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.

An Octave Above: An Octave Above

Chili Con Carne
When I'm 64
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 

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!

Listen to "Tico Tico" in RealAudio.

4621 CD $14.98

Acoustix: Jazz, Jazz, Jazz

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 "Unforgettable" (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.

Listen to The Nearness of You in Real Audio.

5052 CD $14.98

A Cappella Expresss: Magic Moment

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.

4536 CD $15.98

Banda de Boca: Banda de Boca

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

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!

Listen to "Samba da Bahia" in Real Audio.

7636 CD $15.95

Bara Vox: We're Going Up

Bara Vox translates Only Voice. And only the voices of the six singers from Sweden who span the entire range of the human voice from mezzo soprano to bass will be what you hear on this fabulous second recording of contemporary and jazz tunes. A touch of signal processing creates the vocal flourishes which sound like a Hammond Organ on "Were Going Up," one of the joyous originals. If you wish to let your heart fly on a lyrical romantic tune "Two Steps From Heaven" will do it. All the songs but one children's folk song are sung in English and about half will be familiar covers, but not the arrangements which are absolutely original!

Listen to "Two Steps from Heaven" in Real Audio.

4434 CD $14.98

Beachfront Property: Beachfront Property

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

Alternating between a cappella tracks and those accompanied by a combo (piano, bass, drums, sax, and percussion) this southern California singing ensemble of nine voices gives us a tour of popular standards and one goofy but great arrangement of the "Flintstone's Theme" with 'Fred Flintstone' singing a gravelly scat. The arranging is delicate and light for an easy listen. Then you listen more closely and catch the subtle jazz nuances which sets this group apart from music often heard and relegated to the background of our attentions. The producers, Tom and Jennifer Dustman (also singers), have created a full rich sound.

Listen to "You Go To My Head" in Real Audio.

4701 CD $14.98


Beachfront Property: Straight Up

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.

Listen to "Linus and Lucy" in Real Audio.

4702 CD $14.98

Beachfront Property: A Beachfront Christmas

Hold on to your Santa Claus hat, cause here comes a new CD of traditional chestnuts full of cutting edge vocal arrangements. Features five new arrangements by Michele Weir, including a rendition of "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" that will make you laugh. A cappella settings sprinkled with a rhythm section from heaven make this the perfect balance for vocal enthusiasts, and a must-have.

Listen to "Silent Night" in Real Audio.

4703 CD $14.98

Berlin Voices: A Tribute to Billy Joel

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

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.

7666 CD $15.95

BR6: Here To Stay

can you hear the mannnnnnnn sound?

Waters Of March / Rhapsody In Blue
Jazz'n'Samba
Someone to Watch Ove 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

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!

Listen to "Jazz'n'Samba" in RealAudio.

7634 CD $15.95

BR6: Rio A Cappella

can you hear the mannnnnnnn sound?

Freshly signed to the Primarily A Cappella label, Brazil's 5-man, 1 woman a cappella Jazz/Salsa sextet impresses from the first few notes of the opening cut. "Batida Diferente" has a mellow, sensual infectious Samba rhythm, "Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar" builds a smoky lead and "trumpet" solo on a solid, tasty vocal percussion base, "Linha de Passe" is a surprising, fast-moving, scattish Salsa romp. "Preciso aprender a Ser So" is slow and romantic with harmonies to die for, "Flora" and the lighthearted "Upa Neguinho" are blue note jazz with a walking bass, as is "Falso Milagre do Amor." "Disfarca e Chora" is stunningly arranged rainy day jazz, the laid-back, effortless harmonies of "Wave," "O Morro Neo Tem Vez" and "O Barquinho" bubble above a minor-key base. The final cut, "Diz Que Fui Por Ai" is a finger-snapping, "trumpet" soloing delight. The beautiful, colorful liner notes contain the lyrics and some marvelous pictures of the group. Like the group's growing contingent of Brazilian fans, we fell in love with this group at first listen - we bet you will too. BR6 is fresh, hot and spicy from Brazil, on PAC Records!

Listen to "Wave" in RealAudio.

2975 CD $15.98

Clockwork: Every Voice Counts

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

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!

Listen to Rhode Island is Famous for You in RealAudio.

2335 CD $14.95

Clockwork: Tesseract

can you hear the mannnnnnnn sound?

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!

Listen to "Little Girl Blue" and "Rhode island Is Famous For You" in RealAudio.

2980 CD $14.98

Clockwork: Orange

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!

4566 CD $9.98

Cluster: Cement

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

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!

Listen to Nobody's Wife in Real Audio

7621 CD $15.95

Cool and Jazzy: A Cappella

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!

Listen to Bei Mir Bistu Shein

4509 CD $15.98

Down 4 The Count: Embodiment

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

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!

Listen to "Til There Was You" in RealAudio.

2517 CD $14.95

Encore: Without A Song

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!

4522 CD $14.98

Fifth Avenue: 4 The Fun of It

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!

4436 CD $14.98

Five Alive: Nonstrumental

Three women and two men from Finland have created the most exciting first release we've had the pleasure of bringing you in some time. Great voices enhance marvelously clever arrangements of well known tunes. Some are in English, some in Finish, and some in scat. If you imagine someone crossed the Real Group with Five Live in a 30/70 mix, that would sort of describe the singing on this finely crafted recording. Take familiar tunes such as Peggy Lee's "Fire," Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner," Toto's "Africa," and Duke Ellingtons "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and then prepare yourself for some exciting, truly original interpretations. If this were sports, here's the Rookie of the Year!

4412 CD $14.98

Five By Design: Stay Tuned

I Feel a Song Comin' On
Sh' Boom
Cross Over the Bridge
Hey There
Papa Loves Mambo
I Really Love You
Make Love to Me
New York, New York
Istanbul
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
'S Wonderful
The Duke of Dubuque
The Girl from Ipanema
More
The Curtain Falls
As Long as I'm Singing
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White

Pride of Minneapolis, MN, mixed-voice quintet Five By Design is famous for being the first vocal group to create and star in their own original musical retrospectives for symphony orchestras and big bands! "Stay Tuned," in fact, features 17 tunes from just such a collaboration, with Willis Delony & The Robert Baca Jazz Orchestra. Every song here is a Swing Era classic: "I Feel A Song Comin' On," "Sh' Boom," "Hey There," "Papa Loves Mambo," "New York, New York," "Istanbul," "'S Wonderful," "The Girl From Ipanema," "More" and "Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White." Five By Design clearly loves their music, they have a fresh, clean sound, the Robert Baca Jazz Orchestra is smokin,' and the song selection couldn't be more entertaining—so get "Stay Tuned" and enjoy!

Listen to "The Duke of Dubuque" in Real Audio.

4002 CD $14.95

Five By Design: Club Swing

Three men, Two women quintet Five by Design evolved from the vocal group Hot Jazz, formed at the U of Wisconsin/Eau Claire in 1982. In 1988 the group developed "Radio Days" as a musical theatre vehicle that gave them an opportunity to sing the swing music they love best. In 1999 the Baltimore Symphony commissioned them to create a new show that would become Club Swing. Their productions have appeared with more than 100 of the leading symphony orchestras throughout the US and Canada. In the play, the fictional Club Swing is a soon to be demolished club built in the heydey of swing, and Joe Sullivan visits for one last time. The marquee flickers and the club is transformed into the once fabled nightspot. Backed by the Club Swing orchestra, led by Willis Delony, the dressed-to-the-nines group gives us 20 classics, done as well as any swing CD we've heard. Some of our favorites: "Begin the Beguine," "Dream," "Choo-Choo Ch' Boogie," "Pistol Packin' Mama," "Dig Down Deep," "One For My Baby"²but every song's an authentic winner!

4514 CD $14.98

Five Live - Take Two

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.

4433 CD $14.98

Gold Company: 30

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 (Reprise)

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!

Listen to "In My Life" in RealAudio.

3093 CD $14.95

Gold Company: Absolute Integrity

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.

Listen to "I Remember You" in RealAudio.

7606 CD $14.98

Gold Company: 25

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

4506 CD $14.98

Gold Company: Solid

Under the direction of Dr. Steve Zegree, the Gold Company jazz ensemble’s accomplishments include winning more Downbeat awards than any other university ensemble since 1993, and has been a training ground for many of the industry’s most successful professionals. With four of their previous recordings out of print, "Solid" closes the gap. The best of those four albums, including a cappella arrangements of Gene Puerling’s "Somewhere Over The Rainbow," and Ward Swingle’s "Marriage of Figaro," equal a perfect score! Though almost entirely accompanied, it’s focus is vocal harmony, and lending their talents as singers and/or arrangers are Darmon Meader of New York Voices, Tim Brent, Clare Fischer and Kirby Shaw (with his daughter, Holly).

4793 CD $14.98

Gold Company: While We're Young

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.

4794 CD $14.98

Good Company: Live

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!

4606 CD $14.98

Groove For Thought: Groove For Thought

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

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 (surprisingly) 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!.

Listen to "Joy To The World" in RealAudio.

7501 CD $14.98

Groove Society: Groove Society

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

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!

Listen to "I'm Beginning To See The Light" in RealAudio.

4616 CD $14.98

Grunyons: Just In Time

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."

4796 CD $14.98

Hampton Avenue: Gift Of Harmony

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.

4516 CD $14.98

Hampton Avenue: Everybody Sing

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).

5428 CD $14.98

High Five: Moondance

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 Lose
Mais Que Nada
Whistling in the Dark
One for my Baby
Brahms Lullaby

"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!

Listen to "Scotch + Soda" in RealAudio.

4609 CD $14.98

Hudson Shad: Sing Something Simple

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).

Listen to "Sing Something Simple " in Real Audio.

4499 CD $15.98


Hudson Shad: Music Box

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.

5426 CD $15.98

Hudson Shad: Hooked Again!

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.

6339 CD $15.98

Hudson Shad: Spawn Song

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!

6338 CD $15.98

Hudson Shad: Wand'rin' Stars

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 Caf?." "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!

4517 CD $15.98

Inner Voices: Prairie Jazz

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

Manhattan Transfer meets 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!

Listen to "Cielito Lindo", "Where Am I Going" and "Home on the Range"

2750 CD $14.98

Inner Voices: Christmas In My Dreams

The four members of Inner Voices' bios read like a who's who of session recording. Practice has made perfect, and they are caroling at your door! The female soprano, alto and tenor (one of whom is Morgan Ames, Grammy winning arranger) and male baritone, along with guest vocalist Mervyn Warren of Take 6, have produced an immaculate recording. The luminous sound has been refined and honed until it shimmers. All four singers trade lines on "I Wash My Face in a Golden Vase" (accompanied by keyboard, as is "Christmas in My Dreams"). Soprano Donna McAfee soars on "The Savior is Born," gliding effortlessly up and down the scale with total precision. "Christmas Night in Harlem" captures that NewYork smoky jazz club vibe; "My Father" combines the mixolydian harmonic minor with the traditional Western carol for a haunting, enigmatic result. This sophisticated group satisfies the heart and the mind.

9006 CD $15.98

Just 4 Kicks: All In Good Time

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

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."

Listen to "A Quiet Place" and "Take the 'A' Train"

6255 CD $14.98

Just 4 Kicks: Kick In The Pants

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!

Listen to "Wonderlicks" in Real Audio.

6260 CD $14.98

L.A. Jazz Choir: From All Sides

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.

4720 CD $12.98

L.A. Jazz Choir: Listen

"Listen!" was recorded live in 1980 when the original L.A. Jazz Choir returned from a tour of the European Jazz Festivals, including Montreaux and North Sea. It was released in 1983 as an lp and nominated for a Grammy the following year. Guest soloists Sue Raney and Carl Anderson had previously appeared with the group, and graciously offered to participate in this recording. Pianist Dwight Elrich provides solid accompaniment and contributed the haunting arrangement of "I Only Have Eyes for You." But the real stars of this recording are the 18 men and women who lived with this music for many months, seasoning and shaping it until it became a unified artistic expression. 10 songs, from "Bye Bye Blues" and "Jumpin' With Symphony Sid" to "Here's that Rainy Day," "It Had to Be You" and a scattish "Woodchopper's Ball." Nor can we forget a sweet "Let There Be Love," the style-switching "Hurry On Down," a joyous, romping "Sweet Georgia Brown" and a smoky, bluesy "Everything I Have Is Yours." Let's see—we have the great jazz classics, one of the greatest jazz choirs of all time in their prime, singing their tails off, live—just back from blowing away some of the great European jazz festivals, and you've got the Grammy nomination. But if you really want to know how exceptional this CD is, Listen!

