisfies on many levels!
6791 CD $14.98

Copley Cats: Landing On Our Feet

An eleven member women's ensemble hailing from the Boston area who met while singing in college, the group could be loosely classified as contemporary, but also sing classic pop ("Walk on By") and jazz standards ("Satin Doll" and "Night and Day"). Several of their songs were arranged by Deke Sharon, including "Time and Tide," and "Passionate Kisses." A variety of members take turns on lead, and are consistently and solidly supported by this sorority of voices.
2173 CD $14.98

Copper Wimmin: American Tyranny

Born of conviction, an indictment of repression and discrimination, and a celebration of female energy and power, „American Tyranny¾ is unambiguous in its message and intent. Musically, it is best described as modern chant; fundamental harmonic intervals, unembellished arrangements and monophonic textures dominate, created from gut-level emotion that could be termed instinctual. „Euphemism¾ is a rejection of the dominant white-male paradigm, „Ay Yi¾ a primal lament. Produced by June Millington, the guitarist of the pioneering women's rock group Fanny.
2886 CD $14.98

Copper Wimmin: Etheric Bodies

We have personally enjoyed hearing the three beautiful young women who call themselves Copper Wimmin live at the Bay Area Harmony Sweeps Regionals and West Coast A Cappella Summits. The titles of their powerful, feminist, poetic, beautifully-sung songs are: "Actual Tongue," "Show Us," "Ballad Of The Lonely," "Caboose," "Onje," "Iris," "Candra," "Fish," "Caveman," "Bottle," "Not Silenced" and "Nothing Wrong." The imagery is b and thought-provoking, as in this line from "Bottle:" "I'm the bottle that everybody shakes, But I never, I never break..." One warningÏand this is a first for us, although it's very tastefully done, there is partial nudity on the cover and in all the photos of the group inside the beautiful liner notes. The pure, soaring vocals blend perfectly, adding weight and feeling to what is being sung. "Etheric" is a work of art on many levels!
6994 CD $14.98

Dilemma: Dilemma

Dilemma's logo on the front of this CD has a halo over the "d" and the "a" at the end finishes in a devil's pointed tail. And the picture of the group, Rahela Abbas, Christine Chang, Denise Shepherd, Suzanna Smith and Tracey Van Hooser, portrays the five women looking at us in a "What are you looking at" kind of way. Dilemma, who we enjoyed at last year's Harmony Sweepstakes Bay Area Regional, have come into their power! 13 songs, of which two, "Wishing" and "Crucial" are originals: The Temptations' "Can't Get Next to You," "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," Donna Summer's kick-ass "Hot Stuff," "It Hurt So Bad," "Song for a Winter's Night," "I'm Beginning to See the Light," "The Sweetest Thing" (Tell Him), "That I Would Be Good," "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," "Don't Leave Me This Way" and "We'll Be Together." Very b vocal percussion keeps Dilemma's sound cooking, and allows the voices to go off of the melody and play. b arrangements and affirmative song selection, and a willingness to let go and take chances all add up to a breakthrough CD. But angels or devils? A little taste of both!
2954 CD $14.98

Elektra Women's Choir: Classic Elektra

This much-acclaimed women's classical choir from Vancouver, British Columbia, performs a diverse, frequently modern, repertoire drawn from many cultures world over. The ethereal "Hosanna," combines a concise traditional text with a repetitive theme and mixed meter; "The Snow," by the Romantic English composer Edward Elgar, is accompanied by two violins and piano, a delicately melodic, tonally-centered work in sonata form. "The Seeds Of Love," begins with a jazzy, engaging piano intro, alternating with a cappella choir, gradually becoming homophonic in texture; a "jazz/classical" fusion that is undeniably moving. Several Finnish composers, an Estonian, and Canadian composer Stephen Hatfield's interpretation of seven South African freedom songs, "African Celebration," round out this eclectic and adventurous recording.
6422 CD $15.98

Femme M'amie: Radiance to Pocket

The name of this New Hampshire women's septet literally translates 'woman, my friend.' From soaring harmonies to full voiced choral arrangements, they choose to share a woman's view of the world. The diversity of material is wonderful. Of the original songs, our favorite is "Sea Glass" which is a glorious piece of music and a marvelous metaphorical view of the possibilities of life. In feel, it is a modern classical composition. You will find a madrigal ("Amaryllis' Lament) about menopause! It's hysterical. A couple of Linda Hirschorn's rounds are presented. One of our favorite songs of hope was written by Fred Small, "Everything Possible," It is treated with a simple elegance. A wider cultural excursion into the world of the spirit is the arrangement of the traditional Sanskrit chant, "Om Namo Bagavatae" which is sung in a harmonic complexity of unsurpassed beauty. Live free or die!

8229 CD $14.98

Girls Next Door: About Time

The Girls Next Door have been charming the boys at the University of Illinois since 1971. Orange and blue, south farms and cornfields too, it is impossible not to like pretty singing girls from the heart of the midwest. Right, guys? Most arranging is done within the group and has been a GND criterion for 30 years, keeping Jazz and Contemporary selections the main focus. Forget Madonna, The GND version of "Beautiful Stranger" blows the blonde away. Joni Mitchell is hard to compete with, but if you are going to cover her songs then you better do it well: "River" is as flowing and beautiful as the original recording. Sarah McLachlan is very popular these days so she must be "Good Enough." "Ain't Misbehavin'," "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and "Java Jive" are essential in proving the malleability of the GND style 8 stunning voices singing 18 great songs; The Girls Next Door only want you to have fun and undoubtedly will give you "Something To Talk About". These larks are an ILLINI Legend.
1721 CD $14.98

Harmonytryx: A Fine Whine

"Diva-licious" is Harmonytryx' (Har-mo-NEE-trix) apt word to describe themselves. We would call these six beautiful women from New York a breath of fresh air, and they are causing a major buzz in the a cappella world! Self-managed and independent, these six women entertain audiences with an eclectic mix of pop, folk and world music that ranges from sexy and provocative to soulful and spiritual. Their unique combination of tightly-crafted vocal harmonies, powerful solos, funky vocal percussion and lively humor has captivated audiences throughout the NYC metropolitan area and beyond. There are 11 tunes here, "Ladies' Night," "O Sifuni Mungu," "His Mother's Legacy," "Sunday Morning, Yellow Sky," "Train in Vain" (featuring vocal percussion by Wes Carroll of the House Jacks), "Fear from Paradise," "Another Train," "For Each Day," "Homeless," "Testosterone" and "Freedom." Every song is beautifully crafted and performed with spirit and panache. We're not surprised to see on their website that they've been opening for Rockapella. "Fine whine" is a huge first CD and Harmonytrix is going places!
6987 CD $14.98

Hen Party: Nobody Here But Us..

