In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument

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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 51-100 of 424 items.

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 || Vocal Jazz CDs

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 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Grunyons : Just In Time

Review: The Grunyon's say Laborantem laudat, cantatem amat dominus, or, The Lord Respects me when I work, but loves me when I sing. There is no better way to describe this group other than a bunch of guys who collectively share the same bond of love for a cappella. Since 1949, in exchange for Poker, Tuesday nights of vocal jazz mischief and mayhem were a regularly scheduled affair for the Grunyons. Albeit, an amateur effort, this collection is fabulous for those who respect a good time for good times sake! These guys always and only had fun and after 50 years of singing it is about time they showed us just how much fun they have indulged. Most famous Grunyon, Bill Gard, shows us his arranging specialty with title track "Just in Time", as well as, "Little Darlin", "Laughter in the Rain" and "This time the Dream's on Me" plus a few more. Other favorites on this loaded 19 song collection are "Beginning to See the Light" by Ellington, "This Masquerade" by Leon Russell, "Little Red Riding Hood" by The Bobs, and a Moon Medley arranged by Ed Wolff. If you like Ed Wolff, his arranging is celebrated strong here, Grunyon style. Though timeliness has never been a Grunyon factor, the final song is appropriately "This Will Be My Shining Hour" by Arlen and Mercer, arranged by Bill Gard. A Grunyon Metaphor speaketh; our lives are now at their best and will be "' til I'm with you again."

Songlist: Just In Time, Tea For Two, That Sunday, That Summer, Overture to William Tell, And So It Goes, I Found Love, This Time the Dreams on Me, This Masquerade, Beginnin' to See the Light, Darling, You and I, Shooby Doin', Little Darlin', Little Red Riding Hood, Laughter in the Rain, Almost Always, Lullaby, Moon Medley, Lover Come Back to Me, This Will Be My Shining Hour

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4796c | 1 CD | $9.95 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs

Hampton Avenue : Everybody Sing

Review: Toronto-based Hampton Avenue is an eight-piece mixed group. Their warm sound lies somewhere between contemporary jazz and pop, easy on the ear, pleasant and cheerful in disposition. Musical Director, arranger and group member Debbie Fleming, who has orchestrated a recording of consistent and professional quality, write most of the songs. Highlights include the simple and uncluttered "The Gathering," one of the few slow numbers, in addition to the standard, "Here's That Rainy Day"; Hampton Avenue's musicality, and the manner in which their voices compliment each other, really blossoms on that one. Unusual harmonization distinguishes "Fixing A Hole," elevating it from a mere imitation to a memorable version in its own right. Entirely a cappella, with the exception of two cuts (which are augmented by tasteful bass and percussion).

Songlist: Everybody Sing, Make Lemonade, The Gathering, In a Mellow Tone, Baila, Here's That Rainy Day, Foodblooz, Fixing a Hole, Corner Of My Mind, Shoofly Pie And Apple Pan Dowdy, Shodioh, Dedication, Voce Etude, Let's Jive

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5428c | 1 CD | $9.95 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs

Hampton Avenue : Gift Of Harmony

Review: Singer/songwriter Debbie Fleming, a founder of the excellent a cappella jazz group Hampton Avenue, has assembled a wealth of talent for this stunning showcase of her songwriting, singing and arranging. Merry-Anne Hutton, Tim Olfert and The ChoirGirls make guest appearances with the four current members of Hampton Avenue, and the final 3 cuts, national anthems of Canada (in 2 languages) and the United States, feature the original 10 members of the group. 14 songs: a wonderful "Big Band Medley" featuring 9 great swing covers, "Que Pasa," "Crazy In Love," "Bing Bang," "Harmony," "Cuban Night," "Great Love Story" (the wedding song of the group's Suba and Dylan), "No More Bebop," "More in Love," and "Mantra," all written by Debbie, and then a nice cover, with faux trombone, of "I'll Never Smile Again" and the 3 anthems. "A Gift" is exactly that, a smooth, sexy, jazzy romp with the kind of effortless harmonies, scat singing and lyrics that seem to flow like water from groups like Vox One, Manhattan Transfer and the Swingle Singers. Highly recommended.

Songlist: Big Band Medley, Que Pasa, Crazy In Love, Bing Bang, Harmony, Cuban Night, Great Love Story, I'll Never Smile Again, No More Bebop, More In Love, Mantra, National Anthem: Canada (complete French and English), National Anthem: U.S.A.

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4516c | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs

High Five : Moondance

Review: "Moondance" is the debut CD for New York mixed-voice jazz quintet High Five, who are no strangers to the Harmony Sweepstakes, placing second to Vox Bop in 2004's very competitive New York Regional. 13 crisply arranged jazz tunes lend themselves well to High Five's fresh, clean sound, some favorites: "Moondance/Fever Medley," "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," "One Note Samba," the upbeat "Let's Get Away From It All," a sweet, doo-woppy "Up on the Roof," "Walking Down the Street," the salsa-flavored "Mais Que Nada," a bluenote "Whistling in the Dark" a finger-snapping "One for My Baby" and a surprising arrangement of "Brahms Lullaby." There is bigtime talent here, from the singers and arrangements to the exquisite design of the liner notes. An impressive debut from High Five, who we will be expecting to see onstage at a Harmony Sweeps Finals before too long!

Songlist: Moondance + Fever Medley, I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face, Scotch + Soda, One Note Samba, My funny valentine, Let's get Away From It All, Up On The Roof, Walking Down the Street, What Can You Loseq, Mais Que Nada, Whitling in the Dark, One for my Baby, Brahms Lullaby

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4609c | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs

Hudson Shad : Hooked Again

Review: The canon of the Comedian Harmonists is recreated by the American Hudson Shad, who on this entertaining and historically compelling CD sing both in English and German, to capture the essence of their inspiration. Accompanied by piano, the Harmonists sound is one part jazz and one part music hall, as on Ellington's "It Don't Mean A Thing," where vocal bass and piano pump out a furious twenties rhythm, augmented by scat and and a vigorous horn solo. "Whistle While You Work" is a masterpiece of vocal orchestration, not to mention whistling, and when the Shad assume the personas of the Dwarfs-well, you just have to buy this record to hear it! The traditional "Die Dorfmusik" has a racuous yodeling motif over a swaying 3/4.

Songlist: Wochenend Und Sonnenschein, (Happy Days Are Here Again), Blue River, Mein Kleiner Gruner Kaktus, Four Leaf Clover, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Veronika, Der Lenz Ist Da, Liebesleid, Whistle While You Work, I Had A Dream, Die Dorfmusik, Stormy Weather, Georgia, Guitarren Spielt Auf, Standchen, Gloriana, Der Alte Cowboy (The Last Round-up)

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6339c | 1 CD | $15.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Hudson Shad : Music Box

Review: The Chicago-based Hudson Shad initially attracted attention for the their immaculate re-creations of scores by the German Comedian Harmonists. Their five voices, and piano (the same composition as that of the Harmonists), have now diversified, to include equally charming and delightful songs such as Gershwin's "Strike Up The Band" and several Weill numbers, including "September Song" and "It Never Was You." Amusing novelties, like "Ali Baba," rely frequently on vocalese for effect; "Four Leaf Clover" is an anecdote from the turn-of-the-century music hall. The Beatles' "Julia" lends itself willingly to Hudson Shad's gorgeous interpretation. Incorporating elements of jazz, classical and an inchoate form of what was soon to become popular music, "Music Box" is a sentimental and beautiful record.