4614 CD $14.98

Lambert, Hendricks and Ross: Improvisations For The Human Voice

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

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.

3201 CD $15.95

M-Pact: Live At The Triple Door

A two-CD 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!

Listen to Higher and Higher in Real Audio.

7431 CD $21.98

Manhattan Transfer

The influence of The Manhattan Transfer on contemporary a cappella has been enormous since their debut in 1973. Over the years, the group has explored a wide range of styles, and while their repertoire always seems short in the a cappella department, it includes some unaccompanied gems. (Profile)

The Chick Corea Songbook

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

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 Acuña, Fred Hersch, Edsel Gomez and Lou Marini, among others.

Listen to "Prelude" in Real Audio.

3098 CD $15.95

Manhattan Transfer: The Symphony Sessions

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.

7601 CD $15.95

Manhattan Transfer: Vibrate

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!

Listen to "Vibrate" in Real Audio.

4572 CD $15.98

Manhattan Transfer: Got Swing? (with the Cincinnati Pops)

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!

Listen to "Skyliner" in Real Audio.

4519 CD $15.98

Manhattan Transfer: Swing

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.

Listen to "Sing A Study in Brown" in Real Audio.

4117 CD $10.98

Manhattan Transfer: Anthology: Down in Birdland

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.

Listen to "Ray's Rockhouse" in Real Audio.

4115 2-CDs $25.98

Manhattan Transfer: The Very Best Of

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.

4123 CD $10.98

More Manhattan Transfer recordings


ManSound: If It's Magic

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!

Listen to "Medley of George Benson's Songs #1" in RealAudio.

4564 CD $15.98

Bobby McFerrin

With amazing solo work and an innovative approach, Bobby McFerrin is an a cappella pioneer, creating a signature one-man jazz band sound that is fun and astounding at the same time. (Profile)

VOCAbularieS

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

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.

2336 CD $15.95


Beyond Words

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 art­what he does better than anyone else­that 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!

4489 CD $15.98


Circle Songs

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."

Listen to "Circlesong Two" in Real Audio.

4159 CD $11.98

Spontaneous Inventions

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.

Listen to "From Me To You" in Real Audio.

4152 CD $10.98

The Voice

Sometime in 1983 Bobby McFerrin gave his first solo voice concert in Ashland Oregon. In March of the following year he had a tour of Germany stopping in concert and opera halls. This was the springboard which propelled him to world renown as a solo singer of unprecedented virtuosity. The Voice is the CD made of tracks from that tour. The thesaurus will run dry before this reviewer has used enough superlatives to pay homage to the world's only a cappella one man band. The two tunes which gained world wide play from this album are "Blackbird" and "I Feel Good" but the other tunes are as interesting, just too long for radio play.

Listen to "Blackbird" in Real Audio.

4151 CD $11.98

Simple Pleasures

"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.

Listen to "Drive My Car" in Real Audio.

4153 CD $11.98

Medicine Music

Medicine Music was written, arranged, and produced by Bobby. It is a very full sound created by overdubbing. The vocal percussion is more drum -like than ever. There is an underlying spiritual theme present, weaving its way from the beginning, "Medicine Man," to the closing reinterpretation of "The 23rd Psalm," dedicated to his mother. In addition, Voicestra, the vocal orchestra of his creation, sings on "Sweet In The Morning" and on "Discipline" which also features Robert McFerrin Sr. An anomaly is the electronically accompanied tune, "Common Threads," which was the theme from the movie of that name. It's beautiful.

4156 CD $10.98

Mill City Mix: Swingeroo Quickies

"Mill City Mix" is a four-piece mixed group whose inspiration is the close harmony groups of the forties - the sounds of the Merry Macs, Pied Pipers and their ilk. This accompanied CD features sixteen agreeable songs, such as "Perfidia," "Sunny Side Of The Street" and "Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree." "Eloise" has a descending progression that is classic American songwriting, "Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy" crackles with energy, and a high-octane piano break; in contrast, "Irresistable You" captures all the longing of love.

4166 CD $11.98

Moss: Moss

Shadow and Light 1
Object Devotion
i carry your heart with me
There Alone Go I
Orchard
Old Man
Home
Lavaliere
Take It With Me
These Things Take Time
Longing
Busy, Being Blue
Shadow and Light 2

Individually, they are five phenomenal and distinctive vocalists: Peter Eldridge, a eclectic vocalist, composer, and member of the New York Voices; Lauren Kinhan, known for her charismatic voice, genre bending originals, and her dedicated years as a member of the New York Voices; Theo Bleckmann, the effusive German-American Meistersinger known for his brilliant collaborations with Meredith Monk; Kate McGarry, a vocal polymath at home with the folk tradition and the Big Apple bandstand; Luciana Souza, the Brazilian whose repertoire ranges from bossa novas and Elizabeth Bishop to Steely Dan. Together, they are MOSS, A vocal supergroup that intertwines jazz, classical, pop, folk, electronica, world music, and poetry into an arresting and unique sonic species of art. A typical vocal jazz record follows a formula: some up-tempo tunes, plenty of moody ballads and a vocalist reaching for the unique without leaving the familiar. The vocal dream team Moss has thrown out the old formula on their new self-titled CD. Not to be pigeon holed, these master vocalists supply their own unique originals along with a bevy of thoughtful arrangements of not so standard tunes (including pieces by Tom Waits, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and e.e. cummings). Throughout this exceptional recording, the vocal quintet's contrapuntal harmonies, silken phrasing, and soulful improvisations, traverse and morph genres with ease and invention. “Hopefully, each song reveals the curiosity and uniqueness of each voice," Luciana Souza writes in the CD liner notes, “and the wonderful and intangible thing that happens when a group of friends blend their voices and sensibilities into one."

Listen to "Shadow and Light 1" and Shadow and Light 2 in RealAudio.

7664 CD $15.95

New York Voices: A Day Like This

In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
On A Clear Day
Love You Medley
Noticing the Moment
A Day Like This
Jackie
The World Keeps You Waiting
For All We Know
Chamego (Betty's Bossa)
Stoned Soul Picnic
Darn That Dream
As We Live and Breathe
No Moon At All
Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing

We have long placed the Grammy-winning two-woman, two man NY Voices in the same company as groups like Singers Unlimited, Manhattan Transfer, The Real Group and Vox One, that is, among the best vocal jazz groups in the world. Receiving "A Day Like This" is cause for celebration, as it has been way too long since the quartet last stepped into a recording studio. This all-accompanied collection of 14 upbeat, jazzy tunes starts out fast with Jimmy Van Heusen' "Darn that Dream," group member Peter Eldridge's "The World Keeps You Waiting" and a smoky, bluenote cover of Alan Jay Lerner's "On A Clear Day." Then we're treated to some sweet covers of Lewis & Coots' "For All We Know," Duke Ellington's "Love You Madly," Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing," John Coltrane's beautiful "Noticing the Moment (Moments Notice") and the wonderful, scattish, manic "Jackie" with lyrics by Annie Ross. One last favorite is a delightfully fresh and simple arrangement of Laura Nyro's "Stoned Soul Picnic." Every cut here, in fact, is a joy - the Voices have a sophisticated, effortlessly clean sound that surprises and entertains. It was worth the long wait for A Day Like This!"

Listen to "Darn That Dream" in Real Audio.

7637 CD $17.95

New York Voices: Sing, Sing, Sing

The best things in life are worth waiting for! After several delays the much anticipated new release from one of the top jazz vocal groups in the world is finally available and we couldn't be happier. Equally masterful at tight harmonies and individual solo flights vocalists Peter Eldridge, Lauren Kinhan, Darmon Meader (who also blows a mean tenor sax) and Kim Nazarian have delivered their most swinging outing to date. All but one of the songs were arranged by the incredibly talented Meader whose fresh spin on these Swing Era classics are a joy to listen to. The vocals are also very strong, especially Kinhan and Kim, who must be some of the jazziest, sexiest female singers around. Accompanied mostly by a swinging big band the final song "I'll Be Seeing You", however, is a pure a cappella gem.

Listen to "I'll Be Seeing You"

4411 CD $15.98

Not To Scale: Not To Scale

A seven member mixed contemporary jazz group, "Not To Scale" performs accessible versions of songs such as "Chuck E's In Love," "I Feel Good" and "Some Kind Of Wonderful." The other ingredients in their sonic recipe distill a significant Real Group influence, heard on "Lullaby" and the Real Group's own "Waltz For Debby." The group was formed in North Carolina in 1997, and describe themselves as a fusion group, combining the energy of rock with the intervals of jazz.

5421 CD $14.98

Pacific Mozart Ensemble: A Cappella Jazz & Pop

The P.M.E. is one of the San Francisco Bay Areas most versatile and innovative choruses. The repertoire stretches from Mozart to Monk (Meredith). Each year members arrange and perform immensely popular jazz and pop concerts. On this recording which has arrangements of 20 songs, various members form quintets and sextets to allow individual singers greater individual expression. It begins with "Doodlin'" and ends with "Canary In A Coal Mine." In between find yodeling, scats, a lullaby, Eric Clapton and more. You'll listen to this one over and over.

4501 CD $14.98

Pastiche: Pastiche

Pastiche is Sandy Cressman, Jenny Meltzer and Becky West, attractive, versatile singers with their roots in jazz, but who incorporate Brazilian and Afro-Cuban rhythms as well as pop and R&B influences in their music. Fair warning: Pastiche, which means "a combination of many styles and influences making up a single work of art," is accompanied throughout by a very fine jazz orchestra. That said, the trio's vocal harmonies are brilliant, and each song, from song 1, "Don't Lose Your Cool" to song 11, "When The Night," are showcases for that brilliance. A smooth, smoky, moody work of art!

4454 CD $14.98

Pieces of 8: Across The Blue Meridian

It Don't Mean a Thing
Blue Meridian
Nice 'N Easy
Summer Dreamin'
Some Other Time
On the Street Where You Live
A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
Walk Between Raindrops
Orange Colored Sky
Hook, Line and Sinker
Music of the Spheres (Gershwin Piano Prelude No. 1)
Aria, Bach Goldberg Variations

Charlie Mead, director and composer/arranger, is at it again, dazzling us with his swinging musical stylings with the help of his eight talented singers. This time, the beautiful sounding octet takes on a vacation to various island getaways with four original compositions by Charlie, all giving you the feeling of being in the great outdoors. As they take us on this journey, they also satisfy our thirst for a few old classics with some unique arrangements of "On The Street Where You Live," "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square," and "I'm Beginning To See The Light." To end this fabulous CD, the top- notch performers sing Bach's "Goldberg Variations," a simplistic musical masterpiece who's instrumental orchestrations were most recently made famous by the Hannibal Lectar movies.

Listen to "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" in RealAudio.

4577 CD $14.98

Pieces of 8: Gift

This unique Contemporary Jazz octet, founded by artistic director Charles Mead and formed of pairs of sopranos, altos, tenors and basses, has a full, almost vocally orchestral sound. "Gift" gives new dimensions and excitement to Christmas chestnuts like "Christmas Song," "Silver Bells," "Sleigh Ride," and three medleys, "Count Your Blessings/White Christmas," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/My Favorite Things"-- while retaining what we love about them. "Santa Claus" stuffs every song ever written about the fat man in a big, happy, silly, genre-crossing musical sack. "Little Drummer Boy" starts sweet and simple and riffs in all directions from there. There's a jazzy, surprising "12 Days of Christmas," a powerful "Prayer for Our Children," and a stream of consciousness "O Tannenbaum." A smoky, moody "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" closes out a remarkable "Gift" to yourself and any other music-lovers on your list!

Listen to "Christmas Song" in RealAudio.

4644 CD $14.98


Pieces of 8: Hook, Line & Sinker

Would you believe an octet? Well they live up to their names not only in number, but remember that pieces of eight were made of gold. Dr. Charles Mead always was a writer/arranger and finally by organizing a group he has a vehicle to express his creative passion. Though jazz chords predominate, it is impossible to categorize all the songs this way. "Blue Meridian" has a south Pacific feel and island rhythms. "Hook, Line & Sinker" seems almost classical, no...popular, but wait how about that gospel riff. Then of course there is your standard reggae arrangement of "With A Little Help From My Friends." Nothing is the way you might expect but it's superb!