Forself-effacing mockery, also hails from that fine English folk tradition that Artisan represents (though Hen Party borrows a tune or two from its upstart colonialist cousins). Uncomplicated technically, the simple changes and diatonic melodies of folk tunes are also some of the prettiest, and are easy to harmonize. Songs such as "Normandy Orchards" and "The L & N Don't Stop Here Anymore" offer comfort during hard times, or may be the only form of protest available to the working-class; as such, their strength can be more visceral than more supposedly cultured forms.
9746 CD $14.98

Inkululeko: "Inkululeko"

"Inkululeko," a Xhosa word meaning freedom and redemption, is a fitting moniker for this five-piece female quintet from Austin, Texas. Three Xhosa (Xhosa is one of the traditional South African languages), as well as Afro-Cuban and Eastern European folk songs, comprise this world-music mosaic. The repetition of vocalized syllables, and the character of the native languages to the Western ear, create a meditative quality that feels as natural as the rhythm of the ocean. Indeed, these songs do transcend time: the polyrhythms and simple, honest melodies are a musical accompaniment to the struggles of civilizations throughout the ages.
9733 CD $14.98

Iris: Love Cafe

"Iris" are five women from Colorado, who perform a mixture of original and traditional material in the contemporary folk vein. The nature of existence, ephemeral yet everlasting, is the subject of the first cut, "All Things Are Connected"; the repetitive refrain drives the message home. The urgency of the bass motif fuels "Sweet Guru Child," the unison harmony of "Calling Me Open," (an original) gently flavors the melody with an honest sobriety of centuries past. Several tracks have subtle percussion, some of it vocal, adding energy and momentum. Iris' sound is tight and tuneful, and their songwriting and repertoire is eclectic without becoming obscure.
2181 CD $14.98

Johnson Girls: On The Rocks

The New York City-based Johnson Girls are five talented women who sing authentic, a cappella sea chanteys and maritime songs. Lead-singing leads are shared fairly evenly among the five, who particularly enjoy singing this very blue-collar music live, encouraging audience participation. 19 authentic, spirited tunes, some favorites: "Round the Corn," "Dixie Land," "A Wife in Every Port," "Married to a Trawlerman," "Drink to the Laddies," "Fire Maringo," "Tailor in the Tea Chest," "Working at the Coalface," "Gaol Song," "Mike," "White Wings" and "Mariner's Hymn." These are powerful songs of love, betrayal and heartbreak, of hard work and trouble, rhythmic songs to sing while rowing a ship's boat, raising the anchor, or hauling a canvas sail up to the yardarm. Nicely done liner notes with interesting info about each of the songs. We noticed that the Johnson Girls are all brunettes, and on the cover of "On the Rocks" sit 5 brunette mermaids with their backs to us, singing out to a passing clipper ship, but this is almost certainly a coincidence!
9858 CD $14.98

Key Of She: Our First Time

Only 15 months old as a group, Key of She's six women singers are anything but shy about jumping into the a cappella scene! "Our First Time" is their self-produced debut, limited-run CD, and if it lacks at all in studio polish, it more than makes it up in spirit and the group's sheer love of singing a cappella together. Recorded in January, 2002 in Sue's Studio,Skillman, New Jersey, this CD is one of the things we most enjoy about a cappella--the fact that Patty, Lisa, Pat, Sue, Dyann & Amy can practice and put a repertoire together, do some gigs, create some fans who ask for a CD to take home, rent some studio time, and produce a very special, beautifully arranged group of songs. Included are Van Morrison's "Moondance," Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin," Shania Twain's "Honey, I'm Home,"Leon Russell's "This Masquerade," the very funny feminist hymn "Ah! Men,"Sara McLachlan's "Angel," Jonathan Larson's "Seasons of Love," "I Feel Lucky" and "Wide Open Spaces." This is a fun CD, especially for everyone who has ever dreamed of doing exactly what Key of She has done here!
6982 CD $14.98

Kitka: Winter Songs

This recording showcases material ranging from rousing Slavic folk carols and lush, meditative Eastern Orthodox sacred choral works, to pre-Christian incantations for the longest nights of the year and Hebrew folk songs for Chanukah. Highlights include Tec Peleite Zernju Zogtu, an ancient Latgalian (Eastern Latvian) Winter Solstice song invoking the god of the heavens and the goddess of the Sun; Koledni Pesni, a medley of Bulgarian folk carols recalling the nativity sung in the traditional antiphonal village style; and Byla Cesta, a poignant 19th-century Moravian carol. Other pieces include the sublime 12th-century Georgian hymn to the Virgin Shen Khar Venakhi; and a collection of joyful Shchedrivki, songs sung for the traditional Ukrainian New Year festival of Malanka. Wintersongs was recorded in the world-famous acoustic environment of the Skywalker Studios in Marin County by Leslie Ann Jones, and was produced by Grammy-nominated Bay Area vocalist and band leader Linda Tillery.
9824 CD $14.98

Kitka: Nectar

The remarkable women of Kitka-eight in number-perform Eastern European songs (occasionally accompanied by folk harp, lute and hand percussion) of unusual beauty. Though sung in their native languages (the subject matter is explained in the text) the fundamental essence of emotion is as immediate as the earth itself. The Russian "Na Gore, Na Gorinke" is placid and serene, the Bulgarian "Malo Selo," with it's plunging vocal descent, an alarm to the senses. Some, such as "Shto Mi E Milo," are derived from folk dances. A variety of textures and intervals (the use of drone notes on "Szerelem, Szerelem" for example) add distinction.
9722 CD $14.98

Kitka: Voices On The Eastern Wind

1992 recording from this powerful, San Francisco Bay-Area based, ten-voice women's group. Founded in 1979, their material is derived from the Eastern European folk tradition, and is both aesthetically pure and emotionally wrenching. With exquisite control and flawless skill, Kitka imbues these frequently somber-sounding compositions with passion, realism and humanity. "Bratets Kosi," (Croatia) is a vital outburst, "Haydutin Stuyan," (Bulgaria) ascends to the tri-tone to establish its tragic theme. A solo period instrument minimally accompanies four tracks. With explanations in English of the native texts, these songs offer a unique glimpse into another world.
9741 CD $14.98

