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Vocal Jazz Group Recordings

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

Displaying 1-50 of 426 items.

5-Alone : Heavenly

Review: Fourteen-member, mixed High School vocal jazz ensemble 5-Alone was founded by Director Lechner in the fall of 1999. The group's performances of tight 5-part harmonies (hence the moniker 5-Alone) have since earned acclaim from some of the most prestigious names in jazz, including numerous Downbeat awards, top three placement in a Harmony Sweeps Regional (we assume they trimmed down to 7 members for that appearance), and performances at the International Association of Jazz Educators' annual conference and the North Sea Jazz Fest. Their 2003 CD "Good Vibrations" won a CARA for "Best High School Album." There are 11 tasty jazz cuts here, the Real Group's Anders Edenroth's "Thousand Things" (Anders also arranges "Body and Soul"), Harry Connick, Jr.'s "Heavenly," Brian Wilson's anthem "God Only Knows," "One Day I'll Fly Away," the upbeat, finger-snapping "I'm With You," very cool vocal percussion on "In The Waiting Line," the bluesy "Can't Stop Thinking 'Bout You," and the striking "Silence of Time" are particularly fine. A poised, impressive 2nd CD from this young, talented, well-directed, fast-rising ensemble!

Songlist: Thousand Things, Heavenly, David And Goliath, Body And Soul, Ridin' The Rails, God Only Knows, One Day I'll Fly Away, I'm With You, In The Waiting Line, Can't Stop Thinking 'bout You, Silence Of Time

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7473c | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella || Mixed Voice Contemporary CDs

A Cappella ExpreSSS : Magic Moment

Review: ACE is a Russian mixed-voice Vocal Jazz sextet (3 men, 3 women) of uncommon talent and spirit. "Magic" is their debut CD, and the liner notes are half Russian and half English. The point, though, is the music, which is superb. 10 cuts, particularly wonderful are a bright, complex arrangement of "My Favorite Things," the Streisand hit "People," "Jazzed," with a nice Swingle-Singerish Mozart sample, a scat-driven "Duke's Place" and a wonderful, salsa-flavored "Magic Moment Bossa" ACE has the vocal chops, the poise and the sense of fun we generally only see in groups like Vox One and Manhattan Transfer. The fact that the group's English is fairly elementary only makes this debut CD all the more amazing.

Songlist: Intro, Not Today, My Favorite Things, People, Jazzed MozArt, Kolokolchick, Magic Moment Bossa, Katyusha, "C" Jam Blues, A Cappella Expresss

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4536c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella |

Acoustix : Jazz, Jazz, Jazz

Review: Rewarding loyal fans after years of anticipation, Acoustix presents a cache of songs guaranteed to please a wide variety of listeners. Their opening statement, the title tune "Jazz, Jazz, Jazz," is performed in homage to the greats of the era: Nat, Benny, Frank, and of course, the Four Freshmen, to whom Acoustix pay tribute throughout this album. This is not music for barbershop fans only, though the characteristic purity of the voices and seventh chords endemic to the genre are still very much in evidence. Indeed, five of the songs feature orchestral accompaniment in the big band style: "Jazz, Jazz, Jazz," "Day by Day," "Poinciana," "Graduation Day/It's a Blue World" and "Route 66." Guest vocalists Jim Clancy, Greg Clancy and Wendy Wilson DeCrow (of Vocal Majority) augment the much-anticipated Gene Puerling arrangement of "Unforgetable" (Jim and Greg) and "The Nearness of You." (Other arrangements on the CD were done by the renowned Greg Volk.) The closing medley of Simon and Garfunkel hits reveals yet another side of this amazing quartet's range and prowess.

Songlist: Jazz, Jazz, Jazz, Shine on Your Shoes/Steppin' Out with My Baby Medley, Day by Day, Answer Me, My Love, Straighten Up and Fly Right, Orange Colored Sky, The Nearness of You, Pionciana, Unforgettable, Graduation Day/It's a Blue World Medley, All the Way, Route 66, Simon & Garfunkel Montage

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5052c | 1 CD | $14.98 |

Afro Blue : Its A Matter of Pride

Review: One of America's elite Collegiate Vocal Jazz ensembles, 9-strong, mixed-voice Afro Blue, under the direction of Connaitre Miller, has collected six DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards in their seven years of existence. These included "Best College Vocal Jazz Ensemble in" in 2003 and 2009. Director Miller has arranged four of the 15 tunes here, which are almost all a cappella. Several favorites are a striking arrangement of "The Star Spangled Banner," Marvin Hamlisch & Alan & Marilyn Bergman's "The Music of Being Free," Luis Bonfa's lovely "Gentle Rain," Henry Warren & Mack Gordon's "There Will Never Be Another You," sublimely arranged by The Real Group's Anders Endenroth, a jazzy arrangement of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top," Billy Taylor's title tune and James & John Johnson's "Lift Ev'ry Voice And Sing" (The Black National Anthem). Afro Blue is a poised, polished ensemble, with a clean, professional sound, cutting-edge arrangements and excellent song selection. Treat yourself to "It's a Matter of Pride," by one of the best Collegiate Vocal Jazz ensembles America has to offer, and enjoy!

Songlist: The Star Spangled Banner (The National Anthem) , Whisper Not, The Music of Being Free (Introduction), The Music of Being Free, Sometimes I'm Happy, Blue In Green, Gentle Rain, There Will Never Be Another You, Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen, Autumn Leaves, The Surrey With The Fringe On Top, Lost At Sea, If You Really Are Concerned Then Show It, It's A Matter Of Pride, Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing (The Black National Anthem)

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6083c | 1 CD | $14.95 || Music from the Sing-Off

American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble : Autumn Gold

Review: Sacramento, CA's American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under Dr. Art Lapierre's leadership, has won numerous DownBeat Awards for Studen Achievement in Ensemble and Solo Singing. Previously Dr. Lapierre directed the Vocal Jazz Ensemble at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and received DownBeat Magazine recognition for directing the Polytechnic High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble in Long Beach, CA. The seven cuts on "Autumn Gold," recorded by the 2008 ensemble, all accompanied by a student Jazz ensemble, piano, accordion, and/or drums, are Robert Wells & Mel Torme's upbeat "Born to Be Blue," Miles Davis & Gil Evans' "Boplicity, " Ralph Burns & Woody Herman's bluesy title tune, Victor Feldman & Joe Gilman's scattish gem "Joshua," Darmon Meader's moody "A Day Like This," Paul Simon's salsa-flavored "Me and Julio" and Richie Cole & Eddie Jefferson's slow bluesy, "DC Farewell." These tunes are all authentic, professionally performed Jazz with beautiful sweet, smoky vocals-in other words, great stuff!

Songlist: Born To Be Blue, Boplicity, Early Autumn, Joshua, A Day Like This, Me & Julio, D.C. Farewell

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6062c | 1 CD | $12.95 |

American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble : Hello Young Lovers

Review: Dr. Art LaPierre directs the American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble, seven college students, four men and three women studying music and jazz vocals at the American River College in Sacramento, CA. Also included are the 17-strong American River College Community Vocal Jazz Ensemble on "Exactly Like You," and the 4-man Capital Jazz Project, providing piano, bass, drums and sax accompaniment. Our favorites among the 9 tunes are Rodgers & Hammerstein's title tune, Paul Simon's "Cecilia," Weill and Gershwin's sweetly harmonic a cappella "My Ship," Brainin/Berner's upbeat, jazzy "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes," and Gross/Lawrence's marvelously arranged, a cappella "Tenderly." "Hello" is wonderful stuff, as good as any (mostly accompanied) collegiate Jazz album we've heard. It's no surprise that the debut recording of this group won the 2002 Downbeat Magazine Award for Collegiate Vocal Jazz Groups!