Songlist: Mack The Knife, Die Forelle, Nagasaki, Whispering, Julia, Economics, Four Leaf Clover, Ali Baba, Susan's Dream, In Einem Kuhlen Grunde, It Never Was, The Flowerpot, Speak Low, Strike Up The Band, September Song, Lebe Wohl

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5426c | 1 CD | $15.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Hudson Shad : Sing Something Simple

Review: The vocal style on "Sing Something Simple"will ring some bells with anyone who has seen the first "talkies,"sound-tracked movies or cartoons from the Roaring Twenties. This silly, sometimes manic jazzy music from the era of the Flapper went especially well with the new cartoons made popular by Walt Disney and Max Fleischer (creator of Betty Boop). The six male members of Hudson Shad owe a particular debt of gratitude to the American group, The Revelers, and the German group, The Comedian Harmonists. In fact 7 of the 9 songs on "SSS"that were penned in the 20s and 30s were originally recorded by these two groups. The other 7 titles, "Lonely House,""Lonesome Town,""Day-O,""16 Tons,"Civil War lament "Tenting Tonight,""I'm Going Home"and "Wiegenlied"share a bluesy, endless workday theme and/or feeling. Yet however "down"the message, the tempo and optimistic outlook on life remain upbeat. The elements of HS's timeless pop are catchy words, infectious melody, realism, and humor (with light piano accompaniment).

Songlist: Sing Something Simple, Jollity Farm, I'm Yours, Stardust, That's My Weakness Now, Lonlely House, Happy Feet, Lonesome, Glad Rag Doll, Day-O, Sixteen Tons, So Blue, Tenting Tonight, Show Me the Way to Go Home, I'm Goin' Home, Wegenlied

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4499c | 1 CD | $15.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Hudson Shad : Spawn Song

Review: Hudson Shad is an American group that was inspired by the German Comedian Harmonists, who were formed in Berlin, 1927. The First World War over, the cabaret tradition flourishes and the city is a locus of developing talent. The Comedian Harmonists performs until 1935, when, due to persecution of the three Jewish members under the Nazi Party, they are forced to disband. Hudson Shad's poignant "Liebeslied," sung in German, is all that much more evocative, its sentiment in horrible contrast to the terrible events to follow. The traditional "Callin' My Children Home" showcases the group's close harmonies and tight blend, "My Little Green Cactus" is a naughty paean to something other than succulents, if we know anything at all!

Songlist: Wie War's Mal Mit Lissaben?, Callin' My Children Home, My Little Green Cactus, Stormy Weather, Whispering, Liebesleid, Night and Day, Camp Meeting, Creole Love Call, Baby, Wedding Of The Painted Doll, Tea For Two, A Little Spring Melody, Uncle Bumba, Auf Wiederseh'n

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6338c | 1 CD | $15.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Hudson Shad : Wand'rin' Stars

Review: The six very talented men from Chicago who call themselves Hudson Shad have recreated themselves in the mold of the 1927 German group, the Comedian Harmonists, and "Wand'rin' Stars" is their 5th CD. Lightly accompanied by piano on all songs, we hardy notice because of the quality and personality of the singing. In love with the jazzy, funny, manic musical style of the roaring 20s, the Shad men could hardly fail to notice Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Western Swing and the novelty "Cowboy Songs" of that period. This CD has 17 wonderful Cowboy pop songs, from "Whoopie Ti Yi Yo," "Tumblin' Tumbleweeds" and "Home on the Range" to more recent ones like "Rawhide," "Do Not Forsake Me," "Flowers on the Wall," "Cool Water" and "Baghdad Cafe." "Mad Cow Boogie" is a funny parody featuring a very proper British "cowboy," "My Old Ioway Home" a nostalgic anthem, a foot-stomping, tongue-in-cheek "Ghost Riders" and "Back in the Saddle" with a verse in perfect German--the whole CD is an entertaining, funny treat!

Songlist: Whoopie Ti Yi Yo, Tumblin' Tumbleweeds, The Big Rock Candy Mountain, Home on the Range, Rawhide, Do Not Forsake Me, Mad Cow Boogie, Dogies Lullaby, My Old Ioway Home, Baghdad Cafe, Ghost Riders, Cool Water, Back in the Saddle, Yellow Rose of Texas, Flowers on the Wall, The Last Round Up, Wand'rin' Star

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4517c | 1 CD | $15.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Idea of North : Extraordinary Tale

Review: "Extraordinary Tale" is a marvelously packaged CD that underscores why we love CDs over downloaded mp3s or such. The jewel case folds out to 6 panels, which are all decorated with moody, lowbrow children's book illustrations of mechanical birds, patchwork metal whales, and the group as children in a red-striped boat on a curly-cued sea. Inside a slot is a folded treasure map, where we see an old victrola, spouting fishes, the mechanical birds are singing, and the whale spouts a microphone-a metaphor on the group's experience as the top a cappella group in Australia, perhaps? The different islands on the map have the names of the 13 songs on them, plus the running times. On the flipside of that are the names of the singers, Sally, Naomi, Nick and Andrew, plus the welcome disclaimer: "This is an a cappella recording. All the sounds on this album were produced by the voices and/or bodies of the ION." For those not familiar with mixed Vocal Jazz quartet ION, they blew in from Down Under and won the 2003 Harmony Sweeps, and we joined everyone in the sold-out audience in becoming their fans for life. Our favorites among the 13 cuts? Their bluesy, scattish take on Chick Corea's "Armando's Rhumba," an understated, deliciously melodic, jazzy hit on the Swing tune "Don't Wait Too Long," a heartbreakingly fine soprano lead and background harmonics on Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," Sting's "La Belle Dame Sans Regrets" riffs into an unbelievable lovely scat tapestry; Lennon and McCartney's "In My Life" fits perfectly into the poignant mood. Group member Andrew Piper gives us a rare, wonderful original, "One Minute More," Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean A Thing" has a vocal muted trumpet and a vocal percussion solo that you should hear; Ray Charles' "Hallelujah I Love Her So," Stevie Wonder's "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer," Sinead O'Connor's "In This Heart," Aretha Franklin's "Since You've Been Gone" and Peter Allen's "I Still Call Australia Home" are all amazing but this review has gotten absurdly long. Treat yourself to "Extraordinary Tale," and thank us later!

Songlist: Armando's Rhumba, Don't Wait Too Long, Both Sides Now, La Belle Dame Sans Regret, In My Life, One Minute More, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Hallelujah I Love Her So, Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer, Give Me The Simple Life, In This Heart, Since You've Been Gone, I Still Call Australia Home

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2677c | 1 CD | $19.95 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs

Inner Voices : Prairie Jazz onsale

Review: Manhattan Transfer meets the Sons Of The Pioneers!! The incomparable Morgan Ames had produced, arranged and recorded the selections which she describes as "a group of a cappella cowboy and mountain songs based on pure historical American, plus a few strays, filtered through my jazz-based sense of harmony and four city singers." She goes on to add... "I grew up looking for home on the range, pretending to be Annie Oakley on rented horses at the Burbank Stables. But singing this music, our shared American heritage, was a gift and that's how we offer it to you." Now, all isn't just tradition as occasionally a new lyic or two is added, but the singers Shelby Flint, Morgan, Melissa Mackay and Michael Mishaw manage to maintain a sensibility of tradition while creating an entirely new feel, exactly as Morgan describes in her quoted comments above. Real traditional tunes such as "Home on the Range," "Old Diamond Joe," (a multi-track overdubbed recording sung entirely by Michael) and "Old Chisholm Trail" are mixed in with a leavening of newer tunes such as "Witchi Tai To," "My Real Home," and "Springtime in the Rockies." The only difficulty we face in reviewing a recording of this calibre is expressing our enthusiasm without going overboard!