Laural Masse: Feather and Bone

Laurel was a founding member of the Manhattan Transfer, singing with them until 1978. "Feather and Bone" is nothing like the four-part harmony style that the Manhattan Transfer popularized, but is rather more similar to Bobby McFerrin in his "Circle Songs" period, if comparisons must be made. Traditionals, vocal interpretations of Bach's cello suites, spirituals (including "Mother, It Is Night," sung with Dr Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey), are arranged and sung with the utmost simplicity and grace. Fiddle, bagpipes and frame drums guest on some tracks, augmenting the mood. Mostly solo voice, "Feather and Bone" embraces the earth's vitality in a way best described as meditative. This is a very special recording that grows in intensity with each listening
9747 CD $15.98

Libana: Night Passage

This recording is the third in a trilogy which began with "A Circle is Cast" and "Fire Within." For the selections music was sought which reflects the cyclical nature of existence and which would soothingly resonate with the totality of existence. Themes of life, death, renewal and the connection which is the underlying theme of existence, love, are presented here in sixteen songs from the far and near corners of the world. The common thread which ties all these together is the peaceful effect of the songs all of which seem to have a circular quality. Libana has been singing these songs in moments of passage and times of transition for people from coast to coast, sharing grace, peace, and beauty in those moments of significance in other's lives. All the while this sharing is their own exploration into the divine mysteries within which our existence is rooted. So come and share with them the words of Rumi set to music, along side of which you'll find music from South Africa (Xhosa), Jewish traditions, American Shakers, Sweden, Sicily, West Africa (Yoruba), and a bevy of individuals who are inspired to craft music of peace. Some of the songs have a touch of instrumentation to enhance the feel sought by the musicians. The theme for the recording which Susan Robbins chose to grace the notes comes from Rumi. "...Whatever circles comes from the center."
9752 CD $14.98

Libana: A Circle is Cast

Libana was formed by twenty-five women in 1979 to investigate and perform cross-cultural music written for, by, and about women. By the release of this album in 1986, there were a dozen performing members under the artistic direction of Susan Robbins. A Circle Is Cast exemplifies the joyous spirit of singing in a community. The material is drawn from African, Israeli, European Renaissance, Native American and contemporary folk sources to create a collection of twenty-two rounds, chants and songs. It is a beautiful recording which engenders a feeling of peace and a meditative internal quiet, reflective of the seasons and cycles. It shares a sense of ritual and continuance which are vital for dynamic community. Besides, "Sisters, Now Our Meeting Is Over" gives one a thrill of exquisite beauty.
2774 CD $14.98

Libana: Fire Within

Fire Within is a collection of 18 songs, chants and rounds with origins which span seven centuries and come from many cultures. The unifying spirit of such a collection is the reverence and respect for Earth's elemental power and sensual beauty. It is truly no exaggeration to use the description of the vocal qualities of the eleven women as crystalline and hauntingly beautiful. If you open your heart to their music, we guarantee the literal phenomena of thrills moving up the spine. Your spiritual tour will begin with a new round by Marytha Paffrath, "Fire Within." "Hotaru Koi" is a traditional Japanese piece of music in which the voices float and dance as lightly as the firefly whom they address. Wonderful! We haven't time to do descriptive justice to equally wonderful songs from Renaissance Spain, Hawaiian traditions, Native American, 14th century Spain, Sweden, Shaker, Jewish, Kenya and all those written by the members of this excellent group. You will have to do that for yourself!
2775 CD $14.98

Malle Babbe Women's Choir: Sing, Choir of Angels

Those familiar with the history of the Malle Babbe Women's Choir know that the ensemble was formed in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, as dramatized in the movie, "Paradise Road." Now directed by Leny Van Schaik, this "voice-orchestra" performs various classical compositions (over seventy-three minutes of material) dedicated to holiday and religious subjects appropriate to the season, in tribute to the original Malle Babbe Choir. The Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus are celebrated in four versions of "Ave Maria," as written by Holst, Arcadelt, von Bruck and Kodaly, as well as several other hymns. Christmas traditionals such as the Austrian "Yodeler Prayer" add variety, as do several Gaillardes (music written in triple meter for recorder, intended for dancing). Familiar carols represented include "I Saw Three Ships," which has a rolling rhythm that propels the listener like oars in water; "Silent Night, " with two different arrangements, both by John Rutter, and the recording's finale, a Christmas medley replicated from the original version by the Malle Babbe Choir, transcribed from memory while imprisoned. "Sing, Choirs of Angels" is an apt title for this recording, as indeed the graceful delivery and clear high registers of this women's choir are eminently suitable to convey just such an impression. As the spires of a church ascending toward the heavens, their voices rejoice in the glory of life and of the Creator.
6305 CD $15.98

Malle Babbe Women's Choir: Paradise Road

Great movies about classical music seldom fail to fascinate -- witness the success of Shine, Immortal Beloved, The Piano. Each of these acclaimed films featured an engaging soundtrack, as does the newest addition to this prestigious category of films: Paradise Road. In this film, directed by Academy Award? winner Bruce Beresford and starring Academy Award? winner Glenn Close, an all-star cast tells the true story of an amazing group of Australian, English, and Dutch women, prisoners-of-war held captive by the Japanese during World War II. To keep up their spirits, these women form a choir and perform a capella arrangements of popular classical orchestral and piano masterpieces during their captivity. The voices behind the on-screen choir that appear on this remarkable album belong to the Dutch women's choir Malle Babbe, who perform the actual arrangements of the original choir's arrangements from sheet music salvaged by the women prisoners upon their liberation. Hear for yourself the inspiring music behind this story of the triumph over despair and the preservation of hope.
6306 CD $15.98

Madrigia: Viva Voca

Manitoba, Canada-based 6-woman World/Folk group Madrigaia's repertoire reflects their love for the many cultures of the world while giving special attention to their French-Canadian roots. On "Viva Voce" they sing wonderful versions of ancient and modern folk songs in French, Spanish, Hungarian, Yugoslavian, Mic mac, Croatian, Hebrew, Yiddish, and more, both a cappella and lightly accompanied by bass, viola, drums and percussion. Some favorites: "Niska Banja," "Odi, odi," "Vus vet zayn," "En filant ma quenouille," "Vichten" and "Grain de mil." A fresh, spirited sound from the north country!
9818 CD $14.98

Miriam Makeba: Sangoma

By 1959, Miriam Makeba was a star in her homeland of South Africa for her singing, first with the Manhattan Brothers, her own group, the Skylarks, who sang a mix of jazz and folk music, touring the country with Alf Herbert's African Jazz & Variety show and finally as the lead in a jazz opera, King Kong. At the height of her popularity she went to Europe and met Harry Belafonte who convinced her to come to the U.S. In New York she played the big venues of the folk scare era and became nationally known after her appearances on the Steve Allen show. She had two huge hits, "The Click Song" and "Pata Pata." Always a woman of conscience she testified before the U.N. about apartheid and was banned from her homeland for more than thirty years. Sangoma is a tribute to her mother who was a traditional mystical healer, a sangoma. On this beautiful recording, each song was created by multi-tracking Miriam's voice to create a choir and then adding touches of percussion, additional vocalists, and occasionally keyboards. The results are an audio experience of the spirit of Africa.
8510 CD $14.98

