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Magic Voices [Box set]

Singers UnlimitedAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 29, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 7
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B00000AFFQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,424 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Incredible engineering with inspired arrangements interpreted by flawless voices on CD? 5 stars is not enough, the Singers Unlimited shouldn't be put in the same catagory with those that emulate them (without due credit). If you don't already know about this music, you won't part with the 100 bucks, your loss. I now I have the digital back up for my precious, volitile vinyl. For the fan, the interviews in the companion booklet cut right to the issues that a disciple has always wondered. I feel like I know Ms. Herman a little better, and I am still rendered hypnotic when she sings. Gene Puerling is to vocal jazz arrangement what Oscar Peterson is to Jazz Piano, what Buddy Rich was to Drums, solidly etched as the top of the art form for all forseeable future. And beyond that, still modest and a gentleman. (I would have liked to known more about Mssrs Dressler and Shelton.) Emily, email me. Buy Christmas separately, it is God's favorite CD, and we have to keep it in print. SU, please make one more a capella for us, please!
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Musician's Feast that's Tasty Enough for Anyone! September 24, 1999
Format:Audio CD
The Singers Unlimited are a marvelous convergence of (1)a pioneering vocal arranger, (2)four voices which not only can stand on their own but know how, why, and when teamwork makes more beauty, (3)an experimentalist, perfectionist risk-taker on the audio equipment, (4)and some of the world's finest jazz artists to back up/front up (whatever) when appropriate. One can spend hours trying to comprehend why such unusual chording and changes work so perfectly. Every time I listen to one of these marvelous disks I hear some previously undiscovered nuance. Or forget analysis and just simply listen and be carried away on waves of the smoothest or swinging-est numbers you've ever heard. And did Puerling happen to choose all my favorite titles or, by choosing and arranging them, turn them into my favorite titles? Who cares!
Years ago a friend (thanks much, Warren) gave me a tape of the McConnell-backed set. Afraid the tape would eventually go (it was losing its highs and lows) and I'd be missing a critical piece of my beloved McConnell connection, I searched the web for the single--out of print!! Oh, no!! Then I saw it could be covered by purchasing the boxed set. I thought it was worth it to get the one disk! And then....WOW! Puerling is the vocal arranging counterpart to McConnell, adding extra voices, experimenting with close harmonies, and even throwing in occasional subtle humor. The artists are similar to McConnell's collection of great individuals, all working together selflessly because the charts are sooo good to play or sing. And sadly, neither McConnell nor Singers Unlimited go live (with the exception of McConnell's practice sessions in Toronto.) Thank goodness for the technology that enables all of us to share the joy of hearing these master artisans, wherever we are.
Finally, thanks Gene, Bonnie, Len, Don, Georg...and guests. You've brought me more aural pleasure than you'll ever know!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars listening music August 24, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
SU's music is a giant leap in style for the vast majority of today's music buying public. The bulk of their catalog is material from the 40's & 50's and their style has roots in the popular music style from that era. On the surface, this is your mother's/grandmother's music. Melodies are sung in breathy, straight-tone unison, which is characteristic of fluffy easy-listening. Familiar tunes are rephrased in a lounge-act swing style. Many people simply will not be able to get past the catalog or style elements to hear what is underneath.
Ahhh, but for those who listen, what's here is sublime. Puerling uses standard tunes as a playground for vocal arranging. Communicating a lyric is not the priority. It's all about creative harmonic textures, reharmonizing, voice leading, and chord voicings - all performed with tremendous accuracy and exquisite blend. SU is harmonic movement and surprise. This is the essence of SU's contribution.
I bought this set after hearing "Christmas" and a few snippets of other songs on the Internet. On first listen, I only really liked about a third of the material because of style or song choice. After a couple of weeks, I've grown to enjoy nearly all of it. Since this is their entire catalog (except Christmas), there are certainly cases where the song choice, arrangement or production does not work for me. But I'm glad I have the choice of what to listen to rather than getting a pared down best-of set. All in all I'm very happy with my purchase and recommend it to vocal harmony or big-band jazz fans. If you perform vocal or instrumental jazz this set is Highly recommended ear-training.