Songlist: Hello, Young Lovers, Cecilia, I Thought About You, My Ship, The Night Has A Thousand Eyes, There'll Be No Tomorrow, Tenderly , Exactly Like You, Virou Areia

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6066c | 1 CD | $12.95 |

American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble : Milestones

Review: The nine-strong, mixed-voice American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under the able direction (and production) of Dr. Art LaPierre, brings us the kind of Jazz album that won the group multiple Downbeat magazine awards, including Best Jazz Vocal Group in 2003 and 2004, and solo Collegiate Female Jazz Vocalist awards for two members. Accompanied on most songs by piano, drums & percussion, bass, tenor sax and trumpet, the ARCVJE cooks throughout "Milestones," which refers to the winning new direction the American River College Vocal Jazz Program had taken 7 years before, under Dr. LaPierre. Our favorites among these 10 tunes are Paquito D'Rivera's "Snow Samba," a bluesy a cappella take on Richard Rodgers' "My Romance," Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Desafinado," Earle Hagen's noir, downbeat "Harlem Nocturne," Harry Edison's upbeat "Centerpiece" and Duke Ellington's hip, hot "Bli Blip." Great stuff, and especially amazing because these are all college students!

Songlist: Snow Samba , Walk Between Raindrops, Desafinado, My Romance, Milestones, Harlem Nocturne, Centerpiece, Bli Blip, Cecilia, Virou Areia

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6065c | 1 CD | $12.95 |

American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble : So Near So Far

Review: The American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble 2005 wows us with another impressive, mostly accompanied Jazz collection of 6 tunes, under the steady teaching and directing baton of Dr. Lapierre. The accompaniment, smooth and consistent, is from a Jazz ensemble of fellow American River College students. The songs are Airto Moreira, Flora Purim and Jose Neto's lively "Samba Do Cantor," Tony Crombie & Benny Green's breezy title tune, Rosana Eckert's bluesy, romantic "At the End of the Day," a driving, scattish, bluenote take on Stevie Wonder's hit "Go Home," Manning Sherman & Eric Maschwitz' lovely, classic, a cappella "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square" and John Birks Gillespie & John Lewis' fast-moving, jazzy "Two Bass Hit." Again, the quality of the Vocal and instrumental jazz here is miles above what one would consider to be "Collegiate"-a fact recognized by awards from DownBeat Magazine to both the ARCVJE and to the talented Dr. Lapierre!

Songlist: Samba Do Cantor, So Near, So Far, At The End Of The Day, Go Home, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, Two Bass Hit

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6064c | 1 CD | $12.95 |

American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble : You're Making Me Crazy

Review: Another hot collection from Director Art Lapierre and his American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble, on this CD the 2006 version. The 6 tunes (most accompanied by an excellent student Jazz ensemble, drums, piano and synthesizer) are Rosana Eckert's Pop/Jazzy title tune, Tony Wiliams' mellow "Sister Cheryl," a slow, bluesy take on Bill Withers' Motown hit "Ain't No Sunshine," Art Farmer's scattish "Farmer's Market," Jimmy Van Heusen's delightfully harmonic, a cappella "Like Someone in Love," and Caprice Fox & Jon Werking's surreal, synthesizer-accompanied "Who Knows." Poised, perfect, in-character Jazz that makes it easy to forget that these are all Sacramento college students. Amazing! P.S., the liner notes list

Songlist: You're Makin' Me Crazy, Sister Cheryl, Farmer's Market, Like Someone In Love, Ain't No Sunshine, Who Knows

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6063c | 1 CD | $12.95 |

American River College Vocal Jazz Ensemble : Your Eyes

Review: The ARCVJE 2008-2009, directed by master teacher/director Dr. Art Lapierre, brings us another sweet, jazzy collection of accompanied Vocal Jazz, all the way from beautiful Sacramento, CA. The seven tunes (accompanied by an excellent student Jazz ensemble) are a scattish, upbeat take on Burton Lane & Alan Jay Lerner's "On a Clear Day," Billy Strayhorn's moody "Lush Life," Sunny Wilkinson & Brian Atchison's bluesy, romantic title tune, Eddie Harrison's sassy, sexy "You Know It's Wrong," Jimmy Giuffre & Jon Hendricks' scattish, upbeat "Four Brothers," Todd Buffa's driving, bluenote "American Eyes" and Gerry Niewood's happy, upbeat "Joy." Every one of these collections is a winner, and every one is hard to believe that these are college students. If you love Jazz, open "Your Eyes!"

Songlist: On A Clear Day, Lush Life, Your Eyes, You Know It's Wrong, Four Brothers, American Eyes, Joy

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6061c | 1 CD | $9.95 |

An Octave Above : An Octave Above

Review: The 4 men and 4 women of An Octave Above, (named 1st runner-up at the 2005 Harmony Sweeps Chicago Regional) are a group of professional vocalists, together for only 3 years, whose repertoire includes doo-wop, jazz, standards and madrigals. This is the group's impressive debut CD of 13 songs, beginning with a jazzy, light "Chile Con Carne," a sweet Ward Swingle-arranged "All the Things You Are," and a ringingly harmonic cover of James Taylor's "That Lonesome Road." Doo-Wop classics "Come Go With Me" and "In the Still of the Night" segue nicely into Billy Joel's anthem "And So It Goes," a bluenote "There Will Never Be Another You" grows upbeat and scattish, "Tico Tico" puts a margarita in our hand and pulls us onto the dance floor, and finally we have Ward Swingle's sparkling arrangement of "Country Dances." Excellent stuff from this fast-rising Chicago octet, who we will be expecting to see at the '06 Sweeps Finals!

Songlist: Chili Con Carne, When I'm Sixty-Four, All the Things You Are, Come Go With Me, That Lonesome Road, I'm With You, In the Still of the Night, And So It Goes, There Will Never Be Another You, Scat Blues, Tico Tico, A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square, Country Dances

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4621c | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella |

Avante : Mackie's Back onsale

Review: The nine mixed-voice members of Avante put it right out there in the liner notes, next to the listing and credits for the 10 cuts on their new CD: "Mackie's Back is both a debut, and a tribute, to the towering vocal ensembles who have shaped who we are. From Gene Puerling, to Chanticleer, to The Manhattan Transfer, to The Swingle Singers, Avante's influences are clear." Founded in Raleigh, NC in 2010 with the objective of fusing Contemporary A Cappella with the art form of Vocal Jazz, the five men and four women singers of Avante's repertoire ranges from Contemporary Choral works to cutting edge jazz with a modern flair. Avante tours the United States, in concert, corporate venues and on college campuses, usually drawing high praise for its high standard of musicianship and unique arrangements. Two nationally regarded clinicians in the group join in the group's educational outreach, providing workshops to students of all ages. Our favorites among the 10 excellent cuts are an original, "What Kind of Band," by group member Kevin, who also arranged "Feeling Good," "Third Time Lucky," Billy Joel's "Always a Woman" and "When I Fall." Group member William arranged "When Sunny Gets Blue" and the manic jazz standard "Twisted;" we also particularly loved the Puerling-arranged "London By Night," E. Lloyd's "Cells, Planets" and Brecht and Weill's deathless, chilling ballad "Mack The Knife," to which the title lyric refers. There's a tremendous amount of vocal talent here--Avante has a confident, fresh sound, surprising arrangements and a love of creating beautiful harmonies that shows. An impressive debut album from fast-rising Avante!