Malaika: To Paradise

Four lovely Canadian women with roots in Africa and Mexico form Malaika, an upbeat, reggae/bluesy World group. This is a live CD, and the songs include: "Zeze," "Georgia Come Home," "Home To Mexico," "Survival," "Always," the tongue-in-cheek "I Should Have Been David Duchovny's Bride," "Pilipili," "Beautiful Girl," "Who Is Safe," "Family Matters," the "Sound of Music" song that was never written, "In Vienna," "To Paradise" ("Show me the way to Paradise, Escape the games, run from the lies"), a stunning arrangement of "All In The Game," and "Come Home Someday" ("Maybe I'd open up my patio door to a beach scene that's never been found"). This is honest music, blue-collar, in survival, coping with aging, no movie happy ending, but we can still dream on, laugh and celebrate life, music. We can relate, and judging by the audience response, so can everyone who hears Malaika. A breath of real, tropical, fresh air from Canada!
6907 CD $14.98

Mary Schmary: Hidden Agenda Items

Purported, by the Schmaries themselves, to be the last hurrah after a nine year lifespan, "Hidden Agenda Items" careens into infinity with brash outrageousness. Originals, such as "Ecclesiasticus 31:1" and "Bug Girl," are stars in their own unique musical galaxy, one that perhaps hasn't been identified yet! With zest and humor ("Classic Rock/La Cucaracha"), they fuse elements of the blues, world, and plainchant; the Bobs come to mind as their spiritual counterparts. By the way, did we mention that the Schmaries are women (two basses, two altos/sopranos), but discard previously held notions about "girl a cappella groups"; they don't apply here. "Hidden Agenda Items" is a fiery ascent into the outer limits!.
2589 CD $14.98

Mary Schmary: Smarty Pants

Four incredibly smart women have combined their musical abilities to write and create some of the cleverest, thought provoking, and humorous tunes available. For humor, check out "I Put You There" and "Little Fish." The politically inspired, classical sounding "Uterus" is a no nonsense getoutofmyface tune. All in all the thought provoking reflections are leavened by a collective intellect seldom encountered in in a field so frequently thought of as "merely entertainment." If you are willing to be harmonized into thinking differently than you do now, this is for you!
2670 CD $14.98

Mediaeval Baebes: Salva Nos

This is chant with a modern twist! Twelve alluring women, dressed in medieval garb, singing songs adapted from the Middle Ages. Some of the songs, such as the French dance tune "Ah Si Mon Moine," are lightly accompanied by period-appropriate instrumentation such as recorder or dulcimer. The title track, "Salvo Virgo Virginum," "Veni, Veni" and "Verbum Caro" are sung in Latin; several songs are sung in what must be construed to be Middle English. "The Coventry Carol" and "Gaudete" are familiar holiday songs to most; they are given simple treatment, as was typical of the music of the era, which was defined by monophonic textures or unadorned counterpoint. Much of the music performed was either religious in nature, and sung as part of the Catholic Mass, or, if secular, was an accompaniment for dancing. "Salva Nos" may be a classical recording, and as such it is entirely respectable, but the "Mediaeval Babes" have a vitality that is thoroughly contemporary.
6123 CD $15.98

Mint Juleps: Round Our Way

Six women became instant international celebrities (rather than just British) when Spike Lee chose them to participate on his television special of a cappella groups in 1990. Among their tunes was "Higher and Higher," and theirs has become the styling and phrasing copied by almost everyone since. Round Our way is a fine live recording of these singers doing that well known song as well as another from that special, "Don't Let Your Heart." Among the 14 tunes are "Baby, Baby," "I Want To Live Easy" and "Hey Girl" in addition to the title track, "Round Our Way."
9220 CD $15.98

Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares: Ritual

'Ritual' is an unusual recording for the Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir. For one thing, two male guest artists make appearances on two of the songs and a measure of instrumentation on half a dozen tunes includes one instrumental (gasp!). It's a wonderful dance tune which only enhances the feel of the recording dealing mostly with tunes meant for St. Lazar's Day and also Christmas carols. This recording (1994) is the first studio album since the group's two Le Mystere anthologies of the late 1980's. The tradition established by Philip Koutev in the 1950's of applying the compositional methods of concert practice to folk material is still the origin of the famous sound of this choir, now directed by Dora Hristova. Another fascinating aside on this recording is the group singing "A Jewish Triptych (Sephardic)" composed and arranged by Nikolai Kaufmann. This is glorious music that anyone literate in world music should know.
9205 CD $14.98

No Place For Jennifer: Witness

The CARA Award winning "No Place For Jennifer" (1997, "Tell My Feet") are back with their 1998 release, "Witness." Including three originals (written by Lizzie Kean, who is also the group's arranger), these five Dutch women have assembled a dense patchwork of parts into an aural quilt that is unmistakeably their own. Weaving in and out of challenging intervals and unexpected chords, tailored with an intricacy that requires repeated listening to appreciate fully, "She's Leaving Home," (Lennon/McCartney) is worth special mention. Other tracks include "You Learn," "At Seventeen" and "Constant Craving."
2141 CD $14.98

No Place For Jennifer: Welcome To The Game

The Dutch "No Place For Jennifer" have produced an idiosyncratic CD to accompany the theatre production of the same name: "Welcome to the Game." These are five b females who tell it like it is, without stridency, but with a welcome sense of truth. Songs like "Blood and Gold," with its depiction of war, and "Another Suitcase In The Hall," ("I don't expect my love affairs to last" is the opening line) display a maturity not often encountered. The sound is eclectic; consonant one moment, dissonant the next; melodies slippery, even demanding. A depthful and intense recording.
2140 CD $14.98

Our Mothers Daughters: Carry On

"Carry On" is an impressive, generous CD from four very talented women, Colleen, Krisann, Barb and Joanne. They do Doo-Wop and Soul tunes "Treat Her Like A Lady," "You've Been In Love Too Long," "Yes We Can Can"), Gospel (the spiritual "Walkin' in Jerusalem," the upbeat "Angels" "Light At The End Of The Tunnel,"), Folk/Traditional (the jazzy 1920s British pop tune "Seaside Rendezvous " and the sweet traditional "That Lonesome Road" ), Country ("V.F.D."), Latin/Salsa (the silly "Oreo" and "South Of The Border,"), World ("Hate Kills," "Breaths" and "Yakkity Yak,") Swing ("Call Me"), and Contemporary ("Remember That," "Let's Pretend"). There's some non-vocal percussion (doumbek) and a little kazoo. Our attempts to find our more about them on the web and liner notes came up empty, but we do know that they've been together for about 10 years, they share a strong, positive feminist viewpoint, a great sense of humor, and they sing together with strength and spirit. Good stuff!
6798 CD $14.98