2624 CD $14.98

The PM Singers: Night In The City

Formed in 1982 by students of the esteemed director Phil Mattson, members of the P.M. Singers became identified with the Phil Mattson School and many have gone on to great professional and academic success in their own right. (Two examples are Joe Finetti, who now sings with The Bobs, and Michele Weir, a respected educator and arranger.) This mixed group has the talent and range to master the most technical of charts, as well as the warmth and emotion to stir the heart-witness"A Child Is Born," with a facile piano accompaniment by Phil Mattson himself, who plays keyboards throughout. Many of the arrangements allow one voice to solo, adding and subtracting harmonies for interest and variety. "I'll BeSeeing You" is a cappella and allows the melody to shine, gradually opening up the song with a frugal harmony that never interferes, but builds to a subtle crescendo and then resolves to an elegant closing cadence, the lead voice holding the final note while the lower parts complete the subject. A pleasure to listen to and a model of arranging virtuosity.

1116 CD $14.98

The PM Singers: Jubilee

Intricate arrangements and big and bold orchestrations, featuring saxophonist Richie Cole, characterize this six piece mixed group's sound, a pleasing mix of old and new jazz influences. The sound is suggestive of the Singers Unlimited in terms of complexity, though on "Waltz For Debby" and the tour-de-force (written by Clare Fischer) "The Quiet Side," the richness of the voicings invites comparisons to the Real Group. Speaking of "The Quiet Side," it is a seven minute exploration of form and tonality that begins a cappella, segues into a mid-tempo accompanied section that escalates in intensity using scat as it's medium, through an ascending sequence that descends again to the original introduction. "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars" takes a vocal percussion idea which then evolves into a sultry duet with shimmering backups, "C'est Si Bon" is a throaty and suggestive interplay between voice and flugelhorn, with the horn part equal in importance to the arrangement. "Johnny One Note" is the Gene Puerling arrangement. A highly enjoyable and accomplished collection.

1115 CD $14.98

Quintessence: The Joy of Six

Acoustic Souvenirs
Goody Goody
Girl From Impanema
Les Duettistes
The Man I Love
I Got A Gal In Kalamazoo
Summertime
Planesong Blues
Les Feuilles Mortes
Lullaby Of Birdland
Route 66
When I Fall In Love
I Can Recall Spain
Kelly Danielle's Lullaby

What a find! After well over a decade of selling a cappella recordings those joyous days of discovering unknown a cappella artists are fewer but we have just come across another great a cappella talent in Ottawa-based sextet Quintessence. Influenced by groups such as The Manhattan Transfer, Les Swingle Singers and Singers Unlimited the group brings it's own jazzy style to a a wide variety of repertoire, from big-band through to hits of recent years and some original material. The group arranged most all of the songs themselves bringing freshness to these great standards that are a real pleasure to hear. The voices blend very well and there are a couple of very strong solos especially those of Marion Xhignesse and Susan Mayo. A recommended release for vocal jazz aficionados.

Listen to "Les Duettistes" in Real Audio.

7611 CD $15.95

Rajaton: Boundless

Butterfly
Un-Wishing Well
The Lark In The Clear Air
We Walk In A Fog
Lady Madonna
Dobbin's Flowery Vale
Summer Song
Poison Tree
You Can't Stop Me
Armahan Kulku
Kaipaava

Rajaton is a world-class Finnish vocal jazz septet, and this is their second CD (their first, "Nova," is also excellent). They sing jazz renditions of their own and others' original compositions, Finnish folk songs and poetry put to music. The two Finnish folk songs, "Armahan kulku" and "Kaipaava" are sung in Finnish, the rest are in flawless English. Following the tradition of brilliant Scandinavian vocal jazz groups, Rajaton's sound is bright and clean, harmonically complex, spirited and perfect. The colorful liner notes contain all the words, and lovely photos of the group. Eleven songs: "Butterfly," "Un-Wishing Well," "The Lark In the Clear Air," "We Walk In a Fog," Lennon/McCartney's "Lady Madonna," "Dobbin's Flowery Vale," "Summer Song," "Poison Tree," "You Can't Stop Me," and the two folk songs. A breath of fresh, jazzy air from Finland!

Listen to "Butterfly" in RealAudio

4466 CD $15.98

The Real Group

This incredible group from Sweden never fails to delight! On multiple tours to the U.S. and Canada, as well as around Europe, the award-winning quintet has won legions of fans.

The Real Album

Bumble Bee
Pass Me The Jazz
A Lifetime Takes A Lifetime To Fulfill
Nostalgia World
Lay It In My Hand
A Minute On Your Lips
The Modern Man
The Window That Leads To Your World
A Little Kindness
Anna's Song
Flying High
Gee! Mine Or Moe's Art?

When you’re good, you’re good and the Real Group are as fantastic as ever. Not only do they have some of the best voices in the business along with some of the most fascinating and creative arrangements they also sure know how to write a song! Here we are treated to a collection of original songs which absolutely demonstrate as to why few people would disagree with the statement that The Real Group is the most talented a cappella group performing today. The compositions are all in English, are all new and offer an array of styles including their classic sound on “Pass Me The Jazz” and “Flying High”, a country song “A Minute on Your Lips”, the vocalese “Gee! Mine or Moe’s Art?” (G Minor Mozart) and the beautiful ballad “Anna’s Song”. The delightfully intelligent lyrics are refreshing with “Modern Man” and “Nostalgia World” being particular standouts. Our opinion of this group grows with every listen as every track is a gem that you will want to savor over and over again.

Listen to "Pass Me The Jazz" in Real Audio.

4001 CD $19.95

In The Middle Of Life

Prime Time Blues
Mister Father
Words
Spring Is Coming
I Tried
Friendship
Are You Coming To Me?
The Grass Grows Greener
My Hidden World
A Perfect Life
A Quiet Song
Given
Gota

The A Cappella world is abuzz with the good news: the release of "The Middle of Life," The Real Group's much-anticipated new CD. Even better, "Life" is all new, all originals, all studio and all in English! Anders Edenroth writes the music and lyrics to "Prime Time Blues," a funky, saucy romp that features the title phrase and some state-of-the-art vocal percussion and mock horns, his "Words" is a lyrical, rhythmic masterpiece, "Friendship" has Anders singing a mellow, soaring lead, and his "The Grass Grows Greener" is an instant jazz standard with his voice adding a muted, precise tone. Peder Karlsson writes the understated, bluesy "Mister Father," his "Are You Coming To Me" is a salsa-flavored fiesta tune featuring Katarina on lead, "A Quiet Song" features Peder's slow, bluesy voice, and "Gota," featuring Peder and Katarina, has a simple, meandering melody that builds in intensity to symphonic proportions. Margareta Jalkeus writes "Spring Is Coming" and has a nice, soaring solo riff that becomes a dreamy scat sequence, and has a moody, mysterious lead on her "My Hidden World." Katarina Henryson writes "I Tried," shares writing credits with Anders on the ironic, pop-ish "A Perfect Life," and her bluenote alto on her "Given" is sweetly profound. So much talent here - we find ourselves listening to this CD again and again to appreciate just how far the a cappella envelope has been pushed, and comparing the genius and musical focus of the individual composers. Simply put, "The Middle of Life" is a masterpiece, an unexpected gift from Sweden to be unwrapped and savored on many levels!

Listen to "Prime Time Blues" and "Words" in RealAudio.

4610 CD $16.98

The Best - Tour Souvenir Album

Much like the Swedish release 'Allt Det Basta' this Korean import shows the Real Group at their best! It does have a few of the same titles, like the exciting new versions of 'Chili Con Carne,' 'Li'l Darlin' and their version of ABBA's 'Dancing Queen,' but it also has some other titles not previously presented on the same CD. Including 'Big Bad World,' 'I Sing You Sing,' the live version of 'Splanky,' the Beatles' classic 'Come Together,'and 'Bara Vi' to name a few! Focusing mostly on their contemporary tunes, this CD would be a great pick for a first time listener of this sensational Swedish vocal quintet!

4756 CD $18.95

Hall Musiken Igang! (Keep The Music Playing)

The Real Group, since their formation 24 years ago, are one of the leading forces in the world of vocal harmony music. "Hall Musiken Igang" (Keep The Music Playing) is the group's 14th recording, a tribute to the legendary Swedish songwriter/artist Povel Ramel. Born in Stockholm to an aristocratic family, Povel Ramel studied piano and got an early start on his career as an entertainer and composer. His first revue, written at age 17, gave him a breakthrough as a composer, "Vart eget blue Hawaii." In 1944 came his first great hit, "Johansson's boogie woogie waltz" and his crazy humor on two radio programs brought him many fans. In the 1950s he developed, with 3 other great talents, a special type of revue, "Knapp-Upp," seen by 5 million people between 1952-62. The revues became more musical and satirized the styles of well-known Swedish composers. Several of Ramel's numbers from this period became classics. Musically these songs fit nicely into the Real Group's flawless, clean, vocal jazz sound, and are big fun to listen to, with samples, asides, faux horns and wonderful vocal percussion. Listen to "Johansson's Boogie Woogie Waltz," and you'll get the picture. The Real Group is one of the best vocal jazz groups we have ever heard, we have loved every one of their albums, and we love "Hall Musiken Igang!"

3097 CD $19.95

The Real Thing

Now, why do we love the Real Group so much? One of the many reasons is they have vocally mastered just about every music genre out there... and this CD proves just that! Many of these songs might be familiar to the die-hard Real Group fans out there, but unless you've seen them in concert you probably have not heard them sing their rockin' version of the Beatles' 'Ticket To Ride'or the beautiful melody and the lush background harmonies in 'Song From The Snow.' Also, when you purchase this CD you'll be treated to an additional disc that you can pop in your DVD player and watch them sing 'Ticket to Ride,' 'Splanky,' 'No More Blues' and a few other fun tunes, in a live recording! Don't miss this CD!

4757 CD $19.95

Get Real

A Korean import, this CD is similar to the Real Group's earlier release, 'Unreal,' with a few very exciting differences. If you've ever looked at their sheet music collection published by 'Walton,' you may have stumbled upon a song called 'How Come Its So Hard To Be The Way You Are?' If you've listened to a decent amount of their Swedish repertoire, you would have learned that the song is actually the English version of 'Varfor Far Man Inte Bara Vara Som Man Ar?' But where can you find the English version of this song? Look no further, its on 'Get Real.' A few other new highlights to this CD are a studio version of 'Strawberry Fields Forever,' their award-winning cover of 'Dancing Queen,' and you'll get to hear English lyrics added to 'For The One I Love.' All three of these additional tracks show off the group's virtuoso ability to create a vocal accompaniment that you will swear sounds more like other instruments rather than the human voice! While you may have heard many of the tracks on this CD before, this is a must have for all Real Group fans worldwide!

4754 CD $19.95

Commonly Unique

Sweden's Real Group began sixteen years ago, singing in Swedish. Subsequent recordings produced what some consider definitive versions of classic American jazz standards, as well as what became staples of the Real Group repertoire, such as "Chili Con Carne" and "Acappella in Acapulco." Their previous release, "One For All," saw the group focusing on original material, written in English. "Commonly Unique" continues the focus on self-written compositions, and though the unmistakable clarity and tone that instantly identifies their sound is there, this is just as much an adult contemporary record as it is jazz. The use of effects processing to enrich the sound, especially on the vocal percussion and bass, adds a modern edge and feel. "Substitute for Life," a commentary on the ill effects of television, melds a relentlessly cheery chorus with the dire incantation of the verse, all driven by an energetic trip-hop beat. "Thousand Things" will be a new Real Group classic, returning to warmly familiar jazz territory with an inspired melody and brisk tempo. The nuanced musing of "Stay" features a vocal trumpet, subtly marking the tonal landscape. Pretty ballads such as "Song Of Love," "Long Way To Go" and "Love And Let Go" are glossy pastiches, sweetly delectable and easy to digest. "Commonly Unique" is aptly titled, and will bring together both old and new fans of the most gifted a cappella vocal jazz group performing today.

Listen to "Thousand Things" in Real Audio.

4790 CD $15.98

One For All

The Real Group have set a standard, indeed the standard, as the royalty of a cappella vocal jazz. From their youthful beginnings at the Academy of Music in Stockholm, where they acquired the prodigious technical expertise that has since become their trademark, to their current reign as best-selling recording artists, the Real Group has earned widespread recognition and acclaim. In keeping with this tradition, they have released "One For All," containing fourteen mostly original songs, written and sung in proficient English. "I Sing, You Sing," about that song that you just can't seem to get out of your head (and it makes you crazy!) has a simple melody that outlines the triads in bell-like tones; like a nursery rhyme, it is easy to remember and impossible to forget. The ethereal "Three Poems" adapts the verse of Emily Dickinson, the traditional "Vem Kan Segla Fvrutan Vind" features a harmonica solo that compliments the melancholy melody. "One Summer" is one example of many that illustrates why the group is so successful: perfect pitch and arrangements that challenge and cajole the ear combine to produce a sound without compare. This is the vocal jazz release of the year.

