105

The Manhattan Transfer: Couldn

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
With a clear emphasis on swing, the Manhattan Transfer recorded this live session at Orchard Hall in Tokyo a few years back. The huge auditorium audience seems to light up this vocal quartet as they perform favorite songs from jazz’s early years—songs that rocked our grandparents, our parents, us, and our children.

Now over thirty years old, the Manhattan Transfer soaks up what its audience provides in appreciation and converts that energy into a brilliant performance, both intimate and blazing hot. Ballads settle gently over the hall, giving the vocalists plenty of room for individual expression. Fast rompers drive with passion, relying on the energy that this collective unit has always put forth. Wayne Johnson, Lew Soloff, Larry Klimas and Yaron Gershovsky provide solid support. Their individual solo spots rivet the listener and pump up the singers.

Tenor Alan Paul takes the feature for a doo-wop arrangement of “Blue Again.” He and bass singer Tim Hauser share the spotlight on “Gone Fishin’.” Both have now gone far beyond their original vocal ranges. Paul moves easily and naturally through the baritone range, while Hauser soliloquies as high as the tenor range. Alto Cheryl Bentyne accepts the feature for “Stars Fell On Alabama,” while soprano Janis Siegel shines brightly for “A- Tisket, A-Tasket.” There’s more. The variety of their program is such that you’re challenged to pick a favorite selection. A hundred years of jazz and blues are represented.

By paying tribute during this Tokyo performance to Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, the Modernaires, the Four Freshmen, the Hi-Lo’s, Count Basie, and Hoagy Carmichael, the Manhattan Transfer has summarized the swing element in jazz. Their live album provides a refreshing look at what has taken us to where we are today.


Track Listing: Old Man Mose; Sing Moten

Personnel: Alan Paul, Janis Siegel, Cheryl Bentyne, Tim Hauser- vocals; Yaron Gershovsky- keyboards; Tom Brechtlein- drums; Michael Bowie- bass; Wayne Johnson- guitar; Larry Klimas- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Lewis Soloff- trumpet.

Title: Couldn | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Telarc Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Yequm CD/LP/Track Review Yequm
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 24, 2017
Read Schlitten CD/LP/Track Review Schlitten
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 24, 2017
Read The Willisau Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Willisau Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: October 24, 2017
Read Together Apart CD/LP/Track Review Together Apart
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 24, 2017
Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read "Kansas City Here I Come" CD/LP/Track Review Kansas City Here I Come
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Passin' Thru" CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "Transparent Water" CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 14, 2017
Read "Free Radicals" CD/LP/Track Review Free Radicals
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 7, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.