Pastiche: Pastiche

Pastiche is Sandy Cressman, Jenny Meltzer and Becky West, attractive, versatile singers with their roots in jazz, but who incorporate Brazilian and Afro-Cuban rhythms as well as pop and R&B influences in their music. Fair warning: Pastiche, which means "a combination of many styles and influences making up a single work of art," is accompanied throughout by a very fine jazz orchestra. That said, the trio's vocal harmonies are brilliant, and each song, from song 1, "Don't Lose Your Cool" to song 11, "When The Night," are showcases for that brilliance. A smooth, smoky, moody work of art!
4454 CD $14.98

Peninsula Women's Chorus: Earth Tones

The sound of wind and water, the Sierra Nevada mountain rangeãlate PWC artistic director Patricia Farris Hennings had a love for these things, and envisioned producing a CD of 20th century music that would transport the listener and inspire the soul. That CD is Earthtones, a musical journey through both nature and spirituality. Opening with Libby Larsen's soaring "Psalm 121," commissioned by the Palo Alto, CA-based PWC, Gwyneth Walker's "I Thank You God," Hildegar von Bingen's beautiful "O viridissima virga," Ramona Luengen's joyous "Celebremus," H. Garrett Phillips' dramatic "Odysseus and the Sirens," Lojze Lebic's rhythmic "Urok," the fast-moving "Mouth Music," the traditional South African song "Nginani Na," and the lovely folk song "Shenandoah." 13 songs, some with light accompaniment and percussion. The PWC is one of our favorite women's choruses, and the perfectly recorded "Earthtones" is a wonderful tribute to their beloved director from 1975 to her passing in 2001.
7213 CD $15.98

Bernice Johnson Reagon: Give Your Hands To Struggle

Bernie Johnson Reagon should be declared a National Treasure. Since the days of the Civil Rights Movement there has been no voice so b in musically exhorting freedom, justice and equality. Bernice was contacted in 1975 about recording some of her songs for a new record company, Paredon Records, which was formed to create recordings by singers involved in freedom struggles around the world. Give Your Hands To Struggle was the first recording on which she had used multi-tracking. She found, when she reviewed the original master tapes from Paredon which had been archived at the Smithsonian, that they were cut versions of her original recordings. As her desire was to have the original full length songs presented, she reconstructed them for this reissue CD. This a window on the soul of the Civil Rights Movement by the founder of Sweet Honey In The Rock.
8522 CD $14.98

Rhodopea Kaba Trio: Folk Songs

There is an ancient mythology sung by the followers of Orpheus which has been preserved as folk song in the Rhodope mountains of Bulgaria. These are the sort of songs which have been given a concert hall exposure by the Bulgarian Women's Choir. The Rhodopea Kaba Trio are the musical living treasury of these ancient songs. The Kaba portion of their name refers to the fact that they are singing in a low register which corresponds to the sound of the kaba bagpipe, a favorite instrument in the Rhodope mountain area.You will hear not only a fascinating style of singing which begins with a monophonic melody and splits into three polyphonic planes but also, on four of the twenty-one songs, you will hear Ivelina Balcheva, a jazz singer, take off into her own improvisational embellishments of ancient tradition. We bly suggest this recording to those who love the songs of Bulgarian women.
9724 CD $14.98

Roches: We Three Kings

The Roches are three sisters who have a folk-contemporary sound. Many of the twenty four carols on this festive and cheerful recording are accompanied by guitar and/or keyboards and percussion, though some are practically a cappella, such as "Sleigh Ride." The sisters evoke the spirit of a family holiday, gathered around the piano, the fire crackling nearby: favorite songs, simple harmonies and the spirit of togetherness (though sung with better intonation than most family gatherings we've attended!) This has been a consistently popular recording and is a nice alternative to the traditional choral or jazz arrangements one typically hears at Christmas time.
5927 CD $14.98

Roulez Fillets: Depuis des Lunes

Four vivacious young Frenchwomen, including the acclaimed Evelyn Girardon, interpret songs from the traditional repertoire with the spirit of today. These 21 musical "petit fours" are a delight, and everything about this recording, from the art to the production, is rendered with care and attention. Though sung in French, the four imbue their performances with such conviction that the emotion is clearly sensed. Placing their notes with the utmost mastery of pitch, they can be somberly discordant, even eerie ("La Jeune Soeur"), or fluently melodic ("Le Beau Collier"), while utilizing close harmony, solo voice or polyphony, and variations thereof. The Roulez Fillettes are a tuneful refreshment.
9748 CD $14.98

Samsara: Wild Roses

Susan, Jamie and Rebecca are activists, teachers, musicians and artists, whose inspirations include Rhiannon, Copperwimmin, Sweet Honey in the Rock and many others. This a cappella women's trio "unites fierce, passionate struggles for justice with extraordinary vocal music." "Wild Roses" is a collection of 12 songs, some, "I Painted Peace," "Take Care" and "This Battle's Harvest," originals written by group members; others , like the title tune, which began as a few lines of a Clayoquot lullaby, and "Jasper, TX," based on a poem from Samsara's Prison Poetry Project, were given melody, arrangement and even new verses by the group. Songs like the traditional Bulgarian folk song "Mo lih ta," "Eli, Eli," the Yiddish songs "Es Brent" and "Mayn Ruhe Platz," "Oh, Death Have Mercy" and "Bread and Roses" inspire while they break the heart. "Roses" is filled with beautifully sung feeling that touches and moves us in many ways.
9861 CD $14.98

Shalimars: Best Of

If there were a Sweet Adelines All Stars of All Time, most people would place The Shalimars at the top of the list! Their surprising, bright, ringing sound shines on 20 wonderful pop selections, and then 9 more "sacred selections." "I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine," "Red Sails In The Sunset," "Just Friends," "Floating Down The River," "Sunrise, Sunset," "Lavender Blue," "Sound of Music Medley," "In The Garden," "Nearer My God to Thee," "Joshua Fit The Battle of Jericho"ä each song is a gem. This is the CD that beginning Sweet Adelines groups listen to, and say "We want to be like the Shalimars!" Outstanding.
5611 CD $14.98