Songlist: What Kind of Band, Feeling Good, When Sunny Gets Blue, Third Time Lucky, She's Always A Woman, When I Fall, Twisted, London By Night, Cells, Planets, Mack the Knife

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22222c | 1 CD | $3.95 | A Cappella |

Banda De Boca : Banda De Boca

Review: Four man, one woman Brazilian a cappella Jazz ensemble from Salvador da Bahia present their debut CD and lovely, full-color liner notes, all in Portuguese. Ditto with their website, but one of the things we love about a cappella is that the music speaks very eloquently for itself! There are 14 juicy, original tunes here, written and arranged (as far as we can tell) by talented Brazilian composer and musician Hiran Montiero. Banda uses only voices, has a sweet, sassy, funky-clean sound, and specializes in faux horns, guitar, bass and percussion. Listen to the drum lead on "Relampiono," the horn solo on "Chico Bento," and the sizzling percussion on the Salsa tune "Domingo No Parque" to get a taste of what this group can do. Other favorites are the moody "Muito Mais," finger-snapping "Cada Olhar," joyous "Palavra" and the percussion gem "Bilboque." Don't let the no-English issue keep you from enjoying one of the most cutting-edge, high-energy Vocal Jazz groups we've heard in a long time. Every cut is a winner!

Songlist: Relampiano, Cha de Cozinha, Samba da Esquina, Samba da Bahia, Chovendo na Roseira, Chico Bento, Domingo no Parque, Muito Mais, Construcao, Cada Olhar, Boi da Cara Preta, De Manha, Palavra, Bilboque

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7636c | 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella |

Beachfront Property : Beachfront Property

Review: This nine-member ensemble has selected fourteen wonderful songs for their debut CD (about half are accompanied) featuring arrangements from Joe Finetti,Phil Mattson, Michele Weir and Gene Puerling. The first track, "The Flintstones Theme," complete with Fred's "Wilma" holler, wins over the listener immediately; "Blackbird," sung a cappella, is rendered as a sort of jazz hymn, fleshing out the progression with counterpoint and extending the phrases. "Embraceable You" becomes three dimensional, it's so depthful. "You Go To My Head" has become something of a signature tune for Beachfront: the richness and texture of the Singers Unlimited, without encumbering the essence of the song with unnecessary ornamentation. Terrific.

Songlist: The Flintstones' Theme, Blackbird, Hurry On Down, Embraceable You, Born To Be Blue, You Go To My Head, Ring-A-Ding-Ding, It Had To Be You, You Made Me Love You, The Summer Knows , My Kind Of Girl, Sophisticated Lady, I Remember You, Wave

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4701c | 1 CD | $14.98 |

Beachfront Property : Straight Up

Review: If you enjoy listening to jazz presented by enough voices to be a chorus when that embellishes the arrangement, sung by singers so accomplished that you can follow each individual voice through complex vocal intertwining, you will love Beachfront Property. This group of southern California studio singers alternate accompanied and unaccompanied tunes which become jazz standards after they are through with them if they weren't before. One notable original is Vince Guaraldi's " Linus & Lucy" adapted for voices by Stan Castonogia and the group.

Songlist: Straighten Up & Fly Right, Tenor Madness , Besame Mucho, Linus & Lucy, Angel Eyes, Stompin' At The Savoy, Icarus, Pick Yourself Up, I Saw Her Standing There, Midnight Sun

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4702c | 1 CD | $14.98 |

Berlin Voices : States of Mind

Review: Esther, Marc and Kristopher first sang together in the Vocal Section of Germany's Federal Jazz Orchestra in 1998 under the direction of Peter Herbolzheimer. By 2000 they met Sarah and began performing as a mixed vocal jazz quartet, from small jazz clubs to the largest concert halls in Germany; performing in the Munich Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the CCH1 in Hamburg and the Friedrichstadtpalast in Berlin. "States of Mind" is a mostly-accompanied, jazzy, fun collection of 11 Billy Joel hits like "Just the Way You Are," "Piano Man," a nice a cappella cover of "Honesty," "New York State of Mind," "James," "Allentown," "He's Got a Way," "Summer, Highland Falls," "And So it Goes" and "We Didn't Start the Fire." The Voices have a fresh, beautifully harmonic sound, and they perfectly capture the sophisticated, moody New York feel of Billy Joel's music. "States" is a wonderfully entertaining tribute to a remarkable composer and performer.

Songlist: Just The Way You Are, Piano Man, You're My Home, Honesty, New York State Of Mind, James, Allentown, He's Got A Way, Summer, Highland Falls, And So It Goes, We Didn't Start The Fire

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7666c | 1 CD | $16.95 || Billy Joel

Bobby McFerrin : Best Of The Blue Note Years

Review: Bobby McFerrin is known to commercial audiences by virtue of the monster radio friendly hit, "Don't Worry, Be Happy." However, to judge him by that one song is like evaluating all automobiles by the Edsel. In actuality, his brilliance as an innovative vocalist and writer far exceeds his mainstream appeal, and with collaborators such as Chick Corea on piano, this recording is is overwhelmingly good. Listen to "Blue Bossa," where Bobby's gutteral growls menace and alarm; or the heat-infused "Friends," which is a sultry Al Jarreau type contemporary jazz tune; "Spain" is a tour-de-force, where the singer alternates between providing the percussion and bass accompaniment to the piano with a panoply of vocal sounds. McFerrin can entreat sweetly in one breath and then leap into a frenzy of notes, each cascading into the other with a fierce intensity that is practically animalistic. A unique talent.

Songlist: Don't Worry, Be Happy, Friends, Thinkin' About Your Body, Spain, Freedom Is A Voice, Drive My Car, Another Night In Tunisia, Blue Bossa, Turtle Shoes, Good Lovin', From Me To You, Bang!Zoom

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4161c | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella || Bobby McFerrin

Bobby McFerrin : Beyond Words

Review: Bobby, the a cappella legend, may have crossed the line into the land of accompaniment on "Beyond Words," but let us just say that there is accompaniment, and then there is Chick Corea on piano, with musicians of similar stature on bass, percussion, drums and guitar, and Bobby himself playing the Roland XP-80 synthesizer. Let us also say that Bobby McFerrin has heavily influenced (many would say personally created) the resurgence in a cappella music in the last two decades, and that that was no mistake or lucky break. He is an artist who pushes the vocal jazz envelope, and he's pushing it here. 16 songs that take Bobby's art - what he does better than anyone else - that is, use his voice as an incredibly multi-faceted instrument, to create sounds and moods that no one has ever created before. "Invocation," "Kalimba Suite," "A Silken Road" - each is a little masterpiece of vocal and instrumental improvisation, as beautiful and earth pastel-colored as the stunning liner notes. Listen and be in awe!

Songlist: Invocation, Kalimba Suite, A Silken Road, Fertile Field, Dervishes, Ziggurat, Sisters, Circlings, Chanson, Windows, Marlowe, Mass, Pat & Joe, Taylor Made, A Piece, A Chord, Monks / The Sheperd

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4489c | 1 CD | $15.98 || Bobby McFerrin

Bobby McFerrin : Circle Songs

Review: We can always expect something new from Mr. McFerrin. Circlesongs is a recording of eight spontaneous vocal improvisations sung by twelve singers and Bobby. Three basses, three tenors, three altos and three sopranos create the vocal textures around which Bobby weaves his lilting solos. The songs are very like chant because of the repeating and rhythmic sounds which truly have a circular sound. Words are eschewed in favor of syllables of sound, a style McFerrin explains, "I've always felt that singing a song without words makes one song a thousand songs because the people who hear it can bring their own stories to it."

