After their previous album which was dedicated to the songs of Paul Simon, the New York Voices have turned their attention to music from the 1940's (mostly) with some swing, jump and jive and pop tunes of that day. The result is another album done with enthusiasm, tight arrangements and vocal creativity. Started in 1987 by a group of Ithaca College graduates, the membership has been very stable which has contributed to the group's success. The only personnel change was in 1992 when Sara Krieger left and was replaced by Kim Nazarian.
On this their 5th album, they revisit all types of music from the 1940's. There are tributes to the big bands with "Sing, Sing, Sing", "In a Mello Tone"," Don't be That Way", and "Smack Dab in the Middle". On the more romantic side, there's a lovely version of Ralph Burns' "Early Autumn" which he wrote for Woody Herman and was popularized by Stan Getz. Nat King Cole is recalled with "Orange Colored Sky". Cole made more than one recording of this Milton DeLugg tune, but here it's clear the Voice had the version with Stan Kenton in mind. "Stardust" is one of the most recorded tunes of all times, and another version would seem superfluous. Not so, as the Voices come together to give this classic of all classics a modern touch. Their rendition is respectful, while at the same time demonstrating that a song as great as "Stardust" is strong enough to handle almost any interpretation without losing its basic appeal. The art of vocalese is brought to new heights on Duke Ellington's "Bli Blip". The album's coda is an ardent A Capella rendition of "I'll Be Seeing You".
As the Voices honor the music of the 1940's, they give more than a passing nod to the great vocal groups of those days. You can hear the Modernaires and the Andrew Sisters in "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens". At the same time, there are excellent vocal and instrumental solos throughout. The Voices, more than any other group, work with the instrumentalists in a way that enhances their vocal presentation. And there are excellent players here including Marvin Stamm trumpet and flugelhorn and a visit on three cuts by master guitarist, Bucky Pizzarelli. There's much to like on this recommended album.
Tracks:Sing, Sing, Sing$; I Can't Believe That You're in Love with Me#; Smack Dab in the Middle$; Early Autumn#; Bli Blip#; Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens*$; Save Your Love for Me#; Orange Colored Sky#; Hallelujah, I Love Her So$; Cloudburst*$; Stardust#; Don't Be That Way$; In a Mello Tone*#; I'll Be Seeing You
Personnel>Peter Eldridge, Lauren Kinhan, Darmon Meader, Kim Nazarian - New York Voices; Lawrence Feldman, Bob Porcelli, Donny McCaslin, Doug Lawrence, Darmon Meader, Kenny Berger, Roger Rosenberg - Reeds; Craig Johnson, Barry Danielian, Greg Ruvolo; Marvin Stamm - Trumpet/Flugelhorn; Randy Andos, Larry Farrell, Jay Ashby, Dave Taylor - Trombone; Andy Ezrin* - Piano; Bucky Pizzarelli* - Guitar; Paul Nowinski - Bass; Marcello Pelliteri#, Ben Whittman$ - Drums