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Make some room, Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices and Four Freshmen, for the innovative, completely ear catching multi voiced renderings of Washington, D. C.' s Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet. Although not signed with a major label, working out of the Capitol has allowed this group to share various venues with some of the more popular jazz artists of our time, including Nancy Wilson, Tony Bennett and Terence Blanchard. The group is made up of the well-meshed voices of Ginny Carr, Robert McBride, Lisanne Lyons and Roger Reynolds who apply their collaborative talents to an interesting and varied play list of 12 tunes drawn from many areas of jazz vocal literature. Selecting the right mix of songs is probably more critical to the success of a vocal group than individual performers. Otherwise a feeling of ennui sets in rather quickly. The group handles that problem with ease with the vocalese rendition of "Jazz Face", a creative, boppish, swinging (and they do swing) "You Don't Love Me Like You Used to ". In addition, there are novel arrangements of tunes from the pens of Chick Corea, Dizzy Gillespie and the Gershwin Brothers. Going even a step further, a big front line of horns has been added for depth for such modern sounding music as on "Secrets Held By Time". Then there's "And the Melody Still Lingers On", Chaka Khan's recast of "A Night in Tunisia" providing the platform to display the group's wordless vocalizing skills, which are considerable. Finally, the Uptown Jazz Quartet shows it can move out of the swinging groove with some enchanting ballads such as a lilting "Le Souffle Dernier d'Hiver (the Last Breath of Winter)". There are few groups extant whose voices blend together with such exciting harmonic synergy as this outfit from the Nation's Capitol. Recommended.
Track Listing: Love Walked in; You're Everything; `Deed I Do; And the Melody Still Lingers
On (A Night in Tunisia); Le Souffle Dernier d'Hiver (the Last Breath of
Winter); Birth of the Blues; Jazz Face; When the Sun Goes Down; Secrets
Held by Time; He Beeped When He Should Have Bopped; You Don't Love
Me Like You Used to; In the Gloaming
Personnel: Ginny Carr, Robert McBride, Lisanne Lyons, Roger Reynolds - Vocals;
John Toomey, Doug Bickel, Dan Reynolds - Piano; Peter Revell, Tom
Baldwin, Leonardo Lucini - Bass; Frank Russo - Drums/Percussion;
Alejandro Lucini - Drums; Tim Leahey - Trumpet/Flugelhorn; Chris Vadala
- Alto& Soprano Sax; Chip McNeill - Tenor Sax; Jay Gibble, Joe Jackson -
Trombone; Pat Schrieves, Robert McBride - Percussion; Shawn Purcell,
Donato Soviero - Guitar
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.