Songlist: Bobby McFerrin: Circlesongs, Circlesong One, Circlesong Two, Circlesong Three, Circlesong Four, Circlesong Five, Circlesong Six, Circlesong Seven, Circlesong Eight

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4159c | 1 CD | $11.95 | A Cappella || Bobby McFerrin

Bobby McFerrin : Mouth Music

Review: "Mouth Music" has a photo of a smiling McFerrin, thinly-wrapped dreadlocks hanging down, in an incongruous white tie and tux; and the first cut is Overture to "The Marriage of Figaro" by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra-conducted by Bobby McFerrin. The 2nd cut is the jazz standard "'Round Midnight," with Bobby's smoky, faux-trumpet solo lead, Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass and Tony Williams on drums. Next is "Song for Amadeus," Bobby's improvisation on Mozart's Sonata No.2 in F Major," with Chick Corea on piano. The 4th and 5th cuts are "Pavane, Op. 50" and "Minuet" from String Quintet No. 1 in E Major, Op. 13, with Bobby conducting the Chamber Orchestra and providing soaring, joyful vocals, especially on "Minuet." The wonderful, rhythmic a cappella "Circlesong 1" and "Circlesong 2" are followed by a sublime "Hush Little Baby," "Flight of the Bumblebee" and the surprising "Hoedown," with Bobby's freeform vocals accompanied by Yo-Yo Ma. When we have a tendency to think that singers and other musicians aren't really so special, a CD like "Mouth Music" will show us exactly how extraordinary they can be. A beautiful CD from Master Bobby and his talented guests!

Songlist: Overture to "The Marriage of Figaro", 'Round Midnight , Song for Amadeus, "Minuet" from String Quintet No.1 in E major, Op.13 No.5, G.275, Circlesong 1, Circlesong 2, Hush Little Baby , Flight Of The Bumblebee from The Legend of Tsar Saltan , Hoedown!

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4612c | 1 CD | $9.98 | A Cappella || Bobby McFerrin

Bobby McFerrin : Simple Pleasures : 00  1 CD : Bobby McFerrin : 48059

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Drive My Car

Bobby McFerrin : Simple Pleasures

Review: "Don't Worry, Be Happy" is the opening tune of a collection of multi tracked songs on which all the voices are Bobby McFerrin's. Five originals including the title track "Simple Pleasures" are interwoven with "Drive My Car" (Lennon/ McCartney), "Good Lovin'," "Susie Q," "Them Changes" (Buddy Miles) and Sunshine Of Your Love. Throughout this recording is the percussive chest thump which Bobby pioneered and really must be considered the origin of innovative vocal percussion which has become so important to contemporary a cappella.

Songlist: Don't Worry, Be Happy, All I Want, Drive My Car, Simple Pleasures, Good Lovin', Come To Me, Suzie Q, Drive, Them Changes, Sunshine Of Your Love

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4153c | 1 CD | $10.98 | A Cappella || Bobby McFerrin

Bobby McFerrin : SpiritYouAll

Review: Bobby McFerrin brings it all back home with his new album, spirityouall, re-imagining Americana with beloved spirituals and original songs. Bobby invites us along on his everyday search for grace, wisdom, and freedom, embracing bluegrass and the baroque, heartfelt lyrics and wordless melodies, joy and sorrow. He throws some unexpected new ingredients into the melting pot and invites us to sing together through life's trials and triumphs. Across genres, across boundaries, across generations, spirityouall raises the roof with joyful grooves.

Songlist: Everytime, Swing Low, Joshua, Fix me, Jesus, Woe, I Shall Be Released, Whole World, Gracious, 25:15, Wade, Glory, Jesus Makes It Good, Rest / Yes Indeed

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2704c | 1 CD | $11.95 |

Bobby McFerrin : Spontaneous Inventions

Review: How do you capture spontaneous creation? Blue Note's answer was to present the widest possible variety of performances on one CD in order to capture the sense of someone who is spontaneous in every performance. They succeeded admirably! Three originals, four solo interpretations of other composer's work, singing around the piano of Herbie Hancock, facing off with the soprano sax of Wayne Shorter, and a hysterical "Beverly Hills Blues" (improv with Robin Williams), are the contents but one. That one is "Another Night In Tunisia," sung with The Manhattan Transfer and Jon Hendricks. It's a must for any collection...

Songlist: Thinkin' About Your Body, Turtle Shoes, From Me To You, There Ya Go, Cara Mia, Another Night In Tunisia, Opportunity, Walkin', I Hear Music , Beverly Hills Blues, Manan Iguana

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4152c | 1 CD | $10.98 | A Cappella || Bobby McFerrin

Bobby Mcferrin : VOCAbularieS

Review: Ten-time Grammy Award winner/vocal innovator Bobby McFerrin surprises us yet again with VOCAbuLarieS, his first new release in eight years. Like his #1 worldwide hit song Don't Worry Be Happy and his multi-platinum duo album Hush with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, VOCAbuLarieS is based on Bobby's experiments with multi-track recording and his ceaseless exploration of the potential of the human voice. VOCAbuLarieS is Bobby McFerrin music for the 21st century. A collaboration with the composer/arranger/producer Roger Treece, VOCAbuLarieS features over fifty of the world's finest singers, recorded one at a time and in small groups to create a virtual choir made up of over 1,400 vocal tracks. Constructed as meticulously as a Mozart symphony or a Steely Dan album, intricately synthesized from countless stylistic elements, VOCAbuLarieS may be unlike any album anyone has ever recorded. Yet the music is always accessible, joyous, and inviting. VOCAbuLarieS celebrates Bobby's love of all musical genres, from classical to world music, R&B to gospel and beyond, building upon McFerrin's past explorations and journeying into bold new territory. If the song Don't Worry Be Happy is all you know about Bobby McFerrin, sit back and prepare to be amazed.

Songlist: Baby, Say Ladeo, Wailers, Messages, The Garden, He Ran To The Train, Brief Eternity

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2336c | 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella || Bobby McFerrin

Boswell Sisters : The Music Goes Round and Round

Review: 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.

Songlist: The Music Goes 'Round and Around, The Object of My Affection, It's The Girl, Every Little Moment, Let Yourself Go, Top Hat, White Tie And Tails, It's Written All Over Your Face, Coffee In The Morning and Kisses In The Night, That Lonesome Road, When I Take My Sugar to Tea, I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself A Letter, Cheek to Cheek, Don't Let Your Love Go Wrong, Why Don't You Practice What You Preach, I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket, Song of Surrender, Way Back Home, Dinah, he Music Goes 'Round And Around

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2993c | 1 CD | $15.95 |

BR6 : For All

Review: We have rained superlatives over one woman-five man Brazilian sextet's first two albums, "Here To Stay" and "Musica Popular Brazileira A Cappella," and we have been rewarded with their third, "BR6 For All." There are 12 perfectly recorded and mixed tunes here, our favorites (but only just barely) are the songs in English: Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours," which has the theme from "Mission Impossible" segueing in and out of it; the amazingly arranged "Beatles Medley," the Michael Jackson hit "Human Nature," Freddie Mercury's Queen standard "Play the Game" and Sting's "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic." Other faves are the Latin classic "Tico-Tico No Fuba," "Aquarela Do Brasil," "Libertango," "Samba de Verao" and "Lembrei Do Ceara." But make no mistake, every song here is a stone vocal and rhythmic treat. BR6 ranks right up there with elite groups like Rajaton and the Real Group, and "For All" is one of the best CDs of the year!

Songlist: Aquarela do Brasil, Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours, Tico-Tico No Fuba, The Beatles Medley, Libertango, Brasil Pandeiro, Human Nature, Samba de Verao, Play The Game, Coracao Bobo, Every Little Thing She Does, Lembrei do Ceara

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22181c | 1 CD | $14.95 | A Cappella |

BR6 : Here To Stay : 00  1 CD : 

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BR6 : Here To Stay

Review: We raved over five-man, one woman BR6's debut recording, "Rio A Cappella," and have been eagerly waiting for their second. First let us praise the marvelous, Beatles-flavored graphics and photos in the liner notes, some of the best we've ever seen, and a perfect complement to the smooth, latin sound the group applies to one of our all-time favorite tunes, George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," medleyed with Tom Jobim's "Waters of March." Continuing with a cool "Jazz 'n' Samba," mellow and sweet "Someone to Watch Over Me," jazzy "Water to Drink," and sassy, sexy "They Can't Take That Away From Me" this is all pure enjoyment. Try to imagine faux, feline-sounding horns on "Girl from Ipanema," a surprising, bluenote faux trumpet solo on "Fascinating Rhythm," faux muted trumpets on a meandering "Forever Green," "They All Laughed," "Song of the Jet," "Love is Here to Stay ...this is all mellow, fun, jazzy, salsa-flavored stuff to be savored like musical fish tacos and margaritas on a perfect beach with the one you love!