Solstice: Full Circle

We have seen and heard Solstice, the Bay Area's own 6-woman World/Folk ensemble at the 2001 West Coast Summit and the 2003 Harmony Sweeps Bay Area Regional, and we love this group! "Full Circle" is their second CD, the first, "Solstice," won critical acclaim and a CARA Best Folk/World Song nomination for "Blood and Gold." Of the 20 songs we particularly enjoyed the Macedonian folk song "Shto Mi E Milo," the Cuban "Bossa Cubana," the powerful Bulgarian folk song "Ergen Deda," Tracy Nelson's blues tune "Down So Low," the soaring, tambourine-accompanied "A Chantar," an unusual dissonant arrangement of Chaka Khan's "You Got The Love," and the original wedding song by group member Sheryl Kaskowitz, "I Carry Your Heart With Me." Complex, difficult harmonies, well-chosen, rarely-heard selections, sung with spirit and joy by these six very talented women.
9844 CD $14.98

Solstice: Solstice

Six member all female group from the San Francisco Bay Area, who recently competed in the Harmony Sweepstakes Regionals. With an eclectic sound, best described as a modern metamorphosis of classical and folk material, they are ambitious enough to take on "Il Est Bel Et Bon" (Passereau, sixteenth century) and Bartok's ""Bolvongas" (Hungarian, 20th century). Occasionally verging on the dissonant, they are still accessible, and include minimalist interpretations of Sinead O' Connor's "In This Heart" and Sara MacLachlan's "Mercy" in their setlist, for diversity. Solstice's arrangements are open and capacious, expanding and contracting, as the breath of nature. A thoughtful and intelligent debut.

9749 CD $14.98

Sound Circle: Sound Circle

Twenty-one women gather to experience the joy of making music together and to share that joy with their audiences, performing songs in a multiplicity of styles (with elements of classical, world and folk, though strictly speaking, Sound Circle is none of these). Featuring composers such as Ysaye Maria Barnwell and Holly Near (but also original works commissioned specifically for the group), the ensemble has fashioned a full-spectrum, transparently textured recording that can be minimalist or celebratory in turn, though always congruent in its musicality. Artistic Director Sue Coffee's staunch credentials ensure Sound Circle's unmistakable grounding in the traditions of Western harmony, while providing the setting for the group's highly personal expression.
2992 CD $14.98

Streetheart: Streetheart Named Desire

Six Streetheart is SanD. Mann, Second soprano, Lisa Maciolek , First soprano, Betty Semel, First alto, Vicki Warnock, Second alto, and Patsy DiBella, Contralto. They're all New Jersey Girls, and this recording is a breath of fresh air in a doo wop world where men have pretty much cornered the market and marketed the (street) corners. StreetHeart is out to re-write the Book of Love, and they have the talent, harmonies and spirit to do it! The ladies trade solos on a series of Doo-Wop classics, from beautiful ballads: "When We Get Married," "Sincerely," "Could This Be Magic?," "He's Gone," to jump tunes: "Tonight's The Night," "Come Go With Me," "Rainy Day Bells," "No, No, No," and the wonderful "I Wonder Why" by Dion and the Belmonts. StreetHeart is serving notice, and the Jets and Sharks are looking over their shoulders!
2557 CD $14.98

Sweet Honey In The Rock: 30th Anniversary: The Women Gather

Grammy-winning, African-American female quintet Sweet Honey has deep musical roots in in the sacred music of the black church--spirituals, hymns, gospel, as well as jazz and blues. Organized in 1973 by Cordell Hull Reagon, Sweet Honey has released 18 albums, and "Women" celebrates their 30th anniversary with predominantly original songs of freedom, activism and spirituality. 18 powerful songs: the title tune, "Fly," "The Voice of the Innocent," "Give the People their Right to Vote!," "Georgia Red Clay II," "Ballad of the Sit-Ins," "Let Us Rise In Love," "22 Hours In The Day," "Solid Gold II," "Somebody Prayed Me Over," "Ballad of Harry T. Moore," "That Awful Day Will Surely Come," "Nyoka Boko II," "Prayer At The Crossroads," "African Oasis II," "Yes It Was," "Come Unto Me" and "We Want The Vote! Chant." There is some non-vocal percussion in the driving, hypnotic African rhythms on songs like "Somebody Prayed Me Over." Colorful,extensive full-color liner notes give us lyrics, history and photos of this amazing group as they bring us another strong, moving, thought-provoking album!
9811 CD $15.98

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Tapestry: Sapphire Nights

The four lovely young women of Boston-based Tapestry return with eight soaring chants by composer Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) and nine by contemporary composer Patricia Van Ness, from the group entitled "The Nine Orders of the Angels." We particularly liked "O Frondens Virga" and "O Euchari, Columba" by von Bingen, and "Sum Aneal ex Septimi Chori," "Raphael sum Virtutum," "Angelus sum Thronorum" by Van Ness. The voices of these women are amazing, the material stunning and is a work of tremendous depth and beauty. Another powerful winner by the women of Tapestry!
7058 CD $15.98

Linda Tillery And The Cultural Heritage Choir: Front Porch Music

This fine debut recording explores a variety of African-American traditional music, from spirituals (high energy "Good News De Chariot's Comin'," "God's Gonna Set This World On Fire") to children's songs to prison work songs ("Down The Line") to African rhythms ("Gankogui/Welcome"). Tillery had an epiphany in 1991 which led her from a successful pop career to pursuing roots music. The talented women's ensemble she assembled sings (and plays drums) beautifully across this spectrum of music. In comparison with Sweet Honey in the Rock, this group is less improvisational (at least on this recording), achieving a cleaner sound without sacrificing passion or authenticity. Well done!
3448 CD $14.98

Linda Tillery And The Cultural Heritage Choir: Say Yo' Business

When they go on tour, Oakland, CA's Linda Tillery and the 5-woman Cultural Heritage Choir attract a number of very special guest stars, like Wilson Pickett, Richie Havens, Odetta, Laura Love, Kitka and many others. 16 spirituals & inspirational & traditional songs, from "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," "Don't You Ever Let Nobody Drag Yo' Spirit Down," Kitka's "Po Plu" and Bobby McFerrin's "I'm Angry," to "Wayfaring Stranger," "Spirituals Medley," "Stand Tall and Be Happy," Odetta's "All The Pretty Little Horses," the traditional "Ballin' The Jack" and "I'll Fly Away"‚this is rhythmic, move-your-body, get-up-and-bang-on-a-pot-lid-stuff. All accompanied by at least drums, "Say Yo' Business" puts us live in the audience of a musical feast on many levels. Great stuff!
9833 CD $15.98