Songlist: Old Chisholm Trail, Witch Tai To, Goodbye Old Paint, The Cuckoo, Tumblin' Tumbleweeds, My Real Home, Old Diamond Joe, Where Am I Going, Home On The Range, There's A Star On The Horizon, Springtime In The Rockies, Unused To Lovers, Cielito Lindo, The Water Is Wide/Oh Winding River, I Wonder As I Wander

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2750c | 1 CD | $3.95 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs

JaLaLa : Old Mercer Magic!

Review: Janis Siegel, Laurel Masse and Lauren Kinhan share more than their intense passion for passionate sounds that resonate with the listeners of their respective groups, The Manhattan Transfer and The New York Voices. The three pop vocalists share admiration for the late Johnny Mercer, one of the true American songwriters and poets. Thus, their collaborative effort, "That Old Mercer Magic," a fascinating and highly rewarding recording that showcase both the collective talents of these top notch singers and one of the great songwriters of the age. You will listen to this recording for ever!

Songlist: Spring, Spring, Spring, You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby, Jeepers Creepers, My Shining Hour, Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive, Dream, I'm Old Fashioned, Riding On The Moon, Moon River/Moon Country, Have You Got Any Castles Baby?, Too Marvelous For Words, The Dance Of Life

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2915c | 1 CD | $14.95 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Just 4 Kicks : All In Good Time onsale

Review: The four players in Just 4 Kicks are only four of the most respected (and frequently employed) arrangers and educators in the music industry. Their talent is only surpassed by their prodigious accomplishments, the results of which are ours to appreciate. Obviously influenced by the brilliant vocal jazz groups of the '50's and '60's, most notably the Four Freshmen and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, "All In Good Time" is adventurous and exuberant. Billy Strayhorn's comically ironic "Everything But You" is one of the great swing tunes in the lexicon, and Just 4 Kicks stands in for an entire jazz combo, tossing off brass solos and a drum breakdown. The arrangement of "Alice In Wonderland" frequently voices the harmony, including the enticing ninth chords, by implying the root, rather than stating it overtly. "I'm Walkin'," popularized by "Fats" Domino and arranged here by Kirby Shaw, retains the boogie-woogie party mood of the original and kicks it up a notch - now that's impressive. Many of the songs feature furious scatting, all done live. Don Shelton of the Hi-Lo's guests on "Green Dolphin Street," and the Bobs' Joe Finetti stops by to supply vocal percussion on Stevie Wonder's "Superstition."

Songlist: I'm Walkin', Everything But You, Alice In Wonderland, Black Orpheus, On Green Dolphin Street, Her Bright Smile, Poppity-Pop, All Blues, Superstition, Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye, Blizzard Of Lies, Take the 'A' Train, A Quiet Place

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6255c | 1 CD | $3.95 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs

Just 4 Kicks : Joyful Noise onsale

Review: Talented, highly-respected music industry educators and arrangers Kirby Shaw, Randy Crenshaw, Kirk Marcy and Vijay Singh were asked by a dear friend, the minister of music at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Salem, OR, if Just 4 Kicks would perform at an upcoming concert and service at St. Paul's. His parameters were simple: "It needs to be all sacred music, but it needs to be Just 4 Kicks!" The group decided to accept the opportunity as a chance for rejuvenation that it needed, and immediately the creative juices started flowing within the quartet. The event was a huge success, and soon the group found itself in the studio, recording a fresh new book of tunes. We can see from the song list, there's a lot of diversity in these 11 tunes, from the jazzy "Sermonette," scattish "Jesus Loves the Little Children" and "Come Sunday," to a Reggae-flavored, manic "Jesus Loves Me;" to a couple of Bob Dylan tunes, the bluesy "Gotta Serve Somebody" and the Reggae-arranged "Man Gave Names To All The Animals," there's lots of fun stuff here. Other favorites are a hip, finger-popping "Daniel in the Lion's Den," bluenote "A Child is Born," a foot-tapping Bluegrass take on "Walk On" and a hauntingly harmonic "A Quiet Place." We've always loved Just 4 Kicks, and we love this album-it's a great new direction for these talented men, and we look forward to hearing more inspirational, upbeat material like "Joyful Noise" from them!

Songlist: Sermonette, Gotta Serve Somebody, Jesus Loves Me, Come Thou, Almighty King, Jesus Loves the Little Children, Come Sunday, Man Gave Names to all the Animals, Daniel In the Lion's Den, A Child is Born, Walk On, A Quiet Place

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5975c | 1 CD | $4.95 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs

Just 4 Kicks : Kick In The Pants : 00  1 CD : 

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Just 4 Kicks : Kick In The Pants

Review: Put Randy Crenshaw, Kirby Shaw, Kirk Marcy and Vijay Singh in a recording studio, add guest Joe "Beat Box" Finetti on oh-so-funky vocal percussion, and you've got the kind of down-and-dirty jazz recording that bobbed Grandma's hair! This is bluesy, scat-singing, wide-open, fun jazz that does nothing but add to our Summit-gained admiration for this quartet and for the members individually. 12 cuts, some of our favorites: "Tone Whole," "Never Make Your Move Too Soon," "Oo-Shoo-Be-Do-Be," "Wonderlicks," an homage to 10 Stevie Wonder classics, "Failure to Swing," "What's a Guy Supposed To Do?," the very funny Scottish takeoff, "Donald, Where's Your Trousers?" "Indiana" and the spiritual "Deep River." "Pants" is well-named, a powerful, funny, surprising and impressive kick!

Songlist: Tone-Whole, Never Make Your Move Too Soon, Oo-Shoo-Be-Doo-Be, Wonderlicks, A Night In Tunisia, I Get the Neck of the Chicken, Failure to Swing, The Rose, What's A Guy Supposed To Do?, Donald, Where Are Your Trousers?, Indiana, Deep River

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6260c | 1 CD | $14.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs

L.A. Jazz Choir : From All Sides

Review: The 25 women ("The Girls" in the liner notes), and 20 "Boys" in the LA Jazz Choir, directed by Gerald Eskelin is a smorgasbord of tempting jazz treats. There are liberal helpings of straight-ahead big-band meat-and-potato hits ("Tuxedo Junction," "Love Is A Joy," "The Jersey Bounce); entrees with a light latin dressing ("I Could Write A Book," "Dream On," "What Is This Thing Called Love"); more exotic tastes ("Sboguvane," "Don's Song"); something light (Jim, Jam, Jump, Sweet Georgia Brown); something with a little scat ("Jumpin' With Symphony Sid," "Everybody's Boppin'") and cool with a velvety sauce ("Blue In Green"). "from all sides" is a saucy, spirited joy from one of the best Jazz choirs in the world! All accompanied, from a small jazz ensemble to a full big band.