Songlist: Waters Of March / Rhapsody In Blue, Jazz'n'Samba, Someone to Watch Over Me, Water To Drink, They Can't Take That Away From Me, The Girl From Impanema, Fascinating Rhythm, Forever Green, They All Laughed, Song Of The Jet, Love Is Here To Stay, Pato Preto

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7634c | 1 CD | $16.95 | A Cappella |

BR6 : Musica Popular Brasileira A Cappella

Review: Five man, one woman Brazilian quintet BR6 is back, and we are very, very happy to hear it! This impossibly smooth, talented, incredibly arranged a cappella group wowed us with their first album, "Rio A Cappella," then again with a stellar cover album, "Here To Stay." Now we hold in our hot little hands "Musica Popular Brasileira A Cappella Vol. II," (basically, a cappella covers of Brazilian Pop Music), with all the liner notes and song titles in Spanish, and we're sitting here with headphones on, just digging on all this sweet, sexy, salsa-flavored a cappella music! 12 songs, including one of our favorite Idea of North covers, "Mas Que Nada," a jazzy, vocal instrumental song called "Surfboard" that would make the Swingles proud, some silly, fairly wonderful faux horns on "Diexe a Manina," the haunting "Beijo Partido," the vocal percussion and faux horns Jazz gem "Nao Vou Ficar," the breezy, bluenote "Retrato da Vida" and "Eu Quero um Samba," which is impossible not to dance to! Every cut here is big fun, great jazzy stuff, and it didn't even cross our minds that we didn't understand the words. Don't miss this long-awaited collection from one of South America's best!

Songlist: Papagaio do Futuro/ Fe na Perua, Mas Que Nada, Tanta Saudade, Sou Voce, Bala com Bala, Surfboard, Deixe a Menina, Beijo Partido, Nao Vou Ficar, Casa, Retrato da Vida, Eu Quero um Samba

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6054c | 1 CD | $16.95 | A Cappella |

Chapter 6 : Color By Number

Review: These seven talented guys from Chicago, six vocalists and one arranger, started singing together at Illinois' Milliken University, where they won the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella in 2001. They were 3-time winners of the Chicago Harmony Sweeps Regional before finally being named National Champs in at the Finals in San Rafael, CA in 2004. Chapter 6 was also featured on American Idol Season 7 in conjunction with bandmate Luke Menard's "Top 16 run." Taking regular breaks from their extensive touring schedule to record, new release "Color by Numbers" is their 7th excellent album, in addition to a live DVD and a songbook. There are 14 recordings of fan favorites here, including the jazzy, scattish "Rainbow Connection" and manic, swingin' "Harold's House of Jazz," the very funny "Reverb" (sung to the tune of "Fever"), great faux horns and vocal percussion on "Interlude I (I Dream of Jeannie)," a breezy, sweet lead and new arrangement of Lennon/McCartney's "Penny Lane," a salsa-flavored arrangement of "Pure Imagination," a brilliant, funny Swingle Singers take on "James Bond Meets the Sugar Plum Fairy," a pair of short, yummy Interludes, "II (I'm Looking It Up Online)" and "III (Invention);" A bluenote, rainy-day jazz arrangement of "Let's Stay Together," a finger-popping original, "Left-Handers Unite!," a surprisingly hip arrangement of "Fairest Lord Jesus" and a lightly piano-accompanied vocal symphony of "Rhapsody in Blue" that is a soulful, harmonic tour de force!

Songlist: Intro, Rainbow Connection, Reverb, Harold's House of Jazz, I Dream of Jeannie, Penny Lane, Pure Imagination, James Bond Meets the Sugar Plum Fairy, I'm Looking It Up Online, Let's Stay Together, Left-Handers Unite!, Invention, Fairest Lord Jesus, Rhapsody in Blue

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2073c | 1 CD | $14.95 | A Cappella |

Clockwork : Every Voice Counts

Review: The Bay Area's own mixed-voice jazz ensemble Clockwork, late of some tremendous performances as a quintet at the 2004 and 2006 Harmony Sweeps Finals, placing 2nd and 3rd, respectively, is now a quartet featuring Angie Doctor, John Paddock and Dave Duran, adding Juliet Green of another beloved Bay Area jazz group, +4db. "Every Voice Counts" is produced by Trist Ethan Curless and The Bobs' Richard Bob Greene, and it is lightly accompanied by various jazz artists on guitar, bass, drums, steel pans, flute, sax, cello, violin and electric violin. 12 songs, with some of our Clockwork favorites like "Rhode Island Is Famous For You" and Radiohead's "Creep;" "I Carry You Around/Chameleon," Jimmy Van Heusen/Johnny Mercers "I Thought About You," Yusef Islam's "Where Do the Children Play," the moody "Pontchartrain," the very funny, scattish "My Attorney Bernie," Charlie Parkers "Anthropology" and the traditional spiritual "The Water is Wide." Great stuff, and one thing is certain, we will always love listening to talented, soulful, jazzy Clockwork!

Songlist: I Carry You Around/Chamelion, Rhode Island is Famous for You, The Goodbye Look, Creep, I Thought About You, Who's Blues (Whose Blues), Where Do The Children Play?, Pontchartrain, My Attorney Bernie, None of Us Are Free, Antropology, The Water Is Wide

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2335c | 1 CD | $14.95 |

Clockwork : Orange

Review: Clockwork, 2004 Harmony Sweeps National Finals 1st runners up, is comprised of veteran San Francisco Bay Area harmony singers whose members have sung in several acclaimed a cappella groups. Two are founding members of Phil Mattson's PM Singers and Eric Freeman is the only singer to reach the National Finals in three different groups. Sophisticated jazz arrangements are a stand out on this EP including some complex harmonized bebop, the fabulous Brazilian classic " Corcovado" and a swinging Gershwin medley. This is smart, clever stuff!

Songlist: In the Garden of Eden, Polkadots and Moonbeams, My Baby Just Cares for Me, Corcovado, Lush Life, I've Got Rhythm / Fascinating Rhythm

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4566c | 1 CD | $9.98 | A Cappella |

Clockwork : Tesseract onsale

Review: 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!

Songlist: And (So) What If I Don't?, My Baby Just Cares For Me, Blackbird, D.C. Farewell, Donna Lee, Creep, Rhode Island Is Famous For You, Moment's Notice, Little Girl Blues, Variations #1 on "Nightwatch", Big Cash Deal

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2980c | 1 CD | $1.95 | A Cappella |

Cluster : Cement

Review: Mixed-voice (3 men, 2 women) Italian a cappella jazz ensemble Cluster lets us know from the first sweetly dissonant, elegantly vocal percussioned notes of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" that we're in for a treat. Cluster's website is a delightful mystery, all in Italian, but all but one of the 13 tunes (the brooding "Blinker bla") is in English, even the title tune, an original by group tenor Nicola Nastos. Jazzy covers of American pop and R&B songs like Billy Joel's "Just the Way You Are," a masterful arrangement of Phil Collins' "Against All Odds," Stevie Wonder's "Creepin'," the absolute finest arrangement of The Turtles' bubblegum hit "Happy Together" we've ever heard, and the Motown hit "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" are some favorites. Cluster are poised, confident risk-takers who are fast making their marks in the competitive European jazz/a cappella world. And "cement" is one of the best, most impressive debut CDs we've heard in years. Now it's time to put on the good headphones, pour a glass of the $20 Sauvignon Blanc, cue it up again and truly savor this masterpiece!

