July 2, 2010

Essentials - Nothing But Blue

Dan, Thom, Janet and Joe (he spells it Jo3) are the London, Ontario-based mixed voice Contemporary a cappella group The Essentials, contains a faux "Parental Advisory" on the back of the cardboard jewel box sleeve for "Acappella Content," warning that it contains only human voices and drums, but "it still sounds so full that you’ll think there's a whole band playing." Continuing, it adds: "Lyrics are suitable for all ages"–whew! We hope no parents will be scared off from enjoying this excellent collection by the warning, and conversely, that those in search of questionable lyrics will at least enjoy some great a cappella covers! Our favorites among the 12 songs include the a laid back arrangement of the Reggae anthem "I Can See Clearly Now," the Edgar Winter Group's "Free Ride," The Doobie Brothers' "Takin' It to the Streets," Tim McGraw's poignant Country hit "Some Things Never Change," Stephen Stills' Buffalo Springfield and CSN&Y hit, "Love The One You're With," a soulful, funky cover of Dave Mason's hit for Joe Cocker, "Feelin' Alright," the Rockapella standard "Falling Over You," and a live recording of Ray Gillen’s Badlands Gospel hit, "In A Dream." Lead duties are shared among the four, and each shows off their serious talents as the others provide rich, sumptuous background vocals. Add some marvelous arrangements and you have "Nothing But Blue," the debut winner from The Essentials! Extensive liner notes with all the lyrics. 7541 CD 14.95
Listen to "Free Ride

Posted by acapnews at 12:04 AM

July 1, 2010

West Side Five - West Side Five

West Side Five is a New York City-based vocal jazz mixed voice quintet (3 men, 2 women), with Real Group, Manhattan Transfer and New York Voices influences. They perform original interpretations of jazz, pop and bossa nova standards at venues in the New York/New Jersey area. They also recently appeared at the Mid-Atlantic Harmony Sweeps Regional in Washington, DC, and won first place and a trip to the 2010 Sweeps Finals in San Rafael! "West Side Five" is a four song Sampler CD, featuring "Pure Imagination," "Lullaby of Birdland," the Real Group-arranged "Thousand Things," and "Lil' Darlin'." We were treated to all but "Lullaby" in their excellent set at the Finals, and John Shumway's spectacular faux trumpet solo on "Lil' Darlin'" drew a huge ovation! The Five have a smooth, richly harmonic sound that compares with many of the elite vocal jazz groups, and we loved their live show. These four selections had us tapping our feet and wanting to hear more! 1371 CD 5.95
Listen to "Pure Imagination

Posted by acapnews at 12:01 AM