Listen to "Splanky" in Real Audio.

4399 CD $15.98

Unreal

Whee! "The Flight Of The Foobirds" is chock full of delicious scat, "A Cappella In Acapulco" is not only alliteratively alluring but it will have your feet tapping for sure. "A Child Is Born" is nothing short of unreal! Hmm, there's a recording title there somewhere. The vocal trumpet on that one tune is plenty of reason enough to listen to Unreal! about a hundred times. It doesn't seem possible. What we have here is one of two cds released only for the Canadian and U.S. markets which includes some of the very finest of The Real Group. In addition to the dozen tunes sung in English, there are two Swedish folk songs. No, no, neither the Beatles nor Hoagy Carmichael is Swedish but Anders Edenroth is, and shares three originals with us including the aforementioned "A Cappella In Acapulco."

Listen to "I've Found a New Baby" in Real Audio

4394 CD $15.98

Live In Stockholm

Wah-wah-wa-wa-wahao, and so we dive into the beginning of "Splanky," that classic of wordless scat with the driving jazz chords which usually need the accompaniment of a big band to be so effective. Yow! Ok, ok, lets quiet it down with the subtle vocal intertwining of "When I Fall In Love." And now give them a medium tempo, combo feeling, with "Good Bait." Thus a great performance takes the audience though successive tempo changes, moods, and by a recording lets those of us who never had the chance to see the live Real Group experience that. They are so polished that it is easy to forget this is live until the end of each song reminds us of the audience. Every Real Group fan should have this one.

Listen to "Waltz For Debby" in Real Audio.

4397 CD $15.98

Original

When musicians totally create their own work rather interpret the songs others have written they naturally embellish their own harmonious strength. Thus it is on Original, in which the tunes are so naturally sung that they become as familiar as standards before they are finished the first time! That is the response of your enthusiastic reviewer who knows not a word of Swedish in which the songs are sung and the notes are written. There is a quiet beauty infusing this whole album which will beguile you into listening to it again and again.

4395 CD $15.98

Debut

This album is the first by The Real Group (recorded in 1987) as you might suspect from the title. It was recorded with two microphones straight to a two-track tape deck with no mix down. Amazing! They are already so good you won't realize that fact by the most critical listening. What dynamic balance! The original release was a vinyl edition of 2500. In 1995 that early recording was rereleased on cd and given the appropriate title, Debut. Of the thirteen tunes, three are sung in Swedish, while the rest are the types of familiar covers that we've come to expect, "All Of Me," "Misty," "Li'l Darlin'," "Night And Day," "As Time Goes By," "My Romance" and "Who Put The Bomp," among others. It's a must for anyone who is following the career of this extraordinary group.

4396 CD $15.98

Roster

As we join the Real Group this time we are treated to the Swedish version of Anders Edenroth's "A Cappella I Acapulco." Listen to the mouth popping percussion! Fabulous. On this album all the songs are sung in Swedish, which, for those of us who don't, is a perfect opportunity to just listen. No meaning to distract from sheer musical pleasure. Thus we are simply stunned by the impossibly beautiful vocal trumpet throughout "Somna Mitt Barn," hey wait a minute, is that a real trumpet? Even sans Swedish, the musical humor of "Styrman Karlssons ·ventyr Med Porslinspjsen" brings a smile. Great!

4392 CD $15.98

Varfor Far Man Inte Bara Vara Som Man Ar?

Again, we are behind in our Swedish lessons and must rely on our ears and hearts to enjoy this 1994 relaese. Do you realize that it's been ten years since the Real Group got together! It seems like only yesterday. Their horizons are continually expanding. That title track is rock 'n roll or my name isn't This Reviewer. Hey who slipped in the piano on that one track? That sounds suspiciously like Maurice Chevalier. Familiar to our ears are "Dancing Queen." The total scat and bass rendition of "The Flight Of The Foo-Birds" is extra special! "Boogie-Woogie Tango" in Swedish? Yes, right here!

Listen to "Flight of the Foo-Birds" in Real Audio.

4393 CD $15.98

Ready, Willing & Mabel: Busy Line

can you hear the mannnnnnnn sound?
Fascinating Rhythm/Steppin' Out With My Baby
The Shadow Of Your Smile
April In Paris
Seaside rendezvous
My Funny Valentine
Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye
Let's Go To Brazil/The Gift!
The Lark In The Clear air
Blue Skies
The Night We Called It A Day
Rhythm Is Our Business
Maybe You'll Be There
Where Do You Start?
Busy Line
Some Other Time

"Busy Line" is the second excellent album by talented, mixed voice (2 men, 2 women) Vocal Jazz group R,W&M, who first came on to our radar with their wonderful set at the 2005 Harmony Sweeps Bay Area Regional. The LA-based retro quartet, who have been singing together since 2003, feature lead Caroline Mclean, alto Kate Walker, tenor Peter Neushul and bass Jim Campbell has taken the place of fellow "chord freak" Robert Clark. 15 nostalgic favorites, beginning with a "Fascinating Rhythm/Steppin' Out with My Baby" medley, the Gershwins' haunting "Shadow of Your Smile" from "The Sandpiper," Freddie Mercury's big fun Roaring 20s reprise "Seaside Rendezvous," Cole Porter's "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye," and another nice medley, "Let's Go to Brazil/The Gift," which has some non-vocal percussion and bass, and Cahn, Chaplin & Lunceford's "Rhythm is Our Business" is big band-accompanied. Irving Berlin's upbeat "Blue Skies," Bloom & Gallup's bluesy "Maybe You'll Be There" and Leonard Bernstein's "Some Other Time" round out the program. Murray Semos and Frank Stanton's title tune has some non-vocal bass and percussion, and Mandel and Bergman's "Where Do You Start" has some bluenote Saxophone. An entertaining, authentic (even down to the vintage clothing worn by the group in the liner notes pix), sweet-harmonied trip to another era from Ready, Willing & Mabel!

Listen to "Some Other Time" in RealAudio.

2511 CD $14.95

Riltons Vanner: Har ar Passion

Langtar till Sommarn
Har ar Passion
Folket fran Ea
Kyss mig varm
Argument
Poesi for snabbmatskulur
Inga ord
Varldens Starkaste Man
Schack Matt
Brinner av Langtan
Nar du ler

Oh, to be young, beautiful, and a member of the hottest Swedish a cappella ensemble since the Real Group, Rilton's Vanner (Rilton's Friends)! First formed five years ago in Stockholm by five high school friends (3 women, 2 men) merely "singing for fun," they are now one of the most well known groups in Sweden—and the rest of the world is quickly becoming aware because of excellent CDs like "Kompis." Their music ranges from jazz standards and pop covers, but their main focus is their own music. "Har ar passion" (Here is Passion) is their third album, 11 songs consisting solely of music and lyrics especially written for the group. Live performances at festivals in Sweden and Germany, a visit to Washington and New York, and a tour of Sweden with a newly produced show has gained the quintet a host of new fans. The songs, like "Langtar till sommarn," the title tune, "Poesi for snabbmatskultur," "Inga ord," "Schack matt" and "Brinner av langtan" are all in Swedish except for "Argument." Comparisons to the Real Group in sheer listening enjoyment are well-founded. Innovative, complex arrangements are effortlessly followed; and the group's precise, clean sound is as rewarding on first listen as on subsequent appreciative returns. "Kompis" was outstanding, "Har ar passion" is even better, and with "Vanner" like these, can international stardom be far off? One of the best CDs we've heard this year.

Listen to "Har ar Passion" in Real Audio.

4632 CD $14.98

Riltons Vanner: Kompis

Riltons Vanner is an a cappella group of five good-looking 19 and 20-year-olds (3 women and 2 men), based in Stockholm, Sweden. They started singing together in November, 1999, are named after their soft-deep bass Sebastian Rilton, and "Kompis" (Friend), released in May, is their first CD. For a group so young, Riltons has had three sold-out concerts at the Swedish Musical Academy, performed on German television (representing the "choral Sweden" ) and given over 100 live performances. Two things amazed us listening to "Kompis:" first, the the clean, super-in-tune sound of the group; and second, the excellent new songs and arrangements by non-groupmember Peter Bjorklund. With wonderful harmonies and crisp leads that make the hairs on the back of your neck tingle, not unlike their compatriots The Real Group, "Kompis" is a stunning, impressive first CD. While eight of the ten songs are in Swedish, we especially liked the two in charmingly accented English, "Lucky" and "Cruise for a while." Leaving the Stockholm Music Gymnasium as virtuosos last spring, Riltons is climbing fast in the Swedish a cappella world, and we would like to do our part to help them climb in the rest of the a cappella world by absolutely recommending "Kompis!"

Listen to "O'boy" in Real Audio.

4504 CD $15.98

Sixth Wave: Happy Madness

Headlock
Life's Too Good To Sing The Blues
Another Grey Morning
West Point
This Happy Madness
Verlieben Verlieren
Meet Us (intro)
Love Will Keep Us Together
Nessun Dorma
This Joint Is Jumpin'
Kindred Souls (Cerebral Thoughts)
VoiceDance IV
You Haven't Done Nothin'
Oh How Beautiful This Finely Woven Earth

It was a quick jump for these 3 men and 3 women from Los Angeles from the founding of their Vocal Jazz group in 1999 to realizing their dream of appearing in the Harmony Sweepstakes competition. Sixth Wave won the 2001 L.A. Harmony Sweeps Regionals, and then they found themselves on the stage of the National Finals in San Rafael, where they performed an incredible set and were named Harmony Sweeps National Champions! A pair of excellent CDs followed, "Sixth Wave" and "It Will Come to You," and now we hold their long-awaited third album, "Happy Madness" in our hot little hands. Fourteen songs, and it's not easy to pick favorites. We'll start with the title tune, the New-York-jazzy "This Happy Madness," a bubbly, crazy, romantic delight; the surprising, joyful "Verlieben, Verlieren," sung in perfect German, a pair of nice original by group member Jennifer Barnes, "Life's Too Good to Sing the Blues" and the surprising, brilliant "Meet Us (Intro);" James Taylor's sublime "Another Grey Morning;" the moody "Kindred Souls (Cerebral Thoughts)," with lyrics by Jennifer, a scattish arrangement of "This Joint is Jumpin';" a pair of originals by group member Greg Jasperse, "Voice Dance IV" and "Oh How Beautiful This Finely Woven Earth;" and a wonderfully arranged cover of Stevie Wonder's "You Haven't Done Nothin'." "Happy Madness" is a joyous little jazz masterpiece from one of our favorite mixed-voice Vocal Jazz sextets!

Listen to "This Happy Madness" in Real Audio.

7678 CD $15.95

Soundsation: In My Life

Kirk Marcy is one of the members of the vocal jazz foursome, "Just For Kicks." When not touring as a performer, he teaches, and directs the mixed voice jazz group, Soundsation, of which he was a former member himself. Standards, such as Gershwin's "Love Walked In" and Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" are matched by the boppin' scat of "Lemon Drop" and the contemporary and sensual cool of "You're Everything," written by Corea/Potter, and arranged by Michele Weir. The enigmatic Pat Methany composition, "Minuano," beginning with long, open vowels, gradually increases intensity by clipping the note values and shifting the vowels forward. Yumiko Matsuoka Young's velvety "Danny Boy" and the "William Tell Overture" are a cappella (most of the cuts are accompanied).

5432 CD $15.98

The Singers Unlimited

Magic Voices

A seven CD collection containing everything the group recorded in their history save for their Christmas material, these recordings are a tour of the best that vocal jazz has to offer in terms of arrangement, composition and performance. Bonnie Herman, Len Dresslar, Don Shelton and of course the illustrious Gene Puerling, to whom we owe these magnificent arrangements, left a legacy that is unmatched to this moment. The arrangements are frequently a backdrop for Bonnie's voice, but sometimes, as on "Here's That Rainy Day," the tenor voice takes the lead for a section or line. There's no set prescription. What to take to a desert island? Grab this box set and a lawn chair and push off! Endless hours of listening pleasure await you.