Songlist: Giant Steps, Cement, Have You Met Miss Jones, SOS, Just The Way You Are, Blinkar Bla, Ain't No Mountain High Enough, Alabama Song, Against All Odds, Happy Together, Nobody's Wife, Creepin', Ducktales Theme Song

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7621c | 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella |

Cluster : Steps : 00  1 CD : 

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I Wish

Cluster : Steps

Review: Five young Italians, three men and two women, students at the Niccolo Paganini Conservatory in Genoa, got together to form Cluster in 2004. They have been touring Europe and Italy ever since, showing off their unique sound, a combination of jazz, pop and fusion. The group does their own arrangements and released their excellent debut album "Cement," which got 3 CARA nominations, in 2006. They recorded 2 EPs in 2008 and 2009 that also received CARA nominations. The 14 tracks on "Steps" show just how far this incredibly talented quintet has come. They nail Trish Delany Brown and Michel Camilo's jazzy "Just Kidding" (which has some light piano), but all other tunes are a cappella, and include some wonderful faux instruments. A particular treat are the group-written originals, including Nicola Nastos' title tune, "Unthought" and "Fake," "Could It Be" by Luca, Eric and Liwen, "Simple Words" by Letizia and Liwen, and "224" by Erik with words by Emily Dickenson. Outstanding covers of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish," Antonio Carlos Jobim's "One Note Samba," Chick Corea and Neville Porter's "Spain," Freddie Mercury's "Love of My Life" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" fill out the songlist. There is some stunning electronic augmentation of vocal effects that make us wonder exactly what we're listening to, but the arrangements are so good, and the vocals so amazing, that we can only accept the statement on the back ("This is an a cappella recording, except for Colin Santosa's piano no instruments were used") as Gospel. "Steps" is filled with such a number of marvelous sounds and auditory treats that we intend to come back to it again with a pair of excellent headphones and savor it at our leisure. "Steps" is one of the best of the year!

Songlist: Just Kidding, Steps, Could It Be, One Note Samba, Simple Words, I Wish, Mi Sono Innamorato Di Te, Comecar De Novo (The Island), Fake, 224, Spain, Love Of My Life, Unthought, Hallelujah

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5866c | 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella |

Cool and Jazzy : A Cappella

Review: Founded in the summer of 1994 in Russia by Mark and Yuri Smirnovs, and influenced by Singers Unlimited, Take 6 and the New York Voices, the 3 man, 3 woman Cool & Jazzy has won international contests and festivals, including the Ward Swingle Award. The group sings live, dynamic and energetic music with their own arrangements in a wide assortment of languages. Their 4th CD, "A Cappella," features 11 songs, "Intro," "Bei mir bistu shein," "Katyusha," "Conte partiro," "Cheek to Cheek," "Brazasia," "Moscow," "Korobeiniki," "Ils aimment," "Hava Nagila," and, appropriately, "The End." We were thinking we had heard, for instance, "Cheek to Cheek," but never anything like this. These 6 brilliant singers take a song and make it their own. From Russia with Jazz!

Songlist: Intro, Bei Mir Bistu Shein, Katyusha, Conte Partiro, Cheek to Cheek, Brazasia, Moscow, Korobeiniki, Ils Aimment, Hava Nagila, The End

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4509c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella |

Cuesta Voce : Timepieces

Review: Voce is San Luis Obispo, CA's Cuesta College's finest Vocal Jazz 9 mixed-voice ensemble, and "Timepieces" is recorded with a hot five-man student Jazz band. Formed in 1981, Voce has won an Outstanding Performance Award from DownBeat, first place at the 1998 Reno Jazz Festival and performances at Switzerland's prestigious Montreaux Jazz Festival. There are 10 cuts on this impressive second album (their first was 2007's excellent "Just One of Those Things"), some favorites among these sometimes accompanied pieces are Michel LeGrand's "I Will Wait for You," Anders Edenroth's a cappella "The Grass Grows Greener," the mellow "Something 'bout Believing," George & Ira Gershwin's classic "Summertime," Thad Jones' moody a cappella "Somna Mitt Barn," a sweet a cappella adaption of Tchaikovsky's "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" and Imogen Heap's wonderfully harmonic a cappella "Hide and Seek." Voce has a beautiful sound, creative arrangements, and we loved "Timepieces!"

Songlist: I Will Wait For You, I've Got No Strings, The Grass Grows Greener, Something 'Bout Believing, Somna Mitt Barn, Jeannine, Summertime, Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy, Turn Your Love Around, Hide and Seek

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6089c | 1 CD | $14.95 |

Down 4 The Count : Down 4 The Count

Review: Vocal Jazz, with a Swing specialty, is the chosen medium of these 5 artists, two baritones and three sopranos. The group got their start at Cal State University Northridge in 2003, and "Down 4 The Count" is their debut CD. There are 11 songs, favorites are "Down For The Count," "No More Blues," the funny, manic "Whirlybird" with lyrics by group member Colleen Keene, the "Train Song," "Hernando's Hideaway," the poignant "It's Not Easy Being Green," "Blame It on My Youth," the dynamic "Shut Up," and Jimi Hendrix's "Crosstown Traffic, with faux electric guitar and a very commendable Hendrix imitation. At times dissonant and moody, at times joyously powerful, "Down 4 The Count" is very good stuff, an impressive debut for this talented, attractive group!

Songlist: Down For The Count, No More Blues (Chega De Saudade), Til There Was You, Whirlybird, Train Song, Turn Out The Stars, Hernando's Hideaway , It's Not Easy Being Green, Blame It On My Youth, Shut Up, Crosstown Traffic

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2517c | 1 CD | $14.95 | A Cappella |

Encore! : Without A Song

Review: Mixed quintet (two men, three women) Encore! is acclaimed music educator/performer/arranger/director Kirby Shaw's baby, and is all those things for the group, which includes his wife, Markita, singing alto. 16 classic, somewhat incongruous songs: ("Their Hearts Were Full of Spring" segueways into "Sixteen Tons, for instance, and "Java Jive" into "The Rose"). But luckily, each song is a gem, for which Kirby's flawless arranging and directing is largely responsible. Other favorites: "Ain't Misbehavin'," "If Ever I Would Leave You," "Long Ago (And Far Away)," "The Boy From New York City," and "Without a Song." Kirby and company are having big fun here, and so are we!

Songlist: A Cappella, Ain't Misbehavin', Their Hearts Were Full of Spring, Sixteen Tons, If I Ever Would Leave You, Java Jive, The Rose, Shoo-fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy, Long Ago (And Far Away), The Boy from New York City, Johnny Has Gone for A Soldier, Rock Me in the Cradle of Love, Star Spangled Banner, Three Little Fishies, A Joyful Noise, Without A Song

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4522c | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella |

Fifth Avenue : 4 The Fun of It

Review: Singing in the jazz tradition of The Hi-lo's and The Four Freshmen gives you a sense of this dynamic quarted from the Pacific Northwest who first got together in 1983. They had all attended Edmonds Community College and sang with Frank DeMiero's nationally acclaimed Soundsation jazz choir. After notable successes they retired three years and one recording later. After a nine year hiatus they began once again to dazzle audiences with tight, pure harmony. Now they tour with a trio of piano, bass, and drums and that's what you'll find mostly on this recording, their first in over fifteen years! While only "My Romance" is a cappella (well, along with the Bonus Track) the peerless harmonies will be a joy to all those who love older jazz standards such as "Fascinatin' Rhythm," "My Sugar Is So Refined," "Mack the Knife," and more!

