February 19, 2008

Banda de Boca - Banda de Boca

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! 7636 CD 15.95
Listen to "Samba Da Bahia

Posted by acapnews at 12:00 AM

February 15, 2008

Great Northern Union - It's a Grand Night for Singing

Since their forming in 1985, Hilltop, MN's male performing chorus has qualified for the Barbershop Harmony Society Internationals 19 years in a row, earning 7 medals. The 14 cuts on "It's A Grand Night for Singing" show off the rich harmonies, innovative arrangements, and pure entertainment of the GNUC, one of the finest mens' choruses in the Midwest. Hard to pick favorites, but Oscar Hammerstein's title tune, Richard Rodgers' "My Funny Valentine," the upbeat Barbershop chestnut "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo," John Denver's "Annie's Song," James Taylor's "That Lonesome Road," Lennon/McCartney's "Ob La Di," the heart-tugging "Young and Foolish," Irving Berlin's "When the Midnight Choo Choo Leaves for Alabam'," the traditional Scottish "Loch Lomond" and the raucous English sea shanty "What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor" will suffice. A fourth powerful, winning collection from one of SPEBSQSA's best! 5824 CD 14.95
Listen to "Annie's Song

Posted by acapnews at 12:13 AM

February 14, 2008

Straight No Chaser - Another Round

One of our favorite Collegiate a cappella groups, Indiana University's 9-man Straight No Chaser (great name, by the way) goes after another CARA award with the release of another winner (their 7th), "Another Round." 14 beautifully-arranged (by group members Tyler Trepp, Jeff Tanski, Walter Chase and Nick Jaenicke) covers; some favorites are B. McNight's "Superhero," Billy Joel's "Allentown," Rascal Flatts' "I Melt," M. Broussard's "Wanderer," Cole Porter's "I Get A Kick Out of You," the Hansons' "Penny and Me," Stevie Wonder's "As," Nsync's "Something Like You" and a live cut of Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music, White Boy." Solid vocal percussion, great harmonies and solos, energy and attitude—what's not to like? 1773 CD 14.95
Listen to "I Get a Kick Out of You

Posted by acapnews at 12:51 AM

February 1, 2008

Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Ilembe - Honoring Shaka Zulu

In the late 1700s, the Zulus were an obscure tribe of less than 2000 South African natives, ruled by a petty chief and seemingly doomed to eventual extinction. But when one charismatic and cunning young warrior, Shaka Zulu, emerged from this small, disorganized clan, the path of South African history changed forever. Ladysmith Black Mambazo has conquered nations in its own way with a joyous and spiritually charged brand of vocal music and native choreography, pays tribute to this historical icon with their latest release. The album title translates to “The Greatest Warrior,” and either directly or indirectly, each of the tracks speaks to Shaka’s rare combination of attributes and how they resonate in contemporary society – not just for South Africans, but for the world in general. 9922 SACD 17.95
Listen to "O mmu beno mmu

Posted by acapnews at 12:31 AM