4205 7-CD SET $99.98

The Complete A Cappella Sessions

Both Sides Now
London By Night
Here There And Everywhere
Lullabye
Michelle
The Fool On The Hill
Emily
Since You Asked
More I Cannot Wish You
Try To Remember
Clair
Killing Me Softly With His Song
Yesterday
My Romance
Lost In The Stars
April In Paris
Girl Talk
Nature Boy
I Don't Know Where I Stand
Autumn in New York
Like Someone In Love
Indian Summer
Anything Goes
The Way We Were
One More Time Chuck Corea
Sweet Lorraine
Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair
Someone To Light Up My Life
Love Is Here To Stay
The Entertainer
All The Things You Are
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
I Wish You Love

It doesn't get any better than this! After years of being available only on the box set here is a 2 CD release of all 33 a cappella recordings (not including Christmas) of quite probably the best vocal jazz group ever. The arrangements of Gene Puerling are simply exquisite and his ability to transform a song to completely new heights is astounding. We carry many thousands of a cappella CDs and this release is, in our opinion, the most essential CD for the collection of any serious fan of a cappella music!

Listen to Autumn in New York and Michelle in Real Audio.

7612 2CDs $29.95

In Tune

A Classic Reissued! Legendary vocal group The Singers Unlimited, for their third album on Germany's MPS label, recorded a collaboration with the Oscar Peterson Trio. Grammy-winning arranger Gene Puerling wrote the charts and the musicians recorded this remarkable session in 1971 at the storied Villingen studios in the Black Forest. The-then latest breakthroughs in studio technology, and the masterful engineer and MPS Records owner Hans Georg Brunner-Schwer, allowed the artists to overdub vocals creating the layered vocals the Singers Unlimited are famous for. Using a sixteen-track deck Brunner-Schwer had bought for the occasion, the group layered on chords, melody lines and solos which we often sung in four or eight part pieces that were later assembled almost magically. The CD sleeve includes rare photos from the session plus both the original LP liner notes and extensive new notes, including many new quotes from Puerling, by noted jazz musicologist James Gaven. A gem of a recording!

Listen to Sesame Street in Real Audio.

4753 CD $11.98

Christmas

This 1972 recording continues to set musical precedent almost thirty years later. The combined voices of Don Shelton, Len Dresslar, Bonnie Herman and Gene Puerling are a sound so distinctive and recognizable that they have yet to be improved. From the six Alfred Burt carols to "Deck The Halls," "Good King Wenceslas" and Oh, Come All Ye Faithful," each song is beautifully constructed, a marriage of the traditional with the inimitable personality of Gene Puerling's arrangements. The result is accessible enough for the mainstream listener, and will also satisfy those hungry for heartier fare. Bonnie Herman frequently assumes the lead vocal duties, as on "Carol For Russian Children," her warm tone a sunbeam on a wintry day - listen to the pedal note (uncharacteristically in the treble part) she holds during the coda - amazing color and control. One of our most recommended selections.

4203 CD $14.98

Stripped: Breaking Boundries

Strip It Downr
Flavaday
Lullaby Moon
Bring It, Life!
I Don't Wanna Be Kissed
All Good That Ends Well

"Breaking" is the debut album of three-woman, two-man quintet Stripped, who have performed their dynamic original vocal jazz music throughout Chicago, receiving awards at the Chicago Cultural Center Cx2 competition and at the 2004 Harmony Sweeps Regionals. Of these seven original tunes, the breathless, scattish "Strip It Down," "Flavaday," the moody, mysterious "Lullaby Moon," the funny, manic "I Don't Want to be Kissed" and the bluesy "All Good That Ends Well" are all written and composed by group member Sean Archer; "Its Time" and "Bring It, Life!" are written and composed by group member Mariama Torruella. Stripped has a wonderfully sophisticated, smooth sound with complex, sometimes dissonant harmonies that are effortlessly nailed by these talented singers. "Breaking Boundaries" is a fine debut recording, some of the best vocal jazz and original material we have heard in a long time. If you love fresh, intense vocal jazz, put on Stripped, and your seatbelt!

Listen to "Strip it Down" in RealAudio.

7651 CD $10.95

SoVoSo

Winners of the 1997 Harmony Sweepstakes, and recipients of the 1997 CARA for Studio Album of the Year, SoVoSo is one of the hottest groups in a vocal jazz cappella today. (Profile)

World Jazz A Cappella

First Words
Say
Show Them Dance
Thank You
People Get Ready
Tu Para Mi
Dirt
That Day
Wa Wa Wa
Home
Fop
U
Down By the Riverside
Say A Prayer

1997 Harmony Sweepstakes Winners, SoVoSó also won the CARA that same year in the category Studio Album Of The Year. The majority of the six members had been singing together for ten years or so, since being members in Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra. In fact "Dirt" the six movement, twenty plus minute marvel of improvisation was written by McFerrin and SoVoSo as a dance score for the Oberlin Dance Co. of San Francisco. This reviewer particularly loves Melanie Rath's "Show Them Dance," David Worm's "Say", Joey Blake's "Tu Para MÌ" and Rhiannon's "Say A Prayer." Oh heck, all of them!

Listen to Show Them Dance, Down By the Riverside and People Get Ready in Real Audio:

2700 CD $14.98

Seasonings

Anyone who lights up their days of the Holiday Season with vocal music (and especially those who saw the group at the West Coast Summit and Sweeps Finals) must have SoVoSo's latest release, "Seasonings." This world-renowned ensemble has mixed together a wonderful recipe of songs that span their diverse cultural and rhythmic background, from a jazzy swing version of "Drummer Boy," a worldly chant of "O Come Emmanuel," and a classic and soaring "O Holy Night" with original songs that include Joey Blake's infectious "Holiday Season" and Sunshine Becker's portrait of the holiday Southwest style in "Christmas in Questa." The magic and light of the holidays are truly captured on this special and much awaited CD.

Listen to "Holiday Season" in Real Audio.

2730 CD $14.98

Bridges

Serengeti rhythms, New Orleans style funk, Jamaican reggae dubs...SoVoSo's brand new release, entitled Bridges, spans the musical globe, transporting the listener across traditional cultures to a contemporary, one-village world of human harmony. You'll be dancing to a tribal beat one minute and closing your eyes to take in a soulful ballad the next. With titles like "Big Family," "Precious," "For I Am TheMoon," "New Groove," "Charity," "Build A Bridge," and "Say," (a remix),this all-original, genre-blending collection includes gospel-flavored R&B, rock and soul ballads, jazz riffs and spoken word poetry over African rhythms. SoVoSo forges thoughtful lyrical territory, from love songs to anthems calling us toward our universal humanity, all rendered in superlative musicianship through the fundamentally human instrument -the voice. Bridges clearly places SoVoSo on the map at the cutting edge of world-soul-beat music. Don't miss the latest from one of the most innovative a cappella groups on the planet.

Listen to Say, Big Family and Build A Bridge in Real Audio.

2720 CD $14.98


Truth And Other Stories  

What happens when you get six lead singers to perform in one group? You get SoVoSo. Each of the individual musical personalities take their turns expressing themselves with the total support of the other singers. Unheard of! Amazing! And just plain wow! "Be Of Love" is David Worm's opening tune. I would pick Joey Blake's "Thank You For The Dream" as his representative composition but notice has to be taken of the fact that he wrote and arranged "Life and Love" which Sunshine Garcia has made her own. Melanie Rath's pure soprano swoops, dives and scats through Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue." Rhiannon presents her autobiographical, "In My Prime." And finally, Nicholas Blake leaves us with a soulful, "Clear Winter Skies." In the vernacular, it don't get any better than this!

Listen to "Gift of Music" , "Life & Love" and Thank You for the Dream in Real Audio.

2710 CD $14.98


The Swingle Singers

This "classical jazz" British ensemble is still delighting audience after more than 30 years. These eight talented vocalists move effortlessly from organ fugues to orchestral overtures, from big band favorites to piano pieces all sung without accompaniment as well as performing original arrangements of pop classics and folk tunes. (Profile)

Ferris Wheels

Unravel
Both Sides Now
On the 4th of July
L'ete 42
River Man
Until (A Matter of Moments)
Elanor Rigby
No More "I Love You's"
Flying High/ Wake Me Up When September Ends
Summer Soft
Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel)
God Only Knows

The Swingles, the mixed-voice world-class, multiple Grammy-winning, legendary a cappella octet from London and one of our favorite Vocal Jazz groups of all time, originally broke into the Jazz scene of 1963 because of Ward Swingle's innovation. He handed his group of session singers charts for an instrumental, Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier," which led to their double Grammy hit album "Bach's Greatest Hits." There is this kind of innovation and artistry on "Ferris Wheels," which comes from the Joni Mitchell hit "Both Sides Now" ("Moons and Junes and Ferris Wheels, the dizzy, dancing way you feel"), the second of 12 wonderfully crafted songs on the album. The ethereal "Unravel," James Taylor's lazy-day, bluesy "On the 4th of July," the exquisite French adaption of the theme from "Summer of '42," "L'Ete 42," Nick Drake's stunning bluenote "River Man," Sting's powerful, waltzlike "Until," and a symphonic arrangement of Lennon/McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby" by group member Kevin Fox (who also sings lead on it). David Freeman and Joseph Hughs' "No More I Love Yous," Stevie Wonder's "Summer Soft," Billy Joel's "Goodnight My Angel" and Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows" are all beautifully arranged and performed. "Ferris Wheels" is a masterpiece by the Swingles that touches and satisfies on many levels. One of the best Jazz/Pop albums of the year and highly recommended!

Listen to "Flying High/ Wake Me Up When September Ends" in RealAudio.

2134 CD $15.95

Beauty and the Beatbox

A Fifth of Beethoven
Spain (I Can Recall)
Dido's Lament
It's Sand, Man!
Adagio in G Minor
Bolero
Cielito Lindo
Straighten Up and Fly Right
Piano Concerto No 21, 2nd mvt
Gotcha (Theme from 'Starsky & Hutch')
Bachbeat

After 44 years of performing in concert and recording, the 2007 version of the Swingles are often asked how the group has changed. The answer is, slowly and naturally they have begun to add vocal percussion, which has made an exciting and indispensable impact on their live shows - and now on "Beauty and the Beatbox," the first Swingles disc where every track contains vocal percussion or human beatboxing. Shlomo, awe-inspiring beatboxer and a great friend of the group who was invited to join the group for an appearance at the London Jazz Festival in 2006, has a major and exciting presence on the album. Included in these 11 tracks are longtime Swingles favorites like "A Fifth of Beethoven, which segues into disco samples (LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade" and the BeeGees' "Stayin' Alive"), "Spain," "Adagio in G Minor," "Bolero," "Cielito Lindo," a hot cover of "Straighten Up and Fly Right" (which has some very fine faux horns), and "Piano Concerto No. 21, 2nd mvt." Besides adding a rich bass dimension to the sweet Swingles leads, Shlomo's beatboxing adds a fresh, irreverent, sassy note to this familiar material that we find very appealing—this is fun, sexy, jazzy, let-it-all-hang-out stuff. Listen to the Starsky & Hutch theme "Gotcha," Ward Swingle's arrangement of Lambert, Hendricks & Lewis's "It's Sand, Man!", and the final cut, the dynamic "Bachbeat," to get a taste of the funky, tasty new Swingles.

Listen to "A Fifth of Beethoven" in RealAudio.

7639 CD $17.95

Retrospective

Fugue in D Minor (from 'The Art of Fugue' BWV 1080 by J.S. Bach)
Air (from Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major BWV 1068 by J.S. Bach)
Largo (from Harpsichord Concerto in F minor BWV 1056 by J.S. Bach)
Badinerie (from Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor BWV 1067 by J.S. Bach)
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik Op. K.525 by W.A. Mozart:
-Allegro
-Romanze
-Menuetto
-Rondo
En Aranjuez con tu amor (based on mvt. 2 of 'Concierto de Aranjuez' by J. Rodrigo)
Tango in D major (No. 2 from 'Espana' Op. 165 by I. Albeniz)
Romanza Espanola
Just One of Those Things (by C. Porter)
Fascinatin' Rhythm (by G. Gershwin / B. Russo / J. Hendricks)
Sinfonia (from Partita No. 2 in C minor BWV 826 by J.S. Bach)
Solfeggietto (Wq. 117/2 by C.P.E. Bach)
Dejeuner sur l'herbe (by Pascal Zavaro)

This recording is a celebration of forty years of arguably the world's most famous and longest-running a cappella group. The current mixed-voice octet has gone back to its roots, teaming up with a world-class jazz rhythm section for this live CD to recreate both the look and sound of the original Swingles as it performs the greatest hits of the 60s and 70s, beginning and ending, of course with the composer on whose music the group was founded, J.S. Bach. The first part of the program includes 4 Bach gems, then 4 from Mozart's "Ein Kleine Nachtmusik and 3 Spanish romantic pieces like J. Rodrigo's "En Aranjuez con tu amor." Marvelous arrangements of Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things" and Gershwin's "Fascinating Rhythm" delight us and the crowd. We get a glimpse of the Swingle's future, "Dejeuner sur l'herbe" by Parisian composer Pascal Zavaro, who is currently writing an opera with the group. As always, breathtaking, brilliant stuff from the Swingles! Highly recommended.