Songlist: Everybody's Boppin' , What Is This Thing Called Love?, Don's Song , Tuxedo Junction , I Could Write A Book In Time , The Jersey Bounce , Jim, Jam, Jump , Blue In Green , Love Is A Joy , Dream On , Sboguvane (Farewell) , Sweet Georgia Brown , Jumpin' With Symphony Sid

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4720c | 1 CD | $12.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Lambert, Hendricks and Ross : Everybody's Boppin' : 00  1 CD :  : 886972469225 : 4A724692

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Lambert, Hendricks and Ross : Everybody's Boppin'

Review: To listen to this trio reveals what a great influence this group has been on so many artists, in terms of choice of material and style. The most sophisticated and hip vocal treatments - Hendricks was a foremost developer of the vocalese technique - they change moods on a dime and are impossible to predict. Ross takes the lead on "Midnight Indigo," a sultry trickle of sweat on the back of the neck. "Moanin'" mixes up roadhouse blues with the sweetest of refrains. "Summertime" is just on the inside of a discordant wail, an eerie lament. Also included: "Cloudburst" and "Centerpiece."

Songlist: Charleston Alley, Moanin', Twisted, Bijou, Cloudburst, Centerpiece, Gimme That WIne, Stemonette, Summertime, Everbody's Boppin', Home Cookin', Blue, Come On Home, Cottontail, Midnight Indigo

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4254c | 1 CD | $11.95 || Mixed Vintage CDs

Lambert, Hendricks and Ross : Improvisations For The Human Voice

Review: Fans of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross specifically, and vocal jazz in general, have long heard about the early sides recorded before the trio came together in 1957. In fact, each member -- Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks, and Annie Ross -- was separately a pioneer in bop-inspired vocal improvisation, the type of vocalizing that concentrated on the most purely musical aspects of singing. The El Records compilation, Improvisations for the Human Voice, compiles 25 of those early sides and provides a terrific complement to their best recordings, the string of LPs they recorded for Columbia between 1959 and 1962 (which were collected on an excellent two-CD compilation, The Hottest New Group in Jazz). These tracks comprise a wealth of seminal vocal sides by the most inventive minds in the art of vocalese.

Songlist: What's This, A Cent and a Half, Perdido, Charge Account, Gussie G, Hawaiian War Chant, Jolly Jo, Twisted, Farmer's Market, Annie's Lament, Jackie, Four Brothers, Cloudburst, Standin' on the Corner (Whistlin' at the Pretty Girls), Two for the Blues, Little Pony, One O'Clock Jump, Fiesta in Blue, Blues Backstage, Tickle-Toe, Doodlin', The Spirit-Feel, Lil' Darlin', Rusty Dusty Blues, Popity Pop

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3201c | 1 CD | $15.95 || Vocal Improvisation

Lambert, Hendricks and Ross : Sing a Song of Basie

Review: The first album that launched their career, the trio of Jon Hendricks, Dave Lambert and the English Annie Ross pioneered the use of voices patterned on instrumental parts. The daring of this group creates a giddy excitement, which can be heard on tracks such as "It's Sand, Man," whereby the three voices (accompanied by piano, bass and drums) gain altitude in a series of ascending patterns that thrill the senses. Though Ross in particular possesses a fine voice, the attraction is not in the prettiness of the sound as much as the interplay of the voices, and the utter originality of their interpretations. Every song is enchanting.

Songlist: Everyday, It's Sand, Man!, Two For the Blues, One O'Clock Jump, Little Pony, Down for Double, Fiesta in Blue, Down for the Count, Blues Backstage, Avenue C, Four Brothers, Cloudburst, Standin' On The Corner

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4256c | 1 CD | $14.95 || Mixed Vintage CDs

Lambert, Hendricks and Ross : The Hottest New Group In Jazz : 00  1 CD :  : 07464649332-8 : C2K64933

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Lambert, Hendricks and Ross : The Hottest New Group In Jazz

Review: Of course, Lambert Hendricks and Ross are no longer new, though they were the epitome of cool jazz in the 1950's. This re-issued double CD set contains a career retrospective - 39 songs worth, though not everything that was on the (unfortunately) discontinued "Twisted" CD - and is a fabulous value. The three personalities of Dave Lambert, Jon Hendricks and the British Annie Ross complimented and balanced each other uniquely, pushing the jazz envelope, while always retaining their warmth and sensuality. Accompanied by a rhythm combo, and sometimes horns, songs such as "Caravan," "Moanin'" and "Centerpiece" are just as vital now as they ever were. Highly recommended.

Songlist: Disc 1:, Charleston Alley, Moanin', Twisted, Bijou, Cloudburst, Canterpiece, Gimme That Wine, Sermonette, Mummertime, Everybody's Boppin', Disc 2:, Cottontail, All Too Soon, Happy Anatomy, Rocks in my Bed, Main Stem, I Don't Know What Kind of Blues I've Got, Things Ain't What They Used to Be, Midnight Indigo, What Am I Here For?, In a Mellow Tone, Caravan, Disc 3:, Come On Home, The New A B C, Farmer's Market, Cookin' at the Continental , With Malice Toward Nono, Hi-Fly, and more

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6263c | 1 CD | $24.95 || Mixed Vintage CDs

Lennon Sisters : Sing Great Hits & Sad Movies

Review: 28 songs, re-mastered and in stereo, performed by the four lovely Lennon sisters from California who made regular appearances on the Lawrence Welk TV show from 1955 to 1967.

Songlist: Among My Souvenirs, You Are My Sunshine, Now Is the Hour, A Little Street Where Old Friends Meet, Sad Movies (Make Me Cry), We Live In Two Different Worlds, Waltz of the Wind, Roly Poly, No One Will Ever Know, It's a Sin, Kaw-Liga, Mississippi Mud, Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain, Afraid, Foggy River, I'll Never Stand In Your Way, Pins and Needles (In My Heart), Moon River, (How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window, I Understand (Just How You Feel), Michael, Repeat After Me, Forever and Ever, Mexicali Rose, Harbor Lights, Melody of Love, Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Choir of Angels

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22242c | 1 CD | $15.95 |

Les Blue Stars : Pardon Our English : 00  1 CD :  : 0130352

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C'est la Vie

Les Blue Stars : Pardon Our English

Review: This wonderful CD is part of the classic "Jazz in Paris" series published by Gitanes Jazz Productions, and features Les Blue Stars, precursers, once removed, of the Swingle Singers. Vocal jazz wasn't real big with jazz fans in the mid-50s (and would not really become so until the eruption of Les Double Six, the "once removed"). The Stars were formed by Blossom Dearie, late of Woody Herman's band, who arrived in Paris in 1952 and chose for her vocal octet experienced jazz musicians Sadi, Christian Chevalier, Jean Mercadier, and Roger Guerin. Mimi Perrin was also present, as was a top-flight jazz ensemble headed by Henri Salvador on guitar, Mac Kac on drums and Pierre Michelot on bass. The result is 19 classic tunes, featuring some of the best scat singing we've heard, cool, driving jazz, smoky and laid-back. Some of our favorites are "Broadway at Basin Street," "Grapevine," "Jumpin' at the Woodside," "C'est la vie," "Bernie's Tune," "Smooth One," "Stardust" and "Move." After this recording they hit the jackpot with a recording of "Lullaby of Birdland" in French, which led to them opening at Birdland itself in 1956, and to some members forming Les Double Six, and later joining Ward Swingle. As for the "Pardon My English," we were charmed by the French accents of the singers - a little exotic seasoning on a sumptuous feast of vintage jazz!

