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Symphony Sessions

16 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 3, 2006
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$16.05
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$16.05 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Symphony Sessions + Vocalese + Swing
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Editorial Reviews

Eight-time GRAMMYr winning jazz/pop harmony vocal group Manhattan Transfer has been releasing stellar albums and drawing rave concert reviews for over three decades with their sparkling song stylizations and prodigious vocal talents. The legendary group's collective voice has never sounded better. The eagerly anticipated U.S. release following up 2004's acclaimed Vibrate finds the quintessential vocal quartet revisiting some of the best loved songs they're recorded earlier in their career.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 3, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B000HIVQDK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,849 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Smith on October 14, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is a fabulous new CD from the Manhattan Transfer. Previously it was only available as a Japanese import, but luckily Rhino records has made it available in the U. S. After Manhattan Transfer's delightful 2004 outing "Vibrate," I was hoping that the follow-up would be good as well. While "Symphony Sessions" can't quite be considered a new album in the traditional sense, it does feature 10 favorites by the Manhattan Transfer newly recorded with a Symphony Orchestra plus two songs they've never recorded before. Time has not diminished their wonderful vocal blend or the strength of their solo voices (as anyone who has heard the "Vibrate" album knows) and the newly-recorded performances are terrific. We finally get a good studio recording of long-time fave "Route 66" (which was previously available as a live track or the not-so-good studio recording featured on the "Sharky's Machine" soundtrack.) We get a new recording of the old fave "Candy," which had previously only been recorded with the first Transfer line-up that included Laurel Masse instead of Cheryl Bentyne. "That's the Way It Goes" is one of the songs they have never recorded before and it is a delightful 50's doo-wop piece in the tradition of "Heart's Desire." The other completely new song is "Because You Are All Heart," a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald which is a vocalese performance of an instrumental song called "A Portrait of Ella." One of the real standout treats on this set is their new recording of "Clouds" from the "Swing" album. The orchestral arrangement on this is beautiful and it's nice to have a more fleshed-out arrangement as the original recording was mostly accompanied by guitar. Cheryl's solo on "Clouds" is even *better* than it was on the "Swing" album. The "Symphony Sessions" CD ends with a real bang.Read more ›
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Richard Roland on October 25, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Symphonies/Pops Orchestras are not known for their ability to really swing, however, the arrangements on this album compliment so fully what the Transfer does with a song that swing feels second nature to this orchestra from Prague. The vocals are really fine, too. They are all tunes that we've heard on previous Transfer recordings, except for "Because You Are All Heart," which is a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald with vocalese lyrics by Alan Paul. To me, this work echoes the group's effort with "Body And Soul" back in 1979 on the "Extensions" album (not to get nit-picky with a previous reviewer on Amazon, but there is another recording of "That's The Way It Goes" from the Transfer's "Bop Doo-Wopp" album, recorded live in Japan in in the 1980s. It was part of the live sessions that would eventually become the "Man-Tora" CD release, yet, strangely enough, wasn't included in that presentation).

Anyway, "The Symphony Sessions" is a tremendous collection of the group's repertoire reconfigured through the Pops genre. If one is very familiar with the studio versions of these tunes, one might miss the slick studio (and often multi-track-recording) sounds of the group, particularly with "Nightingale," "Offbeat of Avenues" and "Birdland." However, these recordings offer a more raw and honest (yet not live) feel. There seems to be no doubling-up of vocals here, and the group still sounds pretty damn good.

The CD opens with "Route 66," incorporating Nelson Riddle's theme for the 1960 television series of the same name, giving the orchestra more to do than just mark time for the vocals. "Candy" follows, and indeed, it is the first time this tune has hit tape, vinyl, CD or computer chip since it was first recorded in 1975 with the original lineup of the group.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kimba W. Lion VINE VOICE on May 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I see I'm the only one here to give this album a one-star review. And yet, while the others are handing out the stars they say such things as: "quiet", "subdued", "not live", "not their best work". I am very disappointed in this album. The symphonic arrangements do not swing, and it feels like the quartet are holding back, to an extreme degree.

I attribute a lot of this subdued and "not live" feeling to the fact that the symphony orchestra was recorded half way around the world from the singers, who then sang karaoke to the recorded tracks. I wonder if they had any input at all to how the orchestra played.

I have no interest in ever hearing this album again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David L. Mayfield on January 19, 2007
Format: Audio CD
If you have listened to Manhattan Transfer for many years like I have you will enjoy hearing theses MT favorites and jazz standards with fresh arrangements for symphony orchestra. If you have seen them live with an orchestra you will have most likely heard these arrangements performed in concert. Their voices are as great as always and the complex harmonies are right on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Piotr Kurys on January 29, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This is really fantastic CD. Amazing music, amazing voices. Fantastic vocal arrangements. Song No. 11 is something unbelievable (Offbeat of Avenues)
I recommend this album very much.
Who would think they are in their sixties! They explode with energy.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been a fan of the Manhattan Transfer for as long as I can remember - seen them in concert several times and I think they're great. I really enjoy listening to the Transfer performing with a symphony orchestra backing them...yes, it's a more laid back interpretation of some of their tunes, but that's the point. I've heard them live, have their live CD's (actually I have all of their vinyl which I prefer, along with Cd's of the rest) and yes I like their up-tempo swing. But for a change of pace, this is a different take on their tunes.

As a FAN I think this is about a 3 1/2 star rating - it's good, but not great. For me, the song choices dropped the rating to 3 1/2 stars instead of 4, but there's no way this deserves a one star rating as a couple of reviewers have done.
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