4530 CD $15.98

Unwrapped

The Swingle Singers are comfortable in many musical genres, particularly jazz and salsa, and "Unwrapped," their second holiday album, showcases this versatility. The free-flowing, almost scattish jazz interpretation of classical music that first made them famous is evident on Corelliss "Christmas Concerto," while Darke's "In the Bleak Midwinter" is more traditional a cappella. Different, but equally powerful interpretations are given to classic Christmas songs and carols: a sexy "Santa Baby," "Let it Snow," a slow, jazzy "Away In A Manger" and John Lennon's "Happy Christmas (War is Over)." Other beloved tunes, "Christmas Song," "River," "Walking in the Air," "Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!" "O Tannenbaum," "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," "Carol of the Drum," "Amazing Grace," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Last Christmas," and "Hotaru no Hikari" are like reaching into our stocking and finding more and more cool presents. A gift to yourself or loved ones should be "Unwrapped!"

Listen to "Christmas Song " in RealAudio.

4540 CD $15.98

Live in Japan

The Swingle Singers, Ann De Renais, soprano 1, Joanna Forbes, soprano 2, Sarah Simmonds, Alto 1, Wendy Nieper, alto 2, Andrew Gray, Tenor 1, Richard Eteson, Tenor 2, Jeremy Sadler, Bass 1 and Patrick Ardagh-Walter, Bass 2, and this is another of their very popular live albums. We can feel ourselves in the audience in December 2000, the elusive "tingle factor" in the air, as the group takes 21 classic tunes and proceeds to nail them, as only the Swingles can, one by one: "September Song," "Alabama Song," "Mack The Knife," "Someone's Rocking My Dreamboat," "Largo," "Badinerie," "Air on the G String," "Ticket to Ride," Procul Harum's "Whiter Shade Of Pale," "Ave Maria," "The Fool on the Hill," Queen's amazing "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Little Drummer Boy," "Away in a Manger," "Christmas Medley," "Amazing Grace," "White Christmas," "Intro to 1812 Overture," "1812 Overture," "September Song," "Thank You" and "Theme from Mission Impossible." Great music, incomparable singing!

Listen to "Bohemian Rhapsody" or "Mack the Knife"

4460 CD $15.98

Keyboard Classics

A compilation recording featuring the best of Swingles' past and present. The Swingles are a top attraction at concert halls throughout the world, and their purely vocal arrangements of famous works from composers such as J.S. Bach, Handel, Mozart, Vivaldi, Brahms, Beethoven and Satie are a Swingles trademark. They were a sensation when the group first popularized the concept in the 1960's. Half of the arrangements on this CD are by founder Ward Swingle, including "Fugue In D Minor" and "Clair De Lune," with the remainder balanced between Ben Parry, Jonathan Rathbone, Mark Williams, Andrew Gray and current musical director, Joanna Forbes. The four male and four female voices that animate these hallmarks of European classical tradition have a modern grace and elegance, and the sound is spacious, open and fluid. These are new a cappella recorded versions of the classic repertoire.

Listen to "Fugue" or "Largo"

4315 CD $15.98

Ticket To Ride

A delightful concept: the Swingle Singers do an Irving Berlin theme album! We were able to obtain this European release on import. Produced in 1996, there are twenty songs, of which sixteen were previously unreleased in the U.S. Mostly accompanied, these arrangements really swing, though some, such as "Steppin' Out With My Baby," rely on the Swingles' patented ability to orchestrate using their voices only (save for an effusive solo sax passage). "Let Yourself Go" is a modern interpretation that cuts up the rug with a disco beat; "What'll I Do" is true to its period, conveying the grace and romance of Berlin's early twentieth century with its cultured vocal. Berlin was one of the most successful American composers of our era (though born in Russia, he came to America at the age of five), and his influence cannot be overstated. Likewise, the Swingles have had a similar impact on the world of a cappella.

Listen to or "Ticket to Ride"

3355 CD $15.98

Mood Swings

The Swingles' discography boasts a stylistic diversity unmatched by any other a cappella group--from Mozart to madrigals, Bach to the Beatles, folk songs to fugues and film themes, but "Mood" focuses on their forte: jazz. These eight gifted singers have a symbiotic relationship with some of the best arrangers in the world, Ward Swingle, Bertrand Groeger, Alexander L'Estrange, Jonathan Rathbone and others. "Mood" begins with Miles Davis's "So What," which is followed by a brilliant selection of 1960s Latin jazz, "Surfboard," Jobim's "Insensatez" and "The Girl From Ipanema" (The best version we've heard), and "Milonga del Angel." Three moody jazz ballads, "A Time For Love," "The Peacocks" and "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" follow. Then three Richard Rodgers classics, "Have You Met Miss Jones?," "My Funny Valentine" and "The Lady Is A Tramp." Then come four classic 30s and 40s standards: "Just One of those Things," "My Foolish Heart," "All The Things You Are" and "It Don't Mean A Thing," finishing with Quincy Jones' 1966 hit, "Soul Bossa Nova" (from Austin Powers). Our favorite is the stunning 60s Latin Jazz section, which we hope they devote a whole CD to, but every song is a finely-crafted jewel. "Mood Swings" swings us into a jazz mood and never lets us go. Listen to the vocal trumpet solo on "The Lady Is a Tramp"--it's almost unnecessary, because the soprano voices are already doing soaring jazz trumpet riffs throughout the song. This is breathtaking proof of our contention that the Swingles are the best at whatever style they choose to sing simply perfect! Highly recommended.

Listen to It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Don't Got that Swing), or Soul Bossa Nova, and The Girl from Ipanema in Real Audio:

4470 CD $15.98


Jazz Sebastian Bach

This is it! The original Les Swingle Singers, arranged and conducted by Ward Swingle. Half of this rerelease was from the l963 recording which won a Grammy for "Best Performance by a Chorus." The first Jazz Sebastian Bach was a 1968 album called Bach's Greatest Hits here in the US where Les Swingles won a Grammy in the category "Best New Artist." You'll find over sixty-five minutes of jazz/Bach sung with only the bass and drum (mostly snare) to accentuate rhythm. They became world renown because scat is an understandable language everywhere in it. None of Bach's work has been changed, not a note added or taken away! This is not improvisation (though two pieces were transposed to accommodate vocal range).

6206 CD $15.98

Story of Christmas

Primarily A Cappella is proud to be re-releasing the ever-popular Swingle Singers recording of "The Story Of Christmas". Formerly out of print, the continued demand for this recording is extraordinary, and a tribute to thjis English group about which the Los Angeles Times extolled "Everything about the Swingles is flawless". They take a collection of traditional carols and hymns ("The Boar's Head Carol, And Is It True?") and mix it with some modern songs (Jester Hairston's "Mary's Boy Child") to tell the story of Christmas. This is a well thought out arrangement of songs to tell the tale that we know so well with interesting and varied songss work.

Listen to "Carol Medley" and "I Believe in Father Christmas" in Real Audio.

6250 CD $14.98

Syncopation: Wonderful You

Breakout
I Can Fly
Wonderful You (Big Chill)
High and Dry
Invisible War
Broken Wings
Betcha By Golly, Wow
Getaway
Both Sides Now

Mixed Vocal Jazz quartet Syncopation represented Boston well at the recent Harmony Sweeps Finals in San Rafael, CA, winning a strong ovation from the sellout crowd for songs like the sweet, soaring "High and Dry," which is here on "Wonderful You." There are 9 songs here, our favorites are the a cappella songs, Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" and the aforementioned "High and Dry." Of the others, "Invisible War," lightly piano-accompanied, is very nice, as are the more heavily accompanied songs "Breakout," "I Can Fly," the title tune (from The Big Chill), Lennon/McCartney's "Broken Wings" the Motown tune "Betcha By Golly, Wow" and "Getaway." Beautiful leads, harmonies and arrangements, but let us once again make it clear that "Wonderful You" is mostly an accompanied album.

Listen to "High and Dry" in Real Audio.

7665 CD $14.95

Three Hits and a Miss: Sing, Sing, Swing

Jody Briskey, Rob Dorn, Jerry Elbernd and JP Fitzgibbons, missionaries of "high fidelity harmony" are determined to preserve the music of the 1940s and 50s with fresh, new recordings. In 12 (accompanied) fun covers, they tip their hats to the Pied Pipers, Merry Macs, Modernaires, Rosemary Clooney ("Mambo Italiano") and the Lettermen ("Canadian Sunset" and L-O-V-E). There's a great "Radio Cavalcade/Glow worm/Mairzy Doats" medley. Other favorites: "I'll Never Smile Again," "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," "I Got Rhythm/It Don't Mean A Thing" and "Memories of You." This CD is a swinging, foot-tapping good time!

4488 CD $14.98

Three Hits and a Miss: Mixing It Up

Minnesota-based Swing/Pop/Jazz quartet 3 Hits and a Miss, founded in 1995, really come into their vocal power with "Mixing," their third excellent CD. Return with us now to the 1940s (covers of the Turtles' "Happy Together," the 5th Dimensions' "Up, Up and Away/Aquarius," the Mamas and the Papas' "California Dreamin'" and Lennon/McCartney's "Nowhere Man" and "Got to Get You Into My Life" notwithstanding)--this is wonderfully crafted "high-fidelity" harmony. The afore-mentioned covers fit in beautifully because they have the kind of beautiful melodies that could have been hits in the 40s. All accompanied, these 12 hits just keep on comin': "Bounce Me Brother with a Solid Four/Four," "Pop Goes the Weasel," "Goody Goody," "Glow Worm," "Dream" and bonus track, Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land." This CD is big fun from start to finish, and 3 Hits and a Miss are having it--they prove that they can sing with the best of any musical period!

4518 CD $14.98

The Gang: Urban Voices:

Urban Voices, three men and two women from Switzerland, have brought us a strikingly impressive debut jazz CD here. Much of the content is composed by members of the group and the arrangements, as intricate and complex as those of a state-of-the-art instrumental band, tailor-made to fit the singers. Among the vocal percussion sounds is the sharp sound of a hi hat, giving UV a trademark jazz sound, to go with some of the best vocal "horns" we've heard. 12 songs: "City Lights," "How Insensitive," the title tune, "When I Fall In Love," "On The Run," "The Sky so High," "En Eranjuez Con Tu Amor," "Lullaby," "Superheroes," "Almost There," "My Foolish Heart" and "WYSIWYG--DJ Micri Remix." "The Gang" shows Urban Voices to be, seemingly effortlessly, in the company of such greats as Manhattan Transfer, the NY Voices and Vox One. And like Vox One's "Chameleon," you'll find yourself listening to it again and again to truly appreciate what the singers are doing. Amazing and highly recommended!

Listen to "The Gang" in Real Audio.

4513 CD $15.98

UNC Vocal Jazz Groups: Hot XI: Signed, Sealed, & Delivered

Renowned director Gene Aitken is considered one of the most exciting and energetic educators and clinicians today, and his Jazz Studies Program at the University of Northern Colorado has received a Grammy nomination and more Down Beat magazine awards and National Endowment for the Arts grants than any other institution. The 3-man, 2-women Axidentals perform with a very hot 5-piece jazz ensemble, but they also have several fine a cappella cuts on "Hot XI," including Rodgers & Hart's "My Heart Stood Still," Mark Murphy's "Gone," "It Don't Mean a Thing," and Duke Ellington's "Come Sunday." All woman jazz quartet Sus 4 also perform "Invitation" and "Love for Sale" with 5-piece jazz accompaniment. Two man, 3 woman a cappella jazz ensemble Et Cetera's "Paradise," "Old Man River" and a cover of the Average White Band's "Pick Up The Pieces" are other favorites. An excellent collection from some of the best Collegiate jazz groups in the country!

