February 28, 2011

Ambassadors of Harmony - Oh What A Day!

Founded way back in 1963 in St. Charles, MO, The 160-strong Ambassadors of Harmony are one of the best, most entertaining men's Barbershop choruses in the world, and they have the Gold necklaces to prove it: SPEBSQSA (Barbershop Harmony Society) Gold in 2004 and 2009! We can tell by their costumes, expressions and wonderful music that (1) these gentlemen are having big fun up there on stage in international competition, and (2) they can sing their collective tails off! We think we can call "Oh What a Day" a best-of collection, mainly because it includes "Seventy-Six Trombones," the Merideth Willson tune which led off their Gold-winning set in July, 2009, but also because every one of these cuts is a stone winner. "America," the sassy Stephen Sondheim/Leonard Bernstein hit from "West Side Story," "Friend Like Me," Howard Ashman/Alan Menken's song from "Aladdin," a cover of the traditional Scottish Air "Loch Lomond" that could break your heart, the wonderfully dramatic theme song from "Man of La Mancha," Ira and George Gershwin's sweet "Love Walked In," the Spanky and Our Gang hit "Lazy Day," Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows," Merle Kilgore/June Carter's Johnny Cash hit "Ring of Fire," and the Edith Piaf hit "If You Love Me, Really Love Me (Hymne a L'Amour)"—these are some of our favorite songs of all time, and the A of H nail every one of them. That’s entertainment! 6029 CD 14.95
Listen to "Friend Like Me

Posted by acapnews at 1:12 AM

February 23, 2011

Sacramento State Vocal Jazz Singers - Pale Blue Dot

Sacramento State's renowned, vibrant Collegiate Jazz program is directed by Kerry Marsh, whose presence is large on "Pale Blue Dot," Marsh's four-part suite for Jazz ensemble, and a tribute to Carl Sagan, astronomer, author and advocate of science and reason. The album features several different configurations of student Jazz vocalists from 2007 to 2008, accompanied by a large Jazz Rhythm Section on all cuts. The first seven tunes, all arranged by Marsh, are covers of standards like Duke Ellington's "In a Mellotone," Freddie Hubbard's "Little Sunflower," Irving Caesar's "Tea for Two," and incongruously but beautifully, a soaring, bluenote arrangement of "Silent Night." The final cuts, the four parts of "Pale Blue Dot," are very strong, particularly Part III, "When the Night is New"- spacy, delicate, moody and powerful. 6059 CD 14.95
Listen to "But Beautiful

Posted by acapnews at 1:09 AM

February 17, 2011

Storm Front - Road to Gold

This is the live DVD of Storm Front's "The Road to Gold!", which we were just raving about in our review above. It contains the exact same live 6-song Finals performances by Storm Front from 2008, 2009 and 2010 when their wonderful blending of humor and harmony won them Gold Medals! Why should you get the DVD, you might ask, when you already have the CD? Well, there were a number of places on the CD where there was silence, but the guys were doing something and the audience was laughing hysterically. On the DVD, like the audiences, we could see everything these very funny guys were doing, so you'll also want to get the DVD. Enough said! 6056 DVD 24.95
Listen to "Where or When

Posted by acapnews at 12:52 AM

February 13, 2011

Angie Doctor / Dan Schumacher - He Said, She Said

The venerable and multi-talented member of The Bobs, Richard Bob Greene, produced and arranged the Vocal Jazz "Duets For Two Voices," which features Angie Doctor, a founding member of the Grammy-nominated PM Singers, but best known to us as a beloved member of Clockwork, which won 2 Grammy nominations, 5 Harmony Sweeps Bay Area Regional championships, and 4 top 3 finishes at the Sweeps Finals. Dan Schumacher sang Baritone with Kickshaw, which won the Pacific NW Harmony Sweeps Regional in 1997 and he has since grown tremendously as a Jazz vocalist. There are 12 songs here, all, to quote the liner notes, "Naked harmony: one man and one woman, with no band, no multi-tracking and no overdubbing–entangled yet liberated, precise yet passionate." Some of our favorites are "Honeysuckle Rose," "One Note Samba," the very funny "Brandenburg Gate," Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust," "Temptation," Greene's own funny, manic "Let's Go Wild," Kern/Hammerstein's "All the Things You Are," and "Milonga del Angel," where Greene makes it a trio, adding his powerful bass to Dan and Angie's leads. These have long been some of our favorite vocalists and composers, and this album is as pure, clear and sweet as we have ever heard Vocal Jazz. Doctor and Schumacher sing and harmonize beautifully, they sass and tease, give and take, and give us a lot to love on "Duets for Two Voices!" 6086 CD 12.95
Listen to "Breaking Us In Two

Posted by acapnews at 12:57 AM

Nashville Singers - The Journey Begins

Todd Wilson earned six International Chorus Championships with The Vocal Majority, and one International Quartet Gold Medal singing with Acoustix. Since then he has conducted six different choral ensembles across the country, leading the 90-voice Houston Tidelanders to two BHS top ten finishes. He is one of the founders of Nashville Singers, and is Director of Music (in addition to wearing several other hats) for the 14-man group. "The Journey Begins" is a six-song debut recording for the NS, featuring The Turtles' "Happy Together," the traditional folk tune "Shenandoah," the Dean Martin trademark hit "That's Amore" (sung by the Amore 4, a Barbershop Quartet within the Singers) Token's Doo-Wop standard "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and "The Impossible Dream" from "Man of La Mancha." Masterful Mr. Wilson knows what he's doing, and "The Journey Begins" sounds great. We'll be expecting big things from the talented Nashville Singers! 6060 CD 9.95
Listen to "That's Amore

Posted by acapnews at 12:48 AM