Songlist: Jumpin' At The Woodside, C'est la Vie, Broadway at Basin Street, Grapevine, I'll Remember April, A Smooth One, All Of a Sudden My Heart Sings, Small Talk, I'm Lost Without You Tonight, Move, Did You Close Your Eyes?, Bernie's Tune, Don't Be That Way, Stardust, Promises And Lies

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4484c | 1 CD | $14.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Les Double Six : Les Double Six

Review: This French import, from songs recorded in 1959-1961, is a showcase for the composer/producer Quincy Jones. The six member group includes Ward Swingle, singer and arranger for the Swingle Singers, and "Les Double Six" is a clear antecedent for his subsequent work. With original French lyrics written by Mimi Perrin, the tracks, such as "Naima," "Moanin'" and "Fascinatin' Rhythm" feature vocals doubling as instruments, and capture the essence and fluidity of the lines with startling accuracy (particularly in the upper registers sung by Christiane Legrand, who was in the French incarnation of the Swingles as well). About half the compositions are by Jones; all are accompanied by a trio of piano, bass and drums. Twenty songs, including the previously unreleased "Walkin'" - a ten plus minute smorgasbord of sound - are practically as satisfying as a round-trip ticket to Paris!

Songlist: For Lena and Lennie, Rat Race, Stockholm Sweetnin', Boo's Bloos, Doodlin', Meet Benny Bailey, Evening in Paris, Count'em, Tickle toe, Early Autumn, Sweets, Naima, Westwood Walk, A Night in Tunisia, A Ballad, Scrapple From the Apple, Boplicity, Moanin', Fascinating Rhythm , Walkin'

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4171c | 1 CD | $11.95 || Mixed Vintage CDs

m-pact : Live At The Triple Door onsale

Review: A live recording of m-pact, one of our favorite pop/jazz vocal ensembles of all time, at Seattle's Triple Door-what a treat!! Since being named 1996-97 Harmony Sweeps champs and Audience Favorite, m-pact has been wowing appreciative audiences all over the world, including several memorable appearances at the West Coast Summit. Finally, the signature sound and eclectic musical tastes of this internationally acclaimed, multi-award-winning vocal sensation are down on plastic. The song selection dances from soaring soul like a marvelous arrangement of Stevie Wonder's "I Wish," "Ain't Nobody," "Still the One" and Willie Dixon's "29 Ways;" and sophisticated jazz like Miles Davis' "All Blues" and the salsa scattish "Northeast Wind;" to fresh pop originals like "u nee 2 no" and the jazzy "found a love in you," written by brilliant alto lead Britt Quentin. The disco tune "Boogie Oogie Oogie" becomes a vocal percussion showcase for Trist Curless' flawless beat-box, and "If We Try" highlights Britt's pure, soaring, almost unbelievable range, as does a jazz interpretation of Cole Porter's "Night and Day." "Live" continues with the jazzy, ultra-hip "What If We Was Cool," a surprising jazz interpretation of the pop anthem "Higher and Higher," and closes with an incongruous, but lovely cover of Bach's "How Shall I Fitly Greet Thee." Everyone who has had the one-of-a-kind experience of seeing and hearing m-pact live, and knows what a gift that is, will appreciate what has been captured on these two discs. Brilliant, stunning, and highly recommended!

Songlist: Boogie Boogie Oogie, Ain't Nobody, Somebody Love Me, What If We Was Cool, If We Try, Night and Day, All Blues, Still The One, Found A Love In You, 29 Ways, Higher and Higher

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7431c | 1 CD | $9.95 | A Cappella || Male Contemporary CDs

m-pact : m-pact recommended

Review: One of our favorite groups on the planet from the first time we saw them on the stage of the Harmony Sweeps Finals, easily taking Audience Favorite and the National Championship, (then 5-man, now 6) jazz-pop m-pact continues to push the a cappella envelope with their unique, amazing sound. "m-pact," their 5th recording, was recorded at m-pact studios in LA, and is proudly distributed exclusively by Primarily A Cappella Records. The tagline on "m-pact," "experience the voice," refers to the pure, sumptuous tenor/soprano of Britt Quentin, whose creative arrangements, production and even engineering are evident on all 14 tracks. Especially fine are his arrangements that reinvent classics such as Cole Porter's "Night and Day," Rogers & Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things," "Over the Rainbow," Lerner & Lowe's "Almost Like Being In Love," "Bluesette," the Four Tops' "Baby I Need Your Loving," and "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life." The opening cut is "You Need to Know," a sassy, walking-jazz original by Britt, who also shines on lead. He also wrote (or co-wrote) and sings lead on the mellow finger-snapper "I Found A Love In You" and vocal percussion gem "I Thought You Cared For Me." Trist, Marco, Jake, Rudy and Jeff and their own incredible vocal talents to a smooth, sophisticated recording that surprises and touches on many levels, that we found ourselves replaying again and again to fully appreciate-in short, a masterpiece!

Songlist: You Need To Know, Have A Talk with God, I Found A Love In You, Night and Day, I Thought You Cared For Me, Jesus To A Child, My Favorite Things, Northeast Wind, Over The Rainbow, Almost Like Being In Love, Bluesette, Baby I Need Your Loving, What Are You Doing For The Rest Of Your Life?, Northwest Passage

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2850c | 1 CD | $15.95 | A Cappella || Male Contemporary CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Anthology: Down in Birdland

Review: Two CD's and a 52 page booklet: 39 songs of the best of vocal jazz' premier harmony group. A retrospective of their career up to and including cuts from "Brasil." Of course it includes all of the well-known Transfer hits-"Boy From New York City," "Operator" etc., but also standards such as their Grammy-winning "Route 66,' "Love For Sale" and "Body and Soul." The marvelous a cappella of "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square" and "Foreign Affair," (both arranged by Gene Puerling) are special highlights.

Songlist: Disc One, Trickle Trickle, Gloria, Operator, Helpless, Ray's Rockhouse, Heart's Desire (Live Version), Lindy Lou, Mystery, Baby Come Back To Me (The Morse Code of Love), Route 66, Java Jive, Chanson D'Amour, Foreign Affair (a cappella, arranged by Gene Puerling), Smile Again, Spice of Life, The Speak Up Mambo (Cuentame), Soul Food To Go (Sina), So You Say (Esquinas), Boy From New York City, Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone, Disc Two, Four Brothers, Blee Blop Blues, Candy, A Gal In Calico, Love For Sale, On A Little Street In Singapore, Tuxedo Junction, That Cat Is High, and more

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4115c | 1 CD | $25.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Bop Doo Wop

Review: Combining classic jazz (bop) and doo wop, the Transfer have recorded another impeccably constructed CD. Five of the tracks were recorded live in Tokyo-of course, the quality is spot-on per usual, the group representing the pinnacle of vocal art. Listen to the group go off on a scat improv on "Jeannine": the voices trade lines with each other in a perfectly executed quadruple play! "Route 66" won them yet another Grammy, for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, and it sparkles. "Heart's Desire" is some of the best sounding doo wop we've ever heard; it's a humdinger! "That's The Way It Goes," which is dedicated to the Harptones and Criterions (Tim Hauser, bass singer of the Transfer, was a member of the Criterions as a young lad!) is all the sweeter now.