Trio Esperanca: Acapela do Brasil

Again, another CD only available as an import, this Brazilian female Trio (accompanied by special guests) sings, we would presume, in Portugese, though it seems that at least one of the tracks is in Spanish, and "La Vie En Rose" is in French. Cosmopolitan, no? Employing reknowned Brazilian musicians and songwriters such as Gilberto Gil, Ivan Lins and Djavan (who also worked with the Manhattan Transfer on their "Brasil" CD), their sound melds adult contemporary pop and jazz. Occasionally accompanied ("Coisa Feita" has flamenco guitar, as an example), many of the nineteen songs are uptempo; when the pace slows, as it does on "Rua Ramalhate," with its reverberated vocal sound and dynamic shifts, the momentum only increases. Their intonation and blend is tight and in-the-pocket, without a hair out of place. This Trio will add a welcome zest to your collection.
4880 CD $19.98

Trio Esperanca: Nosso Mundo

This is another winner ("Nosso Mundo"="Our World") from the three gorgeous Brazilian women of Trio Esperanca, together with guest singers and musicians. 15 songs, most of them sung in perfect Portuguese, with "Uma Bela Historia (La Boheme)" sung in French, "So Lane Boushi" sung in Japanese, and as far as we can tell, there's Spanish on one or two songs. No matterãthese women have such voices and such panache, they could be singing in Etruscan and we'd still be glued to the boom box! There is accompaniment on several songs, including piano, drums, Brazilian, Portuguese and Spanish guitar, accordion and various percussion, but it is like a garnish next to the entrÈe. The women's intonation and phrasing is perfect, they sing as one, multi-harmonied person, handling upbeat, driving latin rhythms with ease and zest. 15 songs, all of them tasty in their own right, like dishes at a Brazilian banquet. Beautiful teal liner notes. Highly recommended! Import
4483 CD $24.98

Trio Esperanca: Segundo

Can we possibly stand more wonderful music from the three Brazilian sirens who call themselves Trio Esperanca? Segundo, we believe, means "Second", and as there are two excellent CDs already gracing our catalog, perhaps this one was released out of order. 17 songs, most sung in Portuguese, at least one, "Mar e Lua," in Spanish, one in French ("La Lune est Morte," and one, amazingly, in English, Stevie Wonder's lovely "Come Back as a Flower." There is some light percussion, piano and guitar accompaniment on a few songs, but they only add to the enjoyment. We have never heard such perfect intonationãthese women truly sing as one, and their one song in (perfect) English left us breathless. Our second favorite is "Garote de Ipanema," "The Girl from Ipanema" in Portugueseãincredible. Too much good stuff. Import.
4801 CD $24.98

Ulali: Makh Jchi

Your reviewer can't begin to adequately express his enthusiasm for this recording. First off, imagine the sound of the most full spirited Native American chant that you have ever heard, accompanied by the driving heart-beat rhythm of the pounding drum. Now add a harmony of unbelievable perfection and punctuate all of this with the ululations and yips of totally involved souls. That's the first song. Now deal with these beautiful singers on their own terms. They aren't Native Americans at all. They are "The People" of the First Nations. They were here first! As you share a tour of traditional music and contemporary music written to express the sensibilities of First Nation's peoples, whether it's biting or beautiful in the mind of the listener, it can only be beautiful to their hearts for the harmonies are magnificent, stirring, glorious and gorgeous. This is one of our favorites! Oh yes, this recording is the source of their often covered song, "Mahk Jchi."

8326 CD $14.98

USC Sirens: Nectar and Ambrosia

The ten lovely young women who are the present incarnation of the University of Southern California's Sirens, since 1997 the University's only all-female a cappella band, offer us "Nectar," and it's a winner! Ten songs, all beautifully-arranged covers: Kina's "Girl from the Gutter," Dido's "Here With Me," Bob Marley's "Stir It Up," Mariah Carey's "Open Arms," Nelly Furtado's "Well Well," the Corrs' "I Never Loved You Anyway," Bic Runga's "Sway," Lifehouse's "Hanging by a Moment," Stevie Wonder's "As" and Joy Drop's "Beautiful." Vocal percussion that ranges from steady and mellow to driving and powerful, strong leads and solos, wonderful background harmonies and excellent song selection‚it adds up to a fresh, entertaining, mature and confident CD. The live show must be pretty amazing! Recommended.
1737 CD $14.98

Vesper: Flor d' Fils

Six beautiful Brasilian women on the cover. Extensive liner notes, all in Portuguese and bright salsa colors, with pictures of the women as small girls. 23 songs with bright, complex harmonies borrowing from Gregorian chant as much as jazz scat-singing, Bobby McFerrin and Brasilian pop music. Fresh, surprising, smoky and hot as fajitas & just-mixed guacamole with a pineapple-mango margarita, heavy on the tequila. Oh yeah, on the warning label: occasional acoustic guitar and possibly trombone accompaniment. What more could we ask? This would probably be a good time to announce next year's International Harmony Sweeps Regional in S¦o Paulo (we wish!).
6906 CD $14.98

Vida: In Bloom

Vida are a four part women's group from Bloomington, Indiana. They perform many self-written originals and some traditional songs, combining elements of folk, gospel and world music. Several Croatian folk songs are included, as well as two from Bulgaria and one from South Africa. Vida's own material is not celebratory in nature, but gives voice to the lives and struggle of simple people, their sorrow and their pain. "The Famine Song" is drone-like, employing suddenly choked notes for effect. Utilizing simple repeating hypnotic figures as accompaniment, often staggered as in a round-"Mother of the Child" evokes the emotion of an African spiritual-their sound is honest and forthright, but never maudlin, as the beauty and strength of Vida's four voices conquers all.
9727 CD $14.98

Virginia Sil'hooettes: After Shock

The 15 members of University of Virginia's 15-voice all female vocal ensemble the "Sil'hooettes brings us an impressive cover album of 14 well-chosen hits. Blu Cantrell's "Hit 'em Up Style," Radiohead's "High and Dry," Aretha Franklin's anthem "Respect," SHeDAISY's "I Will," Wham!'s "Jitterbug," The B-52's anthem "Roam," Jamie O'Neal's "Arizona," Chantal Kreviazuk's "Eve," Jo Dee Messina's "That's the Way"‚the women pass around the solos and the vocal percussion duties, but there's talent aplenty and each song is a treat. "After Shock" is good, fun stuff from a poised, confident, talented group!
1743 CD $14.98

Voces: A Nuestros Padres

Cuba has been sharing it's culture and traditions recently with the world at large by exporting a cappella music as part of its rich musical heritage. In Voces Mirtha Millan is the music director and arranger of most of the songs which are sung by six women. Heard for the first time are elements of vocal percussion performed by women somewhat reminiscent of Vocal Sampling. Ballads abound on this recording which is spiced with both jazzy and more classical sounding arrangements. The most familiar tunes are "Como Fue" and "Guantanamera." Several of the tunes are accompanies by guitar and a bit of percussion.
2389 CD $14.98

Vocolot: Behold!