Songlist: Just Goofin', Fascinatin' Rhythm, My Sugar Is So Refined, Summer Is the Coldest Time Of Year, Mack the Knife, Music of the Mouse, There Will Never Be Another you, Whistle While you Work, In Happened in Sun Valley, My Romance, * Special Bonus Track

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4436c | 1 CD | $14.98 |

Five Live : Take Two

Review: The (you guessed it!) five members of Five Live met while singing together in the Swingle Singers. One by one they left the group to pursue individual careers as free-lance singers. Collectively, they worked in just about every different type of musical work, opera, jazz, avant-garde film, and radio session work. Although each enjoyed the work immensely, they realized that they all missed close harmony singing. One night after a good meal and a few glasses of wine they began to sing for fun and the rest, as they say, is history. Five Live was born to create a more gutsy/pop sort of sound with five singers, three men and two women. Their program contains humor and energy with an international repertoire ranging from "Yesterday" by the Beatles to rhythmic Latin American favorites such as "Bambaleo" by the Gipsy Kings. Along the way you'll be treated to a truly original rendition of "Don't Worry Be Happy." (Hah, you thought it couldn't be done!) You'll find a medley of Edith Piaf tunes, "Volare," "Sir Duke," "Send In The Clowns," and more. All these have been crafted with a touch of jazz and a wide brush of pop sounds by some of the best trained voices around. They are Sarah Eyden - soprano, Carol Canning - alto, Andy Busher - Tenor, Ben Parry - baritone, and David Porter Thomas - bass. You will find that the beauty and comfortable familiarity of the songs will foster listening to Five Live over and over

Songlist: Boy From New York City, Besame Mucho, Overture "Marriage of Figaro", Don't Worry Be Happy, Uptown Girl, Piaf Medley, Volare, Drive My Car, Yesterday, Sir Duke, Send In The Clowns, The Winner Takes It All, Vem Kan Segla, Bambaleo

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4433c | 1 CD | $13.95 | A Cappella |

Glad : A Cappella Gershwin

Review: Glad began as a progressive Christian rock band in the early seventies. Rich complex arrangements and lush vocal melodies have been their trademark. Each of their early albums had one a cappella tune included. As an experiment, in 1988, they recorded the A Cappella Project which was received with such enthusiasm that they have been alternating instrumental accompaniment with a cappella albums ever since. Glad singing Gershwin is a total treat. All the standards are here "I've Got Rhythm," "The Girl I Love," "Someone To Watch Over Me" etc. To this reviewer "The Gershwin Medley" is nothing short of fabulous!

Songlist: I Got Rhythm, The Girl I Love, Our Love Is Here To Stay, Embraceable You, The Gershwin Medley, They All Laughed, A Foggy Day (In London Town), Little Jazz Bird, But Not For Me, They Can't Take That Away From Me, Someone To Watch Over Me

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4404c | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella || George & Ira Gershwin

Gold Company : 25

Review: Dr. Stephen Zegree directs and instructs Gold Company, the Western Michigan University vocal jazz chorus, and the "25" refers to the 25th anniversary of the founding of the group. There are 13 songs here, 6 of them are all or part a cappella: "Pan Africa," the opening tune, "Not While I'm Around," "Take It to the Bridge," "Processional," "Dandaya" and "County Downs." Many of these are arranged by Dr. Zegree's students. There's a nice variety in the arrangements here, but a consistently high quality in the performance of the group. Dr. Zegree is in demand internationally for his talents, Gold Company shows us why with every amazing song.

Songlist: Panafrica, Dat Dere, Gotta Get Up (To Get Down), Not While I'm Around, This Masquerade, Tenderly, A Ghost Of A Chance, Take It To The Bridge, Processional, What Is This Thing Called Love?, I'll Never Smile Again, Top Of The Mountain, Dandaya, Cool, Country Dances

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4506c | 1 CD | $14.98 |

Gold Company : 30 : 00  1 CD : Steve Zegree : 

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In My Life

Gold Company : 30

Review: Gold Company is widely recognized as one of the leading collegiate and vocal jazz ensembles in the world, and "Thirty" celebrates thirty years under the direction of Dr. Stephen Zegree, the Bobby McFerrin Distinguished Professor of Jazz in the School of Music at Western Michigan University. The 15 to 16-member Gold Company performs 13 sublime jazz covers and a pair of originals, here with the very hot Gold Company Band. The originals are (founding member and arranger for The New York Voices) Darmon Meader's "And So Am I" and "Snow Samba," the Meader-arranged composition by Paquito D'Rivera and Claudio Rotiti. Other favorites are two different takes on Lennon and McCartney's "Got to Get You Into My Life," the Gene Puerling-arranged "Sweet Lorraine," Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed," "The Jungle Book's" "The Monkey Song," the moody "Autumn in New York," Duke Ellington's "Love You Madly," Cole Porter's "So In Love" from "Kiss Me Kate" and Tamra Gray's lovely "Raindrops Will Fall." We repeat the caveat that this is an all-accompanied recording. That said, this is wonderful jazz, far beyond what one might expect from collegiate musicians!

Songlist: Got to Get You Into My Life, The Very Thought Of You, And So Am I, Sweet Lorraine, Overjoyed, My Love For You, The Monkey Song, Autumn In New York, Love You Madly, Let Your Love, So In Love, Snow Samba, In My Life, Raindrops will Fall, Got to Get You Into My Life

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3093c | 1 CD | $14.95 |

Gold Company : Absolute Integrity

Review: Dr. Stephen Zegree is one of those rare directors of collegiate ensembles who is able to take that group, in this case WMU's Gold Company, to a professional level in performance and recordings. That the group is able to maintain that level through the years of constantly graduating members means, of course, that the best young jazz musicians are going to Kalamazoo to work with and learn from Zegree, When we see recordings, this only the fourth in over 25 years since the group's founding, it's cause for celebration! "Absolute Integrity" is an impressive collection of 15 songs, many of them originals by former group members, such as Justin Avery ("Just Sing," "Soul Conspiracy," "All Night," the wonderfully funky and nearly a cappella "Cell City Mode," the title tune, and "100 Years"), and Gary Fry's "Higher Purpose." Others are arranged by former members, like Matt Falkner's arrangement of Rodgers and Hart's "I Didn't Know What Time It Was," Nathan Lansing's arrangement of "Stompin' At The Savoy" and others. Our friend Gene Puerling lends a great arrangement of "I Remember You," the only pure a cappella cut, as Zegree attracts as many jazz instrumentalists as vocalists. We of course would prefer many more, but "Integrity" is still an amazing, and rare CD from one of the best collegiate ensembles in the world.

Songlist: Just Sing, I Didn't Know What Time It Was, Soul Conspiracy, So Danco Samba, All Night, Cell City Mode, All I Want, When Your Lover Has Gone, Absolute Integrity, Stompin' At The Savoy, Summer Breeze, The Lady is a Tramp, I Remember You, Higher Purpose, 100 Years

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7606c | 1 CD | $14.98 |

Gold Company : While We're Young

Review: At first hearing, you wouldn't think that this glorious motley of vocal music is of collegiate standing. Gold Company's "While We're Young", is a CD compilation of ensembles hailing from Western Michigan University, directed by Dr. Stephen Zegree. Each song is flavored with a group of different voices and instruments allowing for individuality and influence to play a strong force. It is apparent that Dr. Zegree really let his students shine through with their styles and that variety is refreshing. R & B, Latin, Southern Dixie, Showtune Standards, Be-bop, and a little bit of Funk are all represented. This is not a straightforward vocal CD, but incorporates a great deal of instrumentation with the vocal ensembles. This CD is highly recommended.

