Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

210

Manhattan Transfer: Swing

By

Sign in to view read count
time in my humble opinion) conquers another musical genre, I ask myself in between all the repeated listenings what musical territory they possibly have left to cover? They've already mastered doo-wop, pop music from several decades, jazz vocalese, Brasilian, and Christmas music, among others. In this case, they reach deep into the nostalgia bag - to the thirties, the beginning of the swing era. Not coincidentally, ballroom dancing to swing music is making a big comeback nationwide as a new generation in their teens, twenties, and thirties take ballroom dancing lessons and kick up their heels to tunes such as these. So ManTran's latest venture is perfectly positioned to satisfy this new/old craze.

But there's more at work here that just a collection of Fletcher Henderson charts and old chestnuts attributable to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald ("A-Tisket, A-Tasket"), Benny Goodman ("Air Mail Special" and a couple others) and Charlie Barnet ("Skyliner"): the country music sounds of Nashville and Austin. The country group "Asleep at the Wheel" is featured on several cuts, and Nashville notables such as Ricky Skaggs and Mark O'Connor back up others. And while a whining steel guitar and jammin' bluegrass fiddles seem like an unlikely and incompatible match with the swing era, the marriage works surprisingly well. Most of the program is indeed swingin', happy, and definitely dancable. (Try not to.)

There's yet another ingredient in this delicious recipe: the Transfer's trademark vocalese (applying lyrics to the transcribed notes of instrumental jazz solos). On tunes such as "Skyliner," "It's Good Enough to Keep" (Air Mail Special), and "Down South Camp Meetin'," the artful lyrics fly by fast and frantic, recalling their 1984 triumph, Vocalese. About three-fourths of the way through the disc, you get a break from the dance floor to enjoy the mellow, introspective "Clouds," a vocal version of the Django Reinhardt classic "Nuages." It features the ageless violinist Stephane Grappelli and the Rosenberg Trio.

So by all means, pick up a copy of Manhattan Transfer's latest masterpiece. And get ready to dance!

Title: Swing | Year Released: 1998 | Record Label: Atlantic Jazz

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
The Chick Corea Songbook

The Chick Corea...

Four Quarters Entertainment
2009

buy
Couldn

Couldn

Telarc Records
2004

buy
Couldn

Couldn

Telarc Records
2003

buy
 

Swing

Atlantic Jazz
1998

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
May20Mon
The Manhattan Transfer
Alexandra Palace
London, UK
May21Tue
The Manhattan Transfer
Alexandra Palace
London, UK
Jul13Sat
The Manhattan Transfer & Take 6
The Rose
Pasadena, CA
$78 - 108
Aug23Fri
The Manhattan Transfer
The Birchmere
Alexandria, VA
Aug23Fri
The Manhattan Transfer
Birchmere
Alexandria, VA
$55 - 55
Mar21Sat
The Manhattan Transfer
McCallum Theatre
Palm Desert, CA

Related Articles

Read Sheer Reckless Abandon Album Reviews
Sheer Reckless Abandon
By John Kelman
May 19, 2019
Read Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z Album Reviews
Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z
By Jack Bowers
May 19, 2019
Read To My Brothers Album Reviews
To My Brothers
By Victor L. Schermer
May 19, 2019
Read Social Music Album Reviews
Social Music
By Roger Farbey
May 19, 2019
Read Circle Inside The Folds Album Reviews
Circle Inside The Folds
By John Eyles
May 18, 2019
Read Momentum Album Reviews
Momentum
By Jerome Wilson
May 18, 2019
Read Bonsai Club Album Reviews
Bonsai Club
By Roger Farbey
May 18, 2019