7642 CD $14.95

UNC Vocal Jazz Groups: Hot XII: Dancing Particles

The University of North Colorado in Greeley's choice of renowned educator and clinician Gene Aitken as Director of their Jazz Studies Program was a very, very good move, leading to an unprecedented Grammy nomination and more Down Beat magazine awards and National Endowment for the Arts grants than any other institution. Featured here are his 3-man, 2-woman Axidentals, performing here with some jazz ensemble accompaniment on P. Winter's title tune (arranged by Randy Crenshaw), "Soul With a Capital "S," and Rodgers & Hammerstein's "My Favorite Things;" but also a cappella on the traditional "Shenandoah," Anders Edenroth's "Chile Con Carne" and the scattish "There'll Never Be Another You." Two man, 3 woman a cappella jazz ensemble Et Cetera's "For the Beauty of the Earth," which soars into surprising directions, and a cover of Sting's "Seven Days" follow. All woman jazz quartet Sus 4 close with B. Dorough's upbeat, accompanied "I've Got Just About Everything" and the moody, a cappella "You Don't Know What Love Is." "Hot XII" is everything we've come to expect fro the UNC Jazz Studies Program, top-quality, well-chosen, beautifully performed and directed, Collegiate Jazz!

7641 CD $14.95

UNC Vocal Jazz Groups: Hot V:

"Hot V" is a mostly accompanied collection of 10 tunes by the award-winning University of Northern Colorado's 2-man, 2-woman Jazz quartet, the Axidentals. Three very nice a cappella selections, Jeremy Lubbock's "Goodbye Love" and "Not Like This," and "How Do You Keep The Music Playing" are standouts. Accompanied favorites are Richie Cole's "New York Afternoon," Gene Puerling's "Gotcha," Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad," Al Jarreau's "Easy" and a powerful live cover of "Waitin' For the Robert E. Lee." Every one of these Roman numeral-numbered collections from Aitken's UNC program has been a spirited, entertaining, beautifully-recorded winner, some of the best Collegiate Jazz we've heard!

7643 CD $14.95

UNC Vocal Jazz Groups: Hot XIII: It Ain't Necessarily So

The University of Northern Colorado is one of the most well respected educational centers for vocal jazz studies thanks to the efforts of Gene Aitken, the director of the program since 1976. You will not believe that these are all "students" for their singing is so good and the arrangements so sophisticated it doesn't seem possible, even though it is true. The bulk of the album, 14 of the 17 tracks, is sung by Et Cetera a mixed sextet. Though jazz predominates with such selections as "For The One I Love" and "As Rain" by Anders Edenroth of the Real Group or "One More Time Chuck Corea" by Gene Puerling, there is a strong rock 'n roll presence. The final three tunes were recorded live by a larger jazz chorus, Vocal Jazz I. Discover this one! It's a sleeper.

4797 CD $14.98

Velvet Voices: Essence

Come Together
Don't Get Around Much Anymore
With Every Breath I Take
Try to Remember
Quarter to Five
You Take my Breath Away
Stop
Somewhere over the Rainbow
A Child is Born
Essence
It's Raining Men
Surprise

Founded in 2002, all-women Dutch vocal jazz quartet Velvet Voices has been appearing in some serious European and international events, like the 2003 Voice Mania in Vienna, the Jeunesse—the largest German a cappella festival in Munich), and they won the Jazz Gold at the international "Ward Swingle Awards." There are 11 finely-crafted tunes on "Essence," the group's 5th excellent album, some wonderful covers like Lennon/McCartney's "Come Together," Duke Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," Cy Coleman's "With every breath I take," Freddie Mercury's "You take my breath away," Brown, Sutton and Brody's "Stop," a fine faux trumpet solo on Harold Arlen's "Somewhere over the rainbow," Jones and Wilder's "A child is born," and Paul Jabara and Paul Shaffer's "It's raining man." There's also a pair of very nice originals by group member Gerda, the moody "Try to remember" and "Quarter to five," and one original by group member Monika, the title tune. Each of these beautiful young women can easily sing perfect solos and leads, so even a difficult, dissonant piece like "A child is born" comes off as effortless, and the harmonies are clean, sharp and on perfect pitch. Even a powerful rocker like "It's raining man," which is reprised as a surprise bonus cut with amped-up vocal percussion, is cleanly nailed both times with no sweat. The voices here are so perfect, the sound so effortlessly clean, we had to listen to it again just to fully appreciate it. "Essence" is a gift for the ears by the Velvet Voices, who have, in a very short time, risen to a level attained by only a few elite Vocal Jazz groups, like the Real Group, Vox One and the Swingle Singers. Treat yourself to one of the best of the year!

Listen to "With Every Breath I Take" in Real Audio.

2507 CD $15.95

Vocalogy: Distilled

Dry Cleaner From Des Moines
Black Orpheus
Oh Darlin'
Nutville
Some Other Time
Just Friends
It Could Happen To You
It Could Happen To You
Theme From Piano Concerto #2
Groove Merchant
Old Friends
Time Is A Healer
Dodger Blue

"Arising from an artist-in-residency program under Grammy-nominee Phil Mattson, who recorded their debut CD with them, "Is God a Three-Letter Word for Love?," and now self-directed, "Distilled" is Vocalogy's 3rd excellent CD. "Distilled" is an all jazz-band accompanied collection of 13 jazz standards and originals, some favorites: Charles Mingus/Joni Mitchell's tongue-in-cheek "Dry Cleaner from Des Moines," smoky-jazz arrangements of Lennon/McCartney's "Oh Darlin'," and Leonard Bernstein's "Some Other Time," a latin treatment of "Just Friends," two Jimmy Van Heusen classics, "It Could Happen to You" and "I Thought About You," Rachmaninoff's "Piano Concerto #2" turned into a bluenote lament, a sassy, upbeat "Groove Merchant," a stark arrangement of Paul Simon's "Old Friends," and, despite our interest in the local Giants, David Frishberg's "Dodger Blue." As we've noticed in a number of cases, Phil Mattson's musical progeny are unfailingly outstanding, and vocally, all accompaniment aside, Vocalogy is right up there with the best in jazz!

Listen to It Could Happen To You in Real Audio.

4631 CD $14.98

Vocation: Vocation

It Don't Mean A Thing
Without A Song
Regnets sang
Nar Charlie ar todd
I Remember You
Gee Baby Ain't I Good To You
Almost Like Being In Love
Imorron
Hot Like This
Nature Boy
Come Rain of Come Shine

Three men, three women sextet Vocation was formed in 1999 at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden,and were helped by conductor Lone Larsen in shaping their unique sound. Reviewers have compared them to a heady list - the Real Group, Take 6, Manhattan Transfer and the New York Voices. Playing regularily on Swedish radio and TV, Vocation won "Choice of the Audience Award" at the International Vocal Group Fest in Tilburg, Holland in 2002. Eleven songs, a few accompanied by jazz band, eight in English: Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing," "Without a Song," Johnny Mercer's "I Remember You" and "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Gee Baby ain't I Good to You?," plus the a cappella "Almost Like Being in Love," "Not Like This" and "Nature Boy." There's also three very nice pieces in Swedish, particularly "Nar Charlie ar fudd," with music by Hoagy Carmichael, we would guess that "Charlie" refers to jazz great Charlie Parker. The sound is bright and hot, the English flawless, and Vocation swims easily in the company of MT, NY Voices, Real Group and other big fishes in the vocal jazz school. A very impressive and enjoyable debut CD!

Listen to Almost Like Being In Love in Real Audio

7619 CD $15.95

Phil Mattson and VoicesIowa: Count Your Blessings

Since All Is Passing
Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got That Swing)
Snow Covers the Valley
Jesu, Meine Freude
Alfie
Jubilee
Never Let Me Go
Satchmo
Friendship
Blues in the Night
Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep)
Country Dances

Formed at Southwestern Community College's School for Music Vocations in 1991, the mixed-voice sextet VoicesIowa was recently honored by Down Beat Magazine as "Vocal Jazz Group of the Year." Their repertoire also includes Renaissance part-songs, 19th and 20th century compositions and arrangements of contemporary music. Their Director Phil Mattson has been nominated twice for Grammy Awards. These 12 songs, recorded live at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN, feature Mattson-arranged winners like "Snow Covers the Valley," Bach's "Jesu, Meine Freude," Burt Bacharach's "Alfie," "Never Let Me Go," Johnny Mercer/Harold Arlen's classic "Blues in the Night" and Irving Berlin's "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep." Ward Swingle's "Country Dances" and the Swingle-arranged "Satchmo," Duke Ellington's "Don't Mean A Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing," Anders Edenroth of the Real Group's "Friendship" and Bobby McFerrin's "Jubilee" are other favorites. Great stuff, from the first cut to the last!

Listen to Alfie in Real Audio

7600 CD $14.95
7600 DVD $24.95

VoicesIowa: How Do You Keep the Music Playing?

Since All is Passing
I Hear Music
How Do You Keep The Music Playing
Jubilee
Body And Soul
Yag Vet In Delig Rosa
Love For Sale
Embraceable You
Yours In My Heart Alone
Dancing In The Dark
Bons Amigos
That Lonesome Road

Protogees of Phil Mattson, Voices Iowa are students at the prestigious School For Music Vocations/Southwestern Community College. Under such tutelage, one recognizes a burgeoning talent that will be the vocal jazz sound of tomorrow. Indeed, Bobby McFerrin's "Jubilee" is an athletic workout requiring stamina and fortitude, while, on the opposite end of the spectrum, "Body and Soul" demands an equal measure of control and abandon (the latter a Grammy nominated arrangement originally written for the Manhattan Transfer, and complimented by Richie Cole's saxophone). Cole Porter's "Love For Sale" (a cappella) is anchored by a finger-snapping rhythm and connected by walking bass notes, and finishes with an aexhilarating vocal glissando, a veritable firecracker. Songlist

1108 CD $14.98

VoicesIowa: Without A Song - Tribute To Hoagy Carmichael

Renowned jazz educator Phil Mattson's sure touch is everywhere on "Without A Song" all the arrangements are his, and he produces and plays light piano on the CD (bass and drums are also included on some cuts). Mattson protegees VoicesIowa, students or alumni of prestigious Southwestern Community College's School for Music Vocations (4 men, 2 women) have a bright, effortless sound that invites comparison with the Real Group and The Idea of North. Technically there are just 5 cuts on the CD, but on the first cut, for instance, a sleepy "Without A Song" segues into a scattish"The Song Is You," continues with a sweetly jazzy "You Are The Sunshine of My Life" before returning to an upbeat "Without A Song" refrain; and cut 4, "A Hoagy Carmichael Tribute," includes the lightly accompanied "The Nearness of You," "Heart and Soul," "I Get Along Without You Very Well," "Georgia On My Mind," "Ole Buttermilk Sky," "Stardust," "Lazybones," "Two Sleepy People," "Skylark" and "Lazy River." Two a cappella tunes, "Alfie" and the final cut , "Over the Rainbow" are particularly nice. Mattson doesn't waste a note, and VoicesIowa is an apt, finely-tuned instrument for his genius.

Listen to "Over The Rainbow" in RealAudio.

4588 CD $14.98

VoicesIowa: September Song

Mixed sextet (3 men, 3 women) VoicesIowa, ably produced by the renowned Phil Mattson (who also did all the arrangements), brings us ten mellow jazz classics: George and Ira Gershwin's "Fascinating Rhythm" and "'S Wonderful," Kurt Weill's "Speak Low," "Mack The Knife" and "September Song," Duke Ellington's "I'm Beginni'g To See The Light," "Close Enough For Love," "I've Got You Under My Skin," Stevie Wonder's "That's What Friends Are For" and "I'm In The Mood For Love." VoicesIowa is associated with the excellent Southwestern Community College School For Music Vocations, where the CD was recorded. This is bright, crisp, tight-harmonied, stunningly arranged, lightly accompanied (bass, drums and piano), smoky cool vocal jazz.

4492 CD $14.98

VoicesIowa: Here's To Life!

The bouyant sound of the Voices Iowa, conducted and arranged by Phil Mattson, certainly one of the most prominent jazz educators in the field. Emanating from the same general neighborhood as the Singers Unlimited or Real Group, Voices Iowa actually covers one Real Group arrangement on this CD-"Sa Skimrande Var Aldrig Havet"-as well as Take 6's "Gold Mine," so they certainly set a high standard for themselves. "Blues In the Night" is smoky and seductive, "Satchmo" a picaresque tribute to Louis Armstrong that sets lyrics to a Joplin rag. "If I Loved You" is is an economical a cappella version that shows why Phil Mattson is so respected-every note is important, neither too many or too few. Five of the songs are accompanied.