Songlist: Route 66, Jeannine, My Cat Fell In The Well, (Well! Well! Well!), The Duke Of Dubuque, How High The Moon, Baby Come Back To Me, (The Morse Code Of Love), Safronia B, Heart's Desire, That's The Way It Goes, Unchained Melody

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4107c | 1 CD | $10.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Boy From New York City

Review: A budget-priced collection of some of their early hits.

Songlist: Boy From New York City, Java Jive, Gloria, Helpless, Tuxedo Juction, Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone, Ray's Rockhouse, Mystery, Smile Again, Birdland

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4591c | 1 CD | $8.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Brasil

Review: The Transfer's style adapts well to this colorful recording, produced in 1987. Drawing upon the South American continent for thematic inspiration, as well as the characteristic rhythms and orchestration, the result is a satisfying world and jazz fusion of warmth and cool. "Notes From The Underground" captures a groove that is indelible, complimenting the distinctive melody. "Soul Food To Go," "The Zoo Blues" and "Metropolis" are contemporary pop, but with a welcome complexity; "Capim" is liquid contemporary jazz, with Stan Getz smoldering on sax throughout.

Songlist: Soul Food To Go, The Zoo Blues, So You Say, Capim, Metropolis, Hear The Voices, Agua, The Jungle Pioneer, Notes From The Underground

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4116c | 1 CD | $10.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Coming Out

Review: 1976 recording featuring Laurel Masse, their third. We all know the Manhattan Transfer's musicality is impeccable. The collection of songs-all accompanied-range from the Latin "The Speak Up Mambo" to a percussive "Poinciana," featuring a Michael Brecker saxophone solo. "S.O.S," "Helpless" and "Zindy Lou" are guitar driven uptempo pop with guest appearances by Dr. John and Ringo Starr! "Scotch and Soda" has a gorgeous and languid melody, "It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" and "Chanson D'Amour" are easy ballads. "Coming Out" is basically a mainstream production that only hints at the group's later more jazz-oriented sound.

Songlist: Don't Let Go, Zindy Lou, Chanson D'Amour, Helpless, Scotch and Soda, The Speak Up Mambo (Cuentame), Poinciana (the Song of the Tree), S.O.S., Popsicle Toes, It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference, The Thought of Loving You

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4122c | 1 CD | $10.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Couldn't Be Hotter

Review: Multiple Grammy-winning mixed quartet Manhattan Transfer is known for their expertise in many styles of music, including doo-wop, cabaret and Brazilian music for example, but they have been best known for their live performances and incomparable jazz singing. "Hotter" is a live CD, recorded at Orchestra Hall in Tokyo, featuring 16 of the group's best jazz covers. Mostly recent material, the songs are accompanied by a stellar jazz band that has toured with the group for years. A couple of nods are given to classic Transfer tunes, like a rousing version of Roy Hamilton's Rockabilly hit "Don't Let Go," from their 1976 album "Coming Out," and "Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone," a choice selection from the disco era. Particular favorites are two Satchmo-related numbers, "Up a Lazy River" and "Stars Fell on Alabama," that were not included on MT's Armstrong tribute disc, "The Spirit of St. Louis." There are so many fine moments on this CD: Janice Siegel's mock muted trumpet solo on Ella Fitzgerald's "A Tisket, A Tasket," the onstage repartee between Tim Hauser, and Alan Paul on "Gone Fishin'," and some wonderfully raucous scat singing on "Nothing Could Be Hotter Than That." "Hotter" is simply a joy, probably the greatest vocal jazz group of all time, live on stage, filling our CD player with sweet, smoking, soulful jazz. Great foldout liner notes. Highly recommended!

Songlist: Old Man Mose, Sing Moten's Swing, A-Tisket, A-Tasket, Sugar (That Sugar Baby O'Mine), Up A Lazy River, Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?, Stars Fell on Alabama, Gone Fishin, Blue Again, Clouds (Adapted from "Nuages"), Stompin at Mahogany Hall, Nothing Could Be Hotter Than That, It's Good Enough to Keep, Don't Let Go, Twilight Zone / Twilight Tone, My Foolish Heart

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4528c | 1 CD | $15.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Extensions

Review: 1979 recording and the first with singer Cheryl Bentyne, who replaced Laurel Masse. Contains "Twilight Tone/Twilight Zone," the group's first U.S. hit-basically a disco number that borrows from the television theme song of the same name. "Birdland," the Weather Report orginal that, with the addition of lyrics by Jon Hendricks, became a staple of Manhattan Transfer's repetoire and one of their most popular songs-and their first Grammy winner. "Body and Soul" is the Phil Mattson arrangement, and "Foreign Affair" was arranged by Gene Puerling (sung a cappella) and conducted by Clare Fischer! (Can't beat the talent! ) "Nothing You Can Do About It" has a catchy refrain and piano motive that won't let go.

Songlist: Birdland, Wacky Dust, Nothin' You Can Do About It, Coo Coo U, Body And Soul, Twilight Zone, Trickle Trickle, Shaker Song, Foreign Affair

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4105c | 1 CD | $10.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Jukin'

Review: Where it all began-the group was then a five piece and contained only Tim Hauser, bass singer, from the subsequent line-up. The production values and the quality of the voices are all professional enough, but it bears as much resemblance to the later incarnation as an apple to an orange, and the material brings back memories of seventies lounge acts and television pop stars. "You're A Viper" and "Java Jive" are as close as you can get-the former a swinging horn workout and the latter a relatively subdued version of the a cappella standard. "Guided Missiles" harkens back to Tim's doo-wop roots-he began his career as a teenage doo wop singer in a group called the Criterions.

Songlist: Chicken Bone Bone, I Need A Man, You'se A Viper, Fair And Tender Ladies, Rosianna, Sunny Disposish, Java Jive, One More Time Around Rosie, Guided Missiles, Roll, Daddy, Roll

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4119c | 1 CD | $13.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Junction

Review: Beginning with their first performances in the early 1970s, The Manhattan Transfer have become the cornerstones of contemporary music. Originally launched by Tim Hauser in 1969, Hauser, Alan Paul, Janis Siegel and Laurel Masse were the group by 1972. Cheryl Bentyne joined the group in 1979 after Laurel Masse left. One of the co-writers on The Junction - the group's new album which draws inspiration in part from The Transfer's classic 1975 version of Glenn Miller's "Tuxedo Junction"-is the group's new mem ber, bass vocalist Trist Curless. Curless began subbing on the road for the late band founder Tim Hauser in 2013, officially joining after Hauser's passing in late 2014.

Songlist: Cantaloop (Flip Out!), Swing Balboa (Down on Riverside), The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul, Blues for Harry Bosch, Shake Ya Boogie (Galactic Vocal Version), Sometimes I Do, Ugly Man, The Junction, Tequila / the Way of the Booze, Paradise Within (Paradise Found)

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63166c | 1 CD | $14.95 |

Manhattan Transfer : Live

Review: The MT is accompanied by The Manhattan Transfer Band, Yaron Gershovsky on keyboards, Alex Blake, acoustic and electric bass, Wayne Johnson, guitars, Don Roberts, reeds, and Buddy Williams, drums. The 13 tracks were recorded live at Nakano Sun Plaza Hall in Tokyo in February of 1986, and the liner notes are remarkably zenlike: the names of the songs, the names of the musicians and the date of the recording. After all, this is the Manhattan Transfer, one of the most exciting vocal jazz bands ever to step onto a stage-enough said!