SU is not for everybody. It's not dance music or sing-a-long music. It's listening music that demands attention to fully appreciate.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stone Ground Seven March 12, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This is one of the toughest pieces we ever recorded. Even Don, who I always counted on being perfect, had a few problems here. However it was one of the most fun and satisfying to sing. The whole album was one that we all had fun doing. Roger and his crazy bar room style really set us off.
Len Dresslar, one of the Singers Unlimited.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transplanted New Yorker to the Arizona desert May 29, 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
The Singers Unlimited are, in a nutshell, the apotheosis of vocal harmony. The complex chordal structure, flawless phrasing and intonation have all been alluded to in the other reviews. I had been waiting for years for this complete digital collection(sans Christmas-anybody know where I could get that?). I remember the first time I heard SU- on an AM station in NY-"Emily" in l973. I was so blown away I stopped the car at the first phone booth and called the station. Over the next few years I was able to acquire the complete LP discography except two. I wrote to the station and they gave me Gene Puerling's address in California. Besides being a brilliant arranger, he was gracious enough to send me the two LPs I lacked (not free of course).When the Magic Voices collection came out I was ecstatic. It has given me untold pleasure. Unfortunately, the SU will probably never get the recognition they deserve from the general public since they demand the trained ear of a musician to appreciate their gift (see Johnny Hartman). In any event, if there are any musicians out there who have yet to be mesmerized by their sound, BUY THIS COLLECTION. It will go in your top 5 list of all time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Singers Unlimited, the best vocal jazz there is.
This is a set that includes all of the Singers Unlimited recordings except for the Christmas album. If you are into vocal jazz, you won't find any better examples anywhere.
Published 13 months ago by Aardvark
5.0 out of 5 stars The Singers Unlimited Collection
This is indeed a magical collection of the complete recordings of Singers Unlimited for MPS, a German record company that produced LPs and CDs for about 15 years from 1968. Read more
Published on August 9, 2012 by Dr. H. A. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BOOK of vocal arrangements
Gene Puerling was the architect of the Hi-Los, and being a "boomer" more expected to listen to the 'stones, byrds and beatles than jazz, I was harassed for loving the sounds of... Read more
Published on March 15, 2011 by Robert M. Schnick
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Top Vocal Jazz groups of all time.
I first became aware of this group through their Christmas album, which is a cut above the usual. This retrospective collection has become one of the most played sets in my... Read more
Published on January 10, 2011 by Edward E. Fairchild
5.0 out of 5 stars An overabundance of riches
I've owned this box since it came out,a treasured gift from a treasured friend. I have to be careful bringing this thing out because for a week or so I won't listen to anything... Read more
Published on February 18, 2010 by jimac51
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz Vocals at its peak
I was introduced as a young music lover to the Singers Unlimited and had a couple of LP's on tape. Thanks to this beautiful set, my collection of the Singers is almost complete. Read more
Published on June 22, 2009 by E. H. J. Peet
5.0 out of 5 stars Unlimited Enjoyment
The Singers Unlimited Magic Voices 7 CD box set is an absolutely fabulous collection of their unique vocal artistry. Read more
Published on February 8, 2008 by Robert W. Jack
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Magic VoicesIncredible performances of absolutely awesome arrangements of some of the greatest pop/jazz music. Read more
Published on January 27, 2008 by Francis Manning
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Brilliant
It seems incredible that more than twenty five years have passed since the Singers Unlimited released their last album but us music lovers are so lucky that, during the short few... Read more
Published on January 18, 2008 by P. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars How dare I only give this 4 stars!
Admittedly, Singers Unlimited is Gene Puerlings's nadir, and the performances and sound on this box are excellent - just what you would expect from the state-of-the-art in... Read more
Published on May 30, 2007 by Dillydipper
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