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The Chick Corea Songbook

September 29, 2009 | Format: MP3

$7.99
Also available in CD Format
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5:15
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3:11
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6:37
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5:16
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1:16
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6:52
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4:21
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3:55
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8:16
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: September 29, 2009
  • Release Date: September 29, 2009
  • Label: Four Quarters Records
  • Copyright: (C) 2009 Four Quarters Records
  • Total Length: 55:32
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002OY03UM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,547 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Wow, this really came out of left field. When I first saw it in the store I said, "Yeah, of COURSE --- Transfer and Chick's tunes !!". And it works in a BIG way. Some of Chick's best known and not so well known compostions. Without a doubt their best since the landmark "Vocalise", and in my opinion the best jazz/pop/vocal recording I have heard in the last 20 years, bar NONE. It is THAT good. The arrangements (both vocal and instrumental) are spectacular. Production is IMMACULATE. Really, you won't hear a more STUNNING sounding CD anywhere. A few highlights (there are
so many) --- Alan Paul's terrific reading of "Times Lie", one of Chick's most beautiful tunes. His voice has really matured and deepened over the years. A great take on "Spain" (I like the slower tempo), and a fantastic new compostion of Chick's called "Free Samba" that really cooks with some dizzying vocal harmonies. Cheryl Bentyne's gorgeous reading of "500 Miles High" will leave you open-mouthed. Over and out with a hot latin version of "Armando's Rhumba" with great lyrics and a spirited performance by Janis Siegel. This recording has inspiration, class, and excellence written all over it. And given the state of the current music scene, that is saying a LOT. Do yourself a big favor. GET THIS. NOW.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Vocalese is a style or genre of jazz singing wherein lyrics are written for melodies that were originally part of an all-instrumental composition or improvisation.

Whereas they may not have invented the genre (credit Eddie Jefferson for that), or are most closely associated with it (that would be Lambert, Hendricks and Ross), but Cheryl Bentyne, Tim Hauser, Alan Paul and Janis Siegel - collectively known as The Manhattan Transfer - have almost single-handedly (and four-voicedly) kept Vocalese alive during the last quarter-century.

Beginning with their 1985 album called Vocalese, which received 12 Grammy nominations, they have generally included one or more vocalese songs on almost every one of their albums. Now they have gone back to a complete CD of vocalese, this time with "The Chick Corea Songbook" and in the process have recorded their most energetic, engaging collection in years.

After nearly 40 years together their harmonies are effortless and flawless and the brilliance of their vocal musicianship still mesmerizes and awes. The choice of songs by Chick Corea, suggested by Executive Producer Yusuf Gandhi, has provided the group with its most challenging material in years and they have gleefully risen to the occasion which each member submitting lyrics to complement the wonderfully eclectic selection.

If you are a fan of The Manhattan Transfer or vocalese, as I am, you will love "The Chick Corea Songbook."

If you are not familiar with either, try "The Story Of Anna & Armando (Armando's Rhumba)" the lyrics of which tell the true story of Chick Corea's parents, "Time's Lie," one of several songs featuring brilliant pianist Fred Hersch, "500 Miles High" with its delicious flute solo from Lou Marini, the wonderfully arranged "Another Roadside Attraction (Space Circus)" and "Free Samba" which opens and closes the CD and features Chick Corea himself. I think you'll thank me that you did.
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Format: Audio CD
Some pundits are saying that this, "The Chick Corea Songbook," is the Manhattan Transfer's best album ever. Considering who the M.T. is, that's quite a claim. Is the claim valid? My 3 cents worth:

In terms of production, absolutely. It is not only the best in that respect, it is one of the best vocal jazz ensemble recordings ever. Executive producer Yusuf Gandhi deserves all the credit he can muster for this; and main instrumentalist, keyboardist Yaron Gershovsky, is eerily on the money in terms of channelling the sounds of Chick Corea.

However, that's not to say the album is overproduced, by any means. The recording starts and ends with the lush "Free Samba," and the Corea signature song, "Spain," goes from majestic Espanol to funk, all on a dime. But any production of the music of Chick Corea must acknowledge the composer's playfulness, his sense of fun. And this one certainly does. "La Chanson du Bebe" is utterly charming, and "Another Roadside Attraction ("Space Circus") is fascinating.

The Transfer itself has never sounded better. The a capella intro to "500 Miles High" is even more impressive for its harmonic complexities than "A Nighingale Sang in Berkeley Square"; vocal jazz ensembles of America, take note! Alan Paul sounds exquisite on "Time's Lie"; ditto to Janis Siegel and the c.d.'s most memorable tune, "The Story of Anna & Armando" ("Armando's Rhumba.")

But best ever? This c.d. leaves me feeling on the outside, with utter awe and admiration. "Vocalese," on the other hand, left me feeling on the inside, wanting to dance and sing with "vocal jazz' fab four." That one is still my favorite; and even "Swing," I think, is more enjoyable.

Nevertheless, this is a fabulous album and deserves to be remembered as such. Jazz Times recently rated this one in its top 50 albums of 2009 (#47). High praise for a vocal ensemble c.d.; but I can certainly see why. RC
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Format: Audio CD
It's been a long time since The Manhattan Transfer has put their vocalese chops to work. Their most recent album Vibrate was ok, but lacked the spark of their earlier works. With this new album they've gone back to what separated them from all of the rest of the vocal jazz groups out there. Trademark close harmonies and vocalese that is unparalleled are the hallmarks of The Manhattan Transfer, and this album is no exception. Free Samba and Times Lie are excellent examples of this.

My only criticism of the album is one of the same issues I had with the Vibrate album. Everything seems to be 10-20 Beats Per Minute too slow. Their rendition of Spain* (I Can Remember) is a good example. It's a song that has all the makings of greatness, wrecked by a plodding beat. Even the patter sections of a song like Ragtime In Pixiland seem to be weighted down.

All in all, after 40 years The Manhattan Transfer is still able to make great music.

[...]
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