Songlist: I Love Bein' Here With You, Everybody's Boppin', Cheek To Cheek, While We're Young, Gingerbread Boy, Alice In Wonderland, Change Comin' Round, Kick That Monkey, Hoedown, Poinciana, Last Night When We Were Young, Summertime, The Music, The Magic and The Memories

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4794c | 1 CD | $14.98 |

Gold Company : Who Could Ask For Anything More

Review: Dr. Stephen Zegree, concert pianist, educator and one of the most respected Vocal Jazz conductors on the planet, directs two 16-mixed voices permutations of Western Michigan's Gold Company, plus the Gold Company Band, essentially a 21-member Jazz orchestra in this 15-song, mostly-accompanied collection. Guest conductor Duane Shields Davis also directs a version of Gold Company and the Band here, as well as doing the dynamic arrangements for Rodgers & Hart's "This Can't Be Love" and Cole Porter's "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye." Other favorites are the George Gershwin standard "I Got Rhythm, a scattish, salsa take on Caesar & Youman's "Tea for Two," a pair of originals written and arranged by student Tenor Mark Jackson, "Pure Gold," "We're Here for You" and "Go For The Gold;" Gillies & Foster's power ballad "Stand Up for Love," the a cappella version of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee," arranged, of course by Ward Swingle, Bobby McFerrin's sublime a cappella "In The Garden," and the Glenn Miller Classic that bears the name of the home of Western Michigan, "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo." Dr. Zegree has led Gold Company in winning a fistful of DownBeat Magazine awards and a reputation as one of the most respected Collegiate Vocal Bands in the world. Every one of these cuts is as hot, or cool, as we like it, and we're sure you'll also love "Who could ask for anything more!"

Songlist: I Got Rhythm , This Can't Be Love, Tea For Two, Pure Gold, Prisoner Of Love, In The Stone, Stand Up For Love, Flight Of The Bumble Bee , We're Here For You, Quiet Night Of Quiet Stars, Go For The Gold, Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye, The Garden, I Believe, I've Got a Gal In Kalamazoo

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6104c | 1 CD | $9.95 |

Good Company : Live

Review: Good Company is a 7-member mixed Vocal Jazz ensemble sponsored by the Midland, MI Center for the Arts. They have shared the stage with such noted artists as Doc Severinsen and His Big Band and Preservation Hall Jazz Band. "Live at the Center" has 11 nicely-done jazz standards or jazz arrangements of pop hits, some a cappella ("When I Fall In Love," "Where Is Love," "Java Jive," a stellar "There Will Be Another You" and the patriotic medley "Lift Up Your Voice"); and some jazz-band accompanied: Louis Prima's "Sing, Sing, Sing," Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing," Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies," Gordy and Robinson's Motown classic "Shop Around," and Paul Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" are standouts. Good Company had the good sense to employ some very fine arrangers: Stephen Zegree, Kirby Shaw, Gene Puerling, Darmon Meader and others. Great song selection, top-drawer arrangements, serious vocal talent and range, an appreciative audience-it all adds up to a wonderful live jazz CD and an impressive debut for Good Company!

Songlist: Sing, Sing, Sing, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Blue Skies, When I Fall In Love , Just in Time, Where Is Love?, Java Jive, Shop Around , There Will Never Be Another You, Lift Up Your Voice, Bridge Over Troubled Water

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4606c | 1 CD | $14.98 |

Groove For Thought : Groove For Thought

Review: All male Pacific Northwest sextet Groove for Thought's debut CD is here, not surprisingly titled "Groove for Thought." We last saw GFT at the 2005 Harmony Sweeps Finals, where they won both the Best Original Song award for group member Kevin Kunz' "Walk the Straighter Road" and the National Championship. "Groove" is an excellent, jazzy, beautifully arranged album, but we need to warn a cappella purists that there is a lot of accompaniment with these 14 songs. Our favorites are the two pure a cappella tunes, Kevin's wonderful arrangement of "Joy to the World," and Billy Joel's "And So It Goes." We also once again enjoyed "Walk the Straighter Road," which has some light piano accompaniment. Kevin's hot, jazzy originals "Lay It Back," "A Better Place," "Gotta Lotta Lemons," "My Perfect Day," all accompanied, are also very good; as is Chick Corea's "La Fiesta." The Kelly Kunz-arranged hymn "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" completes our favorites. GFT has some of the best original writing and arranging we've heard and a clean, pure sound that needs no accompaniment of any kind to blow us away!.

Songlist: Intro (Lay It Back), Lay It Back, A Better Place, Joy To The World, And So It Goes, Interlude 1, Gotta Lotta Lemons, My Perfect Day, Lean On Me, Take My Hand, Precious Lord, Interlude 2, La Fiesta, Intro (Walk The Straighter Road), Walk The Straighter Road

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7501c | 1 CD | $14.98 |

Groove For Thought : Inspired

Review: We were first blown away by Seattle's 7-voice (6 men, 1 woman) Groove for Thought when they stepped onto the stage at the Harmony Sweeps 2005 National Finals, where they won "Best Original Song" and the National Championship. Their amazing arrangements, hot leads, and an infectious, unique blend of jazz and R&B left little doubt in our minds and the judges' who was the best group on stage. The second time was in 2010 on NBC's The Sing-Off, when this talented group survived three intense rounds of tough competition with great performances, gaining millions of fans and joining an elite group-the best performing a cappella ensembles on the planet! "Inspired" is a tour de force collection of 11 cuts that only underline that perception, and is certainly one of our early favorites for best jazz album of the year (although we'd also listen to arguments that it's the best R&B album of the year!) Some favorites are a cappella winners, Michael Jackson's "Human Nature," Ray Charles' hit "Hallelujah, I Love Her So," a sublime arrangement of Lennon/McCartney's "Got to Get You Into My Life" and Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors." Accompanied favorites are EWF's "Shining Star," Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours" segued into Wilson Pickett's "Knock on Wood," Pickett's "Midnight Hour," Cyndi Lauper's "Who Let in the Rain," and Marvin Gaye's "How Sweet it Is." More accompaniment than we were expecting, but very cut is a gem here-don't miss "Inspired," a powerful album by one of America's best!

Songlist: Shining Star, Human Nature, Hallelujah I Love Her So, Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I'm Yours / Knock on Wood, Got to Get You Into My Life, Straight to My Heart, In the Midnight Hour, Who Let In the Rain, How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You), True Colors

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2084c | 1 CD | $14.95 |

Groove Society : Groove Society

Review: Formed in 2002 by four men and two women, former members of the Univ. of Northern Colorado's Grammy-nominated ensemble, Vocal Jazz 1, Groove Society has a growing reputation for thoughtfully crafted arrangements, intricate rhythms and exhilarating improvisations. Although their roots are firmly planted in the Jazz genre, they perform in a variety of styles, Latin, blues, bebop, rock, pop funk and R&B with their trademark exuberant passion and soul. "Groove Society," their impressive debut CD, features 11 tunes, and it's hard to pick favorites. That said, we really liked Tito Puente's "Oye Como Va," the Gershwins' classic "Summertime," and a "Tribute to Earth, Wind and Fire" medley that few groups would attempt, much less nail as Groove Society has here. Van Morrison's moody "Moondance," the Harry James/Duke Ellington hit "I'm Beginning to See the Light," Chicago's "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" the Doobie Bros.' "Listen to the Music" and the final cut, Barry Manilow's rainy-day "When October Goes" are particularly well done. For such a young group, GS has the poise, the bright, polished sound, the effortless vocal percussion and the cutting-edge arrangements of a veteran group with years of experience singing together. Groove Society is going places fast!

Songlist: Oye Como Va, Summertime, Talvez Seja Voce, Rain, Tribute to Earth Wind & Fire, Moon Dance, You're No Good, I'm Beginning to See the Light, Does Anybody Really Know What Time it is?, Listen to the Music, When October Goes

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4616c | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella |

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