Songlist: Four Brothers, Rambo, Meet Benny Bailey, Airegin, To You, Sing Joy Spring, Move, That's Killer Joe, The Duke of Dubuque, Gloria, On the Boulevard, Shaker's Song, Ray's Rockhouse

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4112c | 1 CD | $10.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Man-Tora! Live in Japan

Review: A new remastered rerelease of this classic recording originally released in 1996. Manhattan Transfer always put on a great live show ands this CD captures them at their very best.

Songlist: Birdland, Route 66, Jeannine, Malaise en Malaisie, Trickle Trickle, Boy from New York City, This Independence, Foreign Affair, Body and Soul, Blue Champagne, How High the Moon, Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone, Four Brothers, Operator, Spice of Life, Tuxedo Junction

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4633c | 1 CD | $11.98 | A Cappella || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Manhattan Transfer

Review: The debut album recorded in 1975. Contains "Operator," the first Transfer song to garner the public's attention. It's an impressive opening gambit, and is still consistent with their style-be it on "Candy," "Tuxedo Junction" or "Java Jive." "You Can Depend On Me" is a fast sprint, "Blue Champagne" an elegant toast to the era of the speakeasy. "Occapella" is a bluesy uptempo tune that sounds a bit like early Bonnie Raitt. Also, an early version of "Heart's Desire," (later re-recorded on "Bop Doo Wopp." ) All songs are accompanied, with particular depth in the horn/reed sections.

Songlist: Tuxedo Junction, Sweet Talking Guy, Operator, 'Candy, Gloria, Clap Yo' Hands, That Cat Is High, You Can Depend On Me, Blue Champagne, Java Jive, Occapella, Heart's Desire

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4101c | 1 CD | $10.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs | 

Manhattan Transfer : Mecca for Moderns

Review: The fifth record, containing the Top Ten Hit, "Boy From New York City," (which won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance) and "Until I Met You (Corner Pocket)," which won a Grammy for Best Jazz Performance, the first time a group had won awards in both the pop and jazz categories in a single year! Of course, those two songs are worth the price of the CD, but, in addition, you'll hear "A Nightingale Sung In Berkeley Square," sung a cappella, from the Gene Puerling arrangement. (Gene won a Grammy for this one!) Also: the Caribbean-influenced "(Wanted) Dead or Alive," with it's steel drums and cowbell-infectious-and Charlie Parker's "Confirmation," which predicates the group's exploration of vocalese.

Songlist: On The Boulevard, Boy From New York City, (Wanted) Dead Or Alive, Spies In The Night, Smile Again, Until I Met You (Corner Pocket), (The Word Of) Confirmation, Kafka, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square

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4106c | 1 CD | $10.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Spirit Of St. Louis

Review: Take a trip up and down the Mississippi on the Spirit of St. Louis with the Manhattan Transfer as they pay homage to the "enduring spirit of Louis Armstrong". In true Manhattan Transfer style, the voices cast an even shrill appropriately high and take it smooth when its time to go low, mimicking the grace of the great Satchmo. So good, so good! "Stompin' at Mahogany Hall" is pure New Orleans while "The Blues are Brewin'" is as bluesy as it gets. (Sing it Sister!) "Gone Fishin'" makes you wish you were. Take it back down to New Orleans and get slinky with "Do You Know What it's Like To Miss New Orleans?" "A Kiss To Build A Dream On" and "When You Wish Upon A Star" are standards for a Louis Armstrong Tribute. Classify this cd as one that finds a home in your CD player for a long while. Not necessarily A Cappella!

Songlist: Stompin' At Mahogany Hall, The Blues Are Bewin', Sugar, A Kiss To Build A Dream On, Old Man Mose, Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans, Gone Fishin', Nothing Could Be Hotter Than That, Blue Again, When You Wish Upon A Star

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4312c | 1 CD | $13.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Swing

Review: A study in the nature of swing, the Transfer have recorded a definitive musical treatise on the topic. Using their voices as instruments-specifically, the horn and reed sections-the group performs material that could be categorized broadly as either urban or rural swing. For example, on "A-Tisket, A-Tasket," (featuring Asleep At The Wheel) the instrumentation includes steel guitar and fiddles. "Java Jive" is performed at a more relaxed tempo and with a warmer feel. Long time Manhattan Transfer collaborator Jon Hendricks stepped up to write lyrics to Jelly Roll Morton's "King Porter Stomp" and Basie's "A Study In Brown." "Clouds" (music by Django Reinhardt) features a splendid violin solo by Stephane Grappelli and a breathy vocal solo passage that evokes the atmosphere of a smoky Paris nightclub. Wonderful listening.

Songlist: Stomp Of King Peter, Sing A Study In Brown, Sing Moten's Swing, A-Tisket, A-Tasket, I Know Why (And So Do You), Sing You Sinners, Java Jive, Down South Camp Mettin', Topsy, Clouds, Skyliner, It's Good Enough To Keep, Choo Choo Ch' Boogie

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4117c | 1 CD | $10.95 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : The Chick Corea Songbook : 00  1 CD :  : 1819

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Manhattan Transfer : The Chick Corea Songbook

Review: The Chick Corea Songbook, which marks the quartet's first new record in five years, was inspired by the classic work of jazz great Chick Corea, and features fresh and exciting vocal interpretations of many of his popular compositions, including "Spain" and "500 Miles High." Corea, who plays on the CD, has also contributed an original composition entitled "Free Samba" especially for this album. This release also features special guest appearances by some of the finest musicians in the industry including Christian McBride, Airto, Alex Acuna, Fred Hersch, Edsel Gomez and Lou Marini, among others.

Songlist: Free Samba, Prelude, Spain (I can Recall), One Step Closer, Children's Song, 500 Miles High, Another Roadside Attraction, Time's Lie, La Chanson Du Bebe, Ragtime in Pixiland, The Story of Anna & Armando, Free Samba

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3098c | 1 CD | $15.95 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : The Symphony Sessions

Review: Recorded in 2006, The Symphony Sessions features the Transfer reinterpreting 12 of their classic songs they recorded for past albums. Rather than the usual jazz ensemble accompaniment this time the quartet goes into the studio with The City of Prague Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Corey Allen to produce these enjoyable new takes on some of the old favorites. This is a very relaxed and smooth-flowing recording and a pleasant change to hear these old chestnuts performed in a fresh style.

Songlist: Route 66, Candy, Embraceable You, That's The Way It Goes, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, Because You Are All Heart, To You, Vibrate, Clouds (Nuages), The Quietude, The Offbeat of Avenues, Birdland

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7601c | 1 CD | $15.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Tonin'

Review: A stellar assembly of famous guests contribute to this 1994 recording of classic pop standards. "Groovin'" is a duet between tenor singer Alan Paul and Felix Cavaliere, the song's composer. The late Laura Nyro, writer of "La-La Means I Love You, "duets with soprano Cheryl Bentyne; Janis Siegel, alto, gets her turn with Bette Midler, on "It's Gonna Take A Miracle." Phil Collins steps forward with bass vocalist Tim Hauser to sing "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby." Other highlights: "The Thrill Is Gone," with B.B. King and Ruth Brown, and "God Only Knows," arranged by Mervyn Warren of Take 6!

