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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



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NEW YORK VOICES

A Day Like This

MCG Jazz MCGJ 1031

 

 

 

 


1. Darn That Dream
2. The World Keeps You Waiting

3. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
4. On a Clear Day
5. For All We Know
6. Love You Madly

7. As We Live and Breathe
8. No Moon At All
9. Chamego (Betty's Bossa)
10. Noticing the Moment (Moment’s Notice)
11. Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing
12. Stoned Soul Picnic
13. A Day Like This
14. Jackie

New York Voices: Kim Nazarian, Lauren Kinhan – Vocals; Darmon Meader - Vocals, tenor sax; Peter Eldridge – Vocals, piano
Bob Mintzer - Bass clarinet (track 1)
Andy Ezrin – Piano (tracks 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11,13, 14)
Paul Nowinski – Bass (tracks 1-4, 6-11, 13, 14)
Marcello Pellitteri – Drums (tracks 1-4, 6-11, 13, 14)
Jay Ashby – Percussion, trombone (tracks 2, 4, 7-11, 13, 14)
Mike Tomaro – Alto sax, baritone sax (tracks 4, 8, 10, 11, 14)
Frank Greene – Trumpet, flugelhorn (tracks 4, 10)
Gil Goldstein – Accordion (track 7)
Jim Guerra - Alto sax (tracks 8, 11, 14)
Eric DeFade - Tenor sax (tracks 8, 11, 14)
Jim Germann - Baritone sax (tracks 8, 11, 14)
Steve Hawk, Joe Herndon, Steve McKnight, Ralph Guzzi – Trumpets (tracks 8, 11, 14)
Bob Matchett, Clayton DeWalt – Trombones (tracks 8, 11, 14)
Chris Carson – Bass trombone (tracks 8, 11, 14)
Marty Ashby – Guitar (tracks 8, 9, 13)
Paquito D’Rivera – Clarinet (track 9)
Lucas Ashby – Pandeiro (track 9)
Chuck Loeb - Guitar (track 11)
Ben Wittman – Percussion (track 12)

 

Choral groups are fairly numerous in jazz – and most of them have their own take on things. The Mills Brothers supplied their own backings for their quartet vocals, often imitating instruments; Lambert, Hendricks & Ross sang new lyrics to old jazz tunes; the Four Freshmen perfected warm harmonies which influenced such groups as the Beach Boys; Sounds of Blackness added soul and gospel influences to their rich harmonising; Take Six developed a cappella singing to new heights; and the Swingle Singers do all sorts of amazing things with their voices.

The vocal quartet called New York Voices has learned from many of these groups but they have their own distinctive style – often using one voice to carry the melody while the others provide support, and also employing a variety of instrumentalists to help in accompanying them. This new album gets plenty of variety by using a number of guest musicians – notably Bob Mintzer on bass clarinet in Darn That Dream; vibist Dave Samuels adding a touch of the George Shearing Quintet to Love You Madly; Mike Tomaro’s muscular baritone sax on No Moon At All; Paquito D’Rivera’s shimmering clarinet in the Latin-flavoured Chamego; and Chuck Loeb playing Wes Montgomery-style guitar on Don’t You Worry ‘bout a Thing.

It is not only the guests who supply suitable accompaniments. The two male members of the group display their instrumental talents on some songs. Peter Eldridge imparts sensitive piano to such tracks as For All We Know, while Darmon Meader’s tenor sax enhances several tracks. Variety is increased by the use of different vocal styles: mingling solos, choruses, unaccompanied passages, vocalese and scat to fine effect. The four vocalists also contribute four original songs, of which my favourite is As We Live and Breathe, co-written by Lauren Kinhan and Eve Nelson, with Lauren singing the lead vocal radiantly against a lovely background. The only slight disappontment of the album is Don’t You Worry ‘bout a Thing which (despite - or perhaps because - of its big-band arrangement by Don Sebesky) cannot quite match the classic Sergio Mendes version of this Stevie Wonder song – although that is judging by the very highest standards.

Despite having won two Grammy awards during their 20-year career, New York Voices may still be unknown to many music devotees. If this is the first you’ve heard of them, I advise you to get this album. If you’ve heard New York Voices before, the same advice applies!


Tony Augarde



 



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