This latest release is by far the best recording put forth by this women's progressive Jewish vocal ensemble. Their firm, clear voices ring true on the 14 mostly original compositions. Many are Linda Hirschhorn's settings of traditional texts. The title song ("Hareh Aht/Hashmi'Rini" or Behold!) is a lovely piece using a text recited when exchanging rings along with a Song of Songs text. "Sham'Ra" (Hear and Rejoice) uses a psalm, while "Imri Na" (Sister) draws a story from Genesis. Others provide nice variety, especially "If You Can Walk," an original song "adapted from Zimbabwe folk wisdom," and the CARA-nominated contemporary Israeli love song "Eretz Shiv'Rat Haminim." Several of the pieces are lightly accompanied, but vocal harmony is always central.
8519 CD $14.98

Vocolot: Heart Beat

Performing together throughout the world since 1988, Vocolot takes its name from the English 'vocal' and the Hebrew word 'kolot,' meaning 'voices.' These six lovely women bring us a passionate celebration of women's voices and (non-vocal) percussion, with songs that affirm life and a vision of one world at peace. Original and traditional music, sung in English, Yiddish, Hebrew and Ladino. 15 songs: the title tune (an original by Linda Hirshhorn of the group, who also wrote 'Who Can You Lean On,' 'Full Circle,' 'For Talia, Born 9/11/85,' 'These Hands' and 'Sarah and Hagar.'), 'La Comida,' 'Zog Maran,' the exuberant'Elokim,' 'Guide Me,' 'Yesh Lanu Koach,' 'Ocho Kandelikas,' 'Los Bilbilicos,' 'Eretz Zavat Chalav U'Dvashand 'Pitchu Li/Effen Oyf.' Beautifully blended harmonies add to the deep feeling of these songs, from the pain and anger of the resistance song 'Zog Moran' to the celebration and joy of the Brazilian song 'Elokim.' A strong, special CD.
6797 CD $14.98

Vocolot: Roots & Wings

After you hear Roots & Wings it won't come as any surprise to find out that Linda Hirschhorn is the cantor at a major Temple in the San Francisco Bay Area. What you will hear is a number of rounds and chants which often are expansions on texts from the Old Testament and other sources of Jewish wisdom, when they have source other than the heart. For example "Not By Might" is adapted from Zachariah 4:6 while "Trees of the Wild" comes from Isaiah 55:12. These rounds are sung by as few as three of the six members of Vocolot, usually four or five. Amidst this setting of chants and rounds are four of Linda's original songs which are embellished by light instrumentation. "Homeless Blues" is just accompanied by a bass player. Our favorite is "Play On (For Tay Holden)" a lyrical memory of a departed dear musical friend, accompanied by guitar, bass, fiddle, drums and clarinet. The singing is beautiful. The songs are inspired.
8520 CD $14.98

Vox Femina: Simply

The 30 talented women of Vox Femina LA, directed by Dr. Iris S. Levine, went into the recording studio in July, 2002 to record repertoire from their first 5 seasons, showcasing two new commissions: "The Tolerance Project" and "Alarcon Madrigals, Book II." Founded in 1997, VFLA is a women's choral ensemble dedicated to the performance of quality choral literature with an emphasis on music by women composers. They are a family of diverse women who are lesbian, bisexual and heterosexual. This CD is in 3 parts, 8 songs from "Miniatures of Kin," 11 songs in "Alarcon Madrigals, Book II, and 3 from "The Tolerance Project," based on the poetry of LA high school students. All songs are lightly piano accompanied. Particularly nice are the opening cut, "The Gathering," the traditional "The Water is Wide," the Serbian folk tune "Niska Banja," "Wood River," "Both Page and Pen," "Another Language," "Totally Exposed," "Warrior," Holly Near's "Simply Love," "I Come From Good People," and "I Love A Rainbow." The extensive liner notes include all the touching, poignant and joyous lyrics. "Simply..." is a gift.
7004 CD $14.98

Womensing: Womensing

Begun over a decade ago in a cozy room full of women, Womensing has its roots in the hills and mountains of Addison County, Vermont , but draws its repertoire from around the world, as well as from their own heritage. The songs the six women share, sung with spirit and exuberance, celebrate the commonality and vitality of the human spirit. 17 songs: 'Cin Cin,' 'Au Chant de L'Alouette,' 'Ogrejala,' 'Breaths,' 'Con al Viento,' 'Kang Ding Qing Ge,' 'Liljano,' 'Come By the Hills,' 'Sto Mi E Milo,' 'Yo Mi Llamo Cumbia,' 'I Feel Like Going On,' 'Ani Ma' Amin,' 'Senzenina,' 'Woyawa,' 'Yo Yisa Goy,' 'Wade in the Water Medley' and 'Soon I Will Be Done.' A heartfelt gift of music from the Vermont hills.
6794 CD $14.98

Zap Mama: Adventures in Afropea

Marie Daulne's mixed cultural roots, Walloon and Bantu (Belgian and Pygmee) were the stimulus for her musical creation. After studying with the Bantu and in Europe she organized Zap Mama as the instrument of her composing a synthesis of these previously separate traditions. She instantly stood the vocal world on it's head by mixing multiple musical traditions and performing them with a group of women who created such rhythmic wonder that everyone sat up and took notice. Found on this first release are many tunes with Pygmee yodel and chants, a 16th century Spanish song , a Cuban son, elements of Syrian songs, in short a true example of world music. The exotic beauty of this release make it a must for any a cappella lover.
9250 CD $15.98

Zap Mama: Am A Zone

Though completely accompanied, we couldn¼t pass up the latest outing by Marie Daulne and Zap Mama. An international conglomeration of sound, with African rhythms, lyrics in several languages and a thoroughly contemporary vibe, "Amazone" is intense and compelling. Daulne¼s original compositions are all about groove, and can slither, snakelike, through moods hypnotic, such as "Gissie," with its repetitive arrangement and vocal clicks, or invigorate and invite, with the gently sensuous "Songe." The instrumental accompaniment is bass and percussion driven, a backdrop for the cyclical harmonic structure and relaxed vocal stylings which encourage improvisation. Imaginative, modern production really fleshes out the recording.
9742 CD $15.98

Women in Harmony:
Introduction & Essays | Successful Women | Female Groups | Vintage Groups | Arrangements
Recordings: All Titles | Sweet Adelines | Choral | Contemporary

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