Songlist: Let's Hang On, Groovin', It's Gonna Take A Miracle, I Second That Emotion, La-La Means I Love You, Too Busy Thinking About My Baby, The Thrill Is Gone, Hot Fun In The Summertime, Along Comes Mary, Dream Lover, Save The Last Dance For Me, God Only Knows

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4113c | 1 CD | $10.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Very Best Of

Review: Few groups have a more distinguished pedigree than the Transfer. Since their formation in New York in 1972, these four voices (two male, two female) have notched up numerous gold and platinum albums, and accumulated a shelf full of Grammy's. Their performance of "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square" (included here) won a Grammy for its Gene Puerling arrangement. With collaborators Jon Hendricks and Richie Cole, they promulgated the use of the vocalese technique-singing lyrics over jazz solos. They had their biggest hit of their career, with "Boy From New York City," in 1981, when it went to number seven. "Route 66" and "Tuxedo Junction" were made famous by Nat King Cole and Glenn Miller respectively ("Route 66" won the group yet another Grammy in 1983). "Birdland" was originally recorded by Weather Report; with the addition of Jon Hendricks' lyrics, a Transfer classic was born. This is required listening for vocal jazz fans.

Songlist: Boy From New York City, Trickle Trickle, Gloria, Operator, Tuxedo Junction, Four Brothers, Ray's Rockhouse, Soul Food To Go (Sina), Spice Of Life, Baby Come Back To Me(The Morse Code Of Love), Candy, A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square, Birdland, Java Jive, Route 66, Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone

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4123c | 1 CD | $10.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Vibrate : 00  1 CD :  : 83603

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Manhattan Transfer : Vibrate

Review: We don't think we need to go deeply into the history and awards associated with jazz legends Manhattan Transfer, who have been paying their dues and building their following in hip New York City clubs since 1971. Finely-crafted jazz albums, beginning with the self-titled "Manhattan Transfer," have sold well and won many awards. "Extensions" won two Grammys , "Mecca for Moderns" one, and "Vocalese" three Grammys. "Vibrate" is the group's first studio album in 3 years, and has been highly anticipated. 11 songs, all accompanied, mostly mellow, bass-walking, rainy-day jazz. Some particular favorites are the opening cut, the salsa-influenced "Walkin' in N.Y.," the oriental flavored "Greek Song," the blue-note, meandering "The New JuJu Man," "Doodlin'," the rhythmic "Feel Flows," the sweet chestnut "Embraceable You," and finishes with a very nice "Come Softly to Me/I Met Him on a Sunday" medley. The long-awaited Vibrate" is a special addition to MT's discography and is further evidence that we're listening to one of the best vocal jazz groups in the world!

Songlist: Walkin' In New York, Greek Song, Vibrate, The New JuJu Man, Doodin', The Twelfth, First Ascent, Core Of Sound, Feel Flows, Embracable You, Come Softly to Me / I Met Him On a Sunday

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4572c | 1 CD | $11.95 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer : Vocalese

Review: Considered by some to be the apex of the Transfer's vocal development, "Vocalese" refers to the setting of lyrics to previously recorded instrumental compositions. With the contributions of Jon Hendricks (of the highly-regarded Lambert, Hendricks & Ross) and saxophonist Richie Cole, this CD was nominated for twelve Grammy's and won two-Best Jazz Vocal Performance and Best Arrangement for Voices. "Killer Joe" builds off of an undulating synthesizer bass riff, which is the foundation for some flashy vocal soloing, copping what were originally horn parts-vocalese! "Airegin" (Nigeria backwards) sets a pace fast and furious, "To You" is its complete opposite-slow, romantic, with a throaty tenor solo passage and back-ups by the Four Freshmen! "Another Night In Tunisia" allows guest Bobby McFerrin to display his trademark percussion and then sculpt a slurred vocal line, adding a dramatic vibrato for emphasis. Top form.

Songlist: That's Killer Joe, Rambo, Airegin, To You, Meet Benny Bailey, Another Night In Tunisia, Ray's Rockhouse, Blee Blop Blues, Oh Yes, I Remember Clifford, Sing Joy Spring, Move

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4110c | 1 CD | $10.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

Manhattan Transfer with Cincinnati  Pops : Got Swing? : 00  1 CD : Erich Kunzel :  : 80592

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Manhattan Transfer with Cincinnati Pops : Got Swing?

Review: Dubbed "The Prince of Pops" by the Chicago Tribune, Erich Kunzel's Cincinnati Pops Orchestra has been nominated for 5 Grammies under his direction, winning one in 1998, and we have to say that this is some of the best, most spirited big-band swing we've ever heard. Of special interest to us, of course, are the vocals, which are supplied by one of our favorite jazz groups, The Manhattan Transfer, former (and founding) member of the MT, 9-time Grammy winner Janis Siegel, and inventive singer/guitarist John Pizzarelli. There are 14 all accompanied (in fact, 7 of them are completely instrumental) tunes here, and not surprisingly our favorites are "Choo Choo Ch' Boogie," "Sugar" (That Sugar Baby of Mine), "Skyliner," and "Clouds" (adapted from "Nuages,") featuring the MT; "Straighten Up and Fly Right" and "Avalon" with John Pizzarelli; and "I'll Be Seeing You," with Janis Siegel. As we would place the Swing Era at or near the top of all musical eras, we thought "Got Swing" was a treat, and every tune gave us the urge to get up and dance!

Songlist: String of Pearls , Stompin' at the Savoy , Choo Choo Ch' Boogie, Straighten Up and Fly Right, Sugar, Skyliner, Blues in the Night , Avalon, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Clouds, adapted from "Nuages", Jumpin' at the Woodside , Flying Home , I'll Be Seeing You, Sweet Georgia Brown

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4519c | 1 CD | $15.98 || Vocal Jazz CDs

ManSound : If It's Magic

Review: ManSound, an a cappella sextet from Kiev, Ukraine, got its start in 1994 as an idea of composer and arranger Vladimir Mikhnovetsky. The group consists of experienced professionals and it is a permanent participant of international jazz festivals and concerts. First building a Russian fan base with concerts and appearances at jazz festivals in Moscow and other cities, ManSound began touring in 1996, when the group traveled to the United States for six weeks, performing with great success in universities and evangelical churches. In February of 2000, ManSound performed at one of the biggest jazz events in the USA, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, following the invitation of Lionel Hampton himself. They also performed in 2002 and 2003, delighting crowds of 5000 at the nightly performances. Dr. Lynn Skinner, director of The Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, called ManSound the hit of the jazz event. "Magic" has only 7 songs, but 3 are marvelous medleys, two of them of George Benson's songs and one of Stevie Wonder tunes. Besides these favorites, "They Can't Take That Away From Me," "Nature Boy," "Lullaby of Birdland and "Angel Eyes" are standouts-which includes everything on the CD. Tremendous voice control, incredible arrangements, butter-smooth blue-note harmonies, surprising tempo changes and scat breaks-it adds up to a stunning first CD by a huge, fast-rising talent in the jazz/a cappella world!

Songlist: Smile Medley:, - Smile, Darn Ya, Smile, - Powder Your Face With Sunshine, Have A Little Talk With Myself, If I Had My Way, Moondance, Shenandoah, When My Sugar Walk Down the Street, Where Is Love?, Shadrack, Fare Thee Well, Love, Honey Medley:, - My Honey's Lovin Arms, - Honey That I Love So Well, You Tell Me Your Dream, Sing, Sing, Sing, Hushabye

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4564c | 1 CD | $15.98 | A Cappella || Russian a cappella

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