1112 CD $14.98

VoicesIowa: You Must Believe in Spring

The Southwestern Community College has a tradition of turning out excellent harmony singers, under the direction of the highly-respected director Phil Mattson. The six-piece mixed "Voices Iowa" is a fine example. "Pick Yourself Up" is a dizzying rendition of the Kern/Fields classic, a daring flight into the upper registers. Bach's "Largo" yields willingly to a fine scat treatment; "Come Sunday" has the same heartbreakingly beautiful arrangement as that of the Real Group, but the tone qualities of the voices are quite distinct to Voices Iowa. "What A Wonderful World" comes alive, the notes a joyous burst of sunshine on a spring morning.

1109 CD $14.98

Phil Mattson & Vocalogy: Is God A Three Letter Word For Love

1999 is the 100 year anniversary of the birth of the jazz master Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington - a genuine American hero. Though his accomplishments were many, Ellington characterized his sacred compositions, coming towards the end of his career, as "the most important thing I have ever done." Leave it to Phil Mattson and his Vocalogy ensemble (consisting of six faculty members at the Southwestern Community College School For Music Vocations), to record the first vocal group arrangements of these compositions (some are accompanied by a rhythm section as well). Ellington wrote these songs for a San Francisco concert at Grace Cathedral in 1965, and went on to perform this program internationally until his death in 1974. We have not heard the CD itself come presstime, but we understand that songs such as "In The Beginning God," "Come Sunday" and "Father Forgive," while spiritual and earthy, are written in the tried-and-true Ellington big-band style. An appropriate tribute indeed from Mr. Mattson.

4164 CD $14.98

Voice Trek: An A Cappella Trek

That's What She Says
Ticket to Ride
Take Five
Both Sides Now
The William Tell Overture
A Little Luck
Fly Me to the Moon
The Windmills of Your Mind
Rosanna
America the Beautiful

St. Paul, MN-based 3-woman, 2-man jazz quintet Voice Trek has a rich, clean, poised sound, and arrangements that can turn very familiar tunes like the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride," Dave Brubeck's jazz anthem "Take Five," Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" and Michel LeGrand's "Windmills of Your Mind" and turn them into new songs, unexpectedly tasty musical treats. There's a spirited, sassy cover of Rossini's "William Tell Overture" that would have the Swingles looking over their shoulders, Sinatra's "Fly Me To The Moon" becomes a (lightly accompanied) scattish, salsa romp, and Toto's "Rosanna" is a finger-snapping winner, as is Brazilian composer Manfredo Fest's energetic "That's What She Says." A bonus track, "America the Beautiful," was included "after the tremendous response from the a cappella community when they performed it at the West Coast Summit!" 11 songs, each a many-faceted gem. "An A cappella Trek," Voice Trek's 5th recording, is a joy from beginning to end, one of the best Vocal Jazz CDs we've heard this year!

Listen to Take Five in Real Audio

4456 CD $15.98

Voice Trek: At Last!

Voice Trek established their reputation as one of the premiere vocal groups through the release of three seasonal albums (Christmas). For years they have been implored by fans to record a jazz record to which their lush harmonies are so suited. Thus, after 10 years of singing together, they recorded At Last. Three sisters, Shelley, Vicki, and Rae, are complemented by tenor Denis Alaire, and baritone Howard Hilde in this primarily accompanied selection of 9 songs which are each long enough for thorough expression.Though accompaniment includes a piano/bass/drum combo and midi, rich vocals toward the easy listening end of the jazz spectrum are substance of this recording.

9232 CD $14.98

Vox Concordia: Making Notes

Jeepers Creepers
A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
Superstar
The Way You Look Tonight I
t Don't Mean a Thing, If It Aint Got That Swing
Smile
Oh Susannah!
Adieu, Mon Amour
A Dream Is A Wish
Puttin On The Ritz
When She Loved Me
Soul Bossa Nova
All Rise
A Celtic Prayer

Vox Concordia is a four-man, four-women Vocal Jazz octet from England, who bring us this excellent debut recording of 14 a cappella tunes. They begin with two arranged by Jonathan Rathbone, ex-Musical Director of the Swingle Singers, "Jeepers Creepers" and "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," a Graham Smith arrangement of the Carpenters' hit "Superstar, a Swingles arrangement of "It Don't Mean a Thing (if it Ain't Got that Swing)," a live, rousing cover of Stephen Foster's "Oh, Susannah!" (with the first faux banjo we've heard)," the very funny live "Adieu, Mon Amour," Irving Berlin's "Puttin' on the Ritz," Randy Newman's touching "When She Loved Me," the pulse-quickening "All Rise," and finally "A Celtic Prayer" with music by Graham Webb are favorites. This is a fine recording and a great addition to anybody’s collection.

Listen to "Smile" in Real Audio.

7649 CD $15.95

One of the best in the business, this group is a product of the famous Berklee School of Music, which is known for turning out fantastic jazz musicians. Every Vox One album has been nominated for any conceivable Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards - and they've won most of them. (Profile) 

Pure Imagination

Pure Imagination
Kind of a 3
Improv 1
Simple Gifts
Improv 2
Try
Take Me Out To The Ballgame
Improv 3
Woodstock
Leave It To Me
Improv 4
Aura Lee
Improv 5
I Wish
You Know

What immediately strikes one upon listening to Vox One’s new “Pure Imagination” CD is how good they are – not in a flashy, notice we are brilliant singers kind of way, but in a deeply felt, technically beyond question, born to sing way that shows us all of us lesser talents how its done. After seven years, one of a cappella’s most accomplished (and recognized) vocal jazz groups returns to the CD player with a satisfying collection of originals, covers and improvs.  Yes, Vox One has matured and is exploring new styles, including Indian ragas and world music tinged vocal jams.  For those loyal listeners who loved “Chameleon,” "Out There" and "Say You Love Me" and have been waiting for an encore, there are the standards such as “Pure Imagination” (written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley), and the traditional “Aura Lee,” but there are plenty of new songs composed by the group, as well as the six improvised tracks that offer plenty of room for the the five members (Yumiko Matsuoka, Paul Pampinella, Paul Stiller, Jodi Jenkins Ainsworth and Tom Baskett) to stake out new vocal territory.  These Berklee College of Music faculty members exemplify what it is to harmonize, blend and intonate with sublime perfection, and we thank them!

Listen to Pure Imagination in Real Audio

9245 CD $15.98

Chameleon

This may well be the last (sob, tell me it ain't so!) album of jazz virtuosos, Vox One. These musicians created the most polished jazz (on the rock and blues edge of the spectrum) by anyone so far. Meticulous arrangements sung by superb performers make you forget any prior arrangement that was the benchmark to your mind's ear for how a particular song was supposed to sound. From the opening wail of the vocal electric guitar and definitive drum beat on "Chameleon" to the complex chord structures on "Round Midnight," you will be lost in a panoply of possibilities for the human voice. John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Harold Arlen, Herbie Hancock, Theolonius Monk and more are treated with nothing short of the genius they deserve.

Listen to "Round Midnight" and "Chameleon"

9240 CD $14.98

Say You Love Me

This Japanese import features seven songs not before released in the U.S.. For fans of Vox One, we are already preaching to the choir, but for the uninitiated, this contemporary jazz quintet has all of the technique of the Real Group, with a compelling edge of intensity and emotion. Therefore, a traditional such as "Shenandoah," using brilliant dynamics, phrasing and an admirable combination of tension and release, is transcendent. "Whisper When I Speak," a Vox One original, shows that their songwriting is every bit as extraordinary as everything else about them. Classic pop - Carol King's "It's Too Late" - is given a heartbreaking harmonic complexity and richness. The arpeggiated chord accompaniment in the verse, so simple, yet effective, shows why a talented arranger can elevate the ordinary to greatness. When Vox One swings into the standard, "Autumn Leaves," they prove that they do no less than weave straw into gold.

Listen to "Say You Love Me" , "Lovin' You" and "Shenandoah"

9235 CD $14.98


Out There

In announcing the CARA winners for 1996, the Contemporary A Cappella Newsletter used the following statement to announce the Album Of The Year. "In a year of extremely strong nominees for best album, Vox One's little-publicized "Out There" takes first place because it has everything. Exceptional songwriting, glowing arrangements, magnificent solo performances and top rate production all combine to make this the sleeper album of 1995. Somehow Vox One manages to combine elements of pop, rock, blues and jazz without compromising the exacting demands of any of the styles. The resulting blend is infectious and definitive, proving "Out There" to be one of the best contemporary albums ever." We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

Listen to Whisper When I Speak in Real Audio.

9229 CD $14.98

Vox One

As you might suspect from the self-titling, this is the first recording released in what has come to be recognized as the must-have trilogy of albums by Vox One. Lets go though it. "Edelweiss" is such a difficult harmonization that it became a signature performance tune for the group. "My Romance" almost sounds like a pop/jazz standard only better. "Why Blue" was written by member Yumiko Matsuoka and features a bass and percussive underpinning to a complex wordless scat that's nothing short of great. "The Water Is Wide" is just plain beautiful. "Respect"... well, move over Aretha (sacrilege!). There isn't room in this review! Suffice it to say that the three originals are a portent of things to come, the covers original.

Listen to My Old Kentucky Home in Real Audio.

9230 CD $14.98

Yumiko Matsuoka: To Every Thing There Is A Season

Tsubasa (wings)
And So It Goes
Scarborough Fair
Brett
Where is Love?
Black Is The Colour
Blowin' In The Wind
Eleanor Rigby
To Every Thing There Is A Season
Georgia On My Mind
Both Sides Now
Skye Boat Song

Founder of legendary Boston-based Vocal Jazz group Vox One, Yumiko has always been one of our favorite vocalists and arrangers. She has two excellent collections of arrangements in the PAC catalog, "Collection Vol. 1" and "Collection Vol. 2." The Anthology "To Every Thing" is her first solo album, and it includes a piece Yumiko wrote for acoustic guitar for some friends' wedding, "Tsubasa," her arrangement of Billy Joel's "And So It Goes," performed by the Western Wind vocal ensemble with Yumiko, and her marvelous arrangements of the English Traditional tunes "Scarborough Fair," "Black is the Color" and the title tune, performed by Boston Jazz Voices. The Western Wind also shines on Yumiko's arrangements of Lionel Bart's "Where Is Love" and Lennon/McCartney's "Eleanor Rigby." Yumiko's classically accompanied arrangement of Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind," her lovely arrangement of Joanie Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," performed by Syncopation; and the Scottish Traditional "Skye Boat Song," performed by Yumiko with the women of the Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble, are all favorites. "To Every Thing" is a remarkable collection, highlighting the tremendous vocal, arranging and composing talents of Vocal Jazz master Yumiko!

Listen to Where is Love? in RealAudio.

3021 CD $15.95

Vox P: Vox P.

Vox P, who hail from Denmark but sing in impeccable English, present a collection of standards performed with an undeniable intensity and brilliance. It's this kind of mastery that allows "Fly Me To The Moon" "What Kind of Fool Am I" and "I'm Just Foolin' Myself" to sound fresh and invigorating. The arrangements, by tenor and bass Bo Gad and Jacob Marstrand, are challenging, but never excessive. Soprano Henriette Moos and alto Birgitte Askou are formidable talents; the latter's ability to be both vixenish and achingly tender, coupled with her lustrous tone, are remarkable. The bass' use of "ghost notes" enable the rhythms to really swing. This is a CD you will play again and again.

Listen to "Fly Me To the Moon" in Real Audio.

4763 CD $14.98


Vozes Da Radio: Bruxas, Herois, e Males d'Amor

Portugese jazz/contemporary group Vozes Da Radio's first album "Burxas, Herois & Males D'Amor" ("Witches, Heroes and Love Pains"), recorded in 1995, is mostly a cappella, mostly original, with all arrangements by the group. Considered one of the ten best CD's of the year by the Portugese newspaper "Publico," the group is well-known in their country and shares the bill at stadiums venues with pop and rock bands. The ballad "Ternura," accompanied by solo guitar, is one of their most-requested songs. In general their sound is vocal bass intensive, homophonic, with a natural vocal approach and minimal production or effects. Transcending the typical pop triads with non-diatonic chords and inversions, they have crafted an appealing adult contemporary style.

6249 CD $14.98

Western Wind: My Funny Valentine

The Western Wind was formed in 1969 and two of the founders are still singing. Perhaps the longevity of the group is due to the fact that their repertoire includes everything except heavy metal. This particular album includes classic American love songs form 1920 to 1950. The works include songs by Rogers and Hart, George Gershwin, Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Brian Wilson and John Denver. Though mostly jazz, their classical training comes through on "My Funny Valentine," particularly. Two songs, "Oh, Lady Be Good" and "I Got Rhythm"were arranged by Dick Hyman who accompanies the group on piano. The cd notes include biographies of the composers and info about the music.

2241 CD $14.98

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