Home » Jazz Articles » Accent: In This Together

4
Album Review

Accent: In This Together

By

Sign in to view read count
Accent: In This Together
The a capella and instrument-accompanied jazz vocal ensemble format has a robust presence in the genre's history. Vocal groups such as The Four Freshmen, The Hi-Los, Swingle Singers, The Manhattan Transfer, Take 6, and the L.A. and New York Voices and others all added wonderful material to the canon (and also significantly influenced Pop genre groups such as The Beach Boys and many others).

Accent is a six-member, all-male a capella vocal group. It is comprised of vocalists from several nations—four tenors, a baritone, and a bass voice—who, up until In This Together, had not recorded in the same place at the same time. Previously, the group leveraged the power and utility of the Internet via file sharing to record their first effort ("Here We Are," Self-produced, 2015).

In this Together is an excellent and effervescent six-selection album, offering impeccable jazz vocalizing and hip arrangements that are peppered with lush, sophisticated voicings (a voicing is an arranging term defined as how a chord is structured harmonically). The six-voice format offered by Accent allows the fine arrangers here—all group members by the way —to embellish the ensemble's textures in perfect synchronicity with the lyric and rhythmic content. The combination of arranged textures and vocal brilliance is what makes In This Together glow bright.

"Aux Aurores" opens and sets the tone for the session with a haunting, lyricless meditation that sucks one in like a tempting Sea Siren. "Just Wondering" proceeds in a more modern, electro-pop-flavored direction with a catchy, syncopated hook that builds into a climax. "Love Is Just That Way" swings and doo-bops quicker, thicker, and hipper over a driving snap/clap-track and booming bass. "Twilight" is a hauntingly beautiful ballad melody that is classically-tinged with poetic lyrics and corresponding cascading and dense harmonies. "Who You Are" is 6/8-metered, almost medieval-flavored effort that pulses and offers a powerful release and a neat modulation (i.e., change of key) climax. "Only One Love" is a more harmonically and rhythmically complex— and very funky—finale with both potent and portent lyrics to close the session. The half-dozen by this half-dozen leaves one wanting more and more.

While the individual and ensemble vocals on In This Together are absolute knockouts, it is the ensemble's group chops, that is, its ability to deliver the tight, very sophisticated jazz voicings with all of the swing, flair and facility of jazz instruments—that make the album shine. Recently, none other than Quincy Jones personally invited Accent to record the jingle for his QWEST jazz video subscription service and trumpet great, Maestro Arturo Sandoval has also recently duetted with them. Those are two killer imprimaturs, don't you think? Well, In This Together certainly gets mine, too.

Track Listing

Aux Aurores; Just Wondering; Love Is Just That Way; Twilight; Who You Are; Only One Love.

Personnel

Jean-Baptiste Craipeau: tenor 1; Simon Åkesson: tenor 2; Danny Fong: tenor 3; Andrew Kesler: tenor 4; James Rose: baritone; Evan Sanders: bass.

Album information

Title: In This Together | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self-Produced


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment about this album

Tags

More

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.