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on October 2, 2008
A collection of Jazz, R&B and Inspirational recordings with a twist of Take 6 arrangements and vocals, unmatched by anyone else out there. Not your typical Take 6 Gospel recording, but a fun listen with superb guest appearances. Leaning more towards secular jazz tunes may cause some a bit of concern that they've left their gospel roots. But after attending a very recent performance in Los Angeles, their testimony is still as strong as ever. Good music from the best vocal ensemble out there.
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VINE VOICEon December 9, 2008
I've expressed my profound admiration for Take 6 before. To repeat myself, I thought the first c.d. and "So Much 2 Say" were two of the finest a capella recordings ever made; but I became profoundly disappointed when the group went pop in "Join the Band." So, I ignored them for about 12 years. Then, I became excited when the group released "Feels So Good" in 2006, and returned to its rich gospel roots. But when I heard they were following up that one with this c.d. regarding standards, I thought, "Oh, no, is this 'Join the Band' again?"

Answer: no, not at all. In fact, this c.d. confirms in my mind that Take 6 is the finest sounding a capella group in the U.S.

In this release, the group explores its jazz roots and does riffs on a number of standards. On most of them, they sing back-up - and prove that they are a number of levels above the Pips, the Vandellas, the Blue Notes, the Miracles, and any other long-time a capella backup group you may care to name.

So many highlights; where to begin?

Let's start with possibly the most impressive cut on the disc: Verve gave them the rights to borrow an old Ella Fitzgerald solo of "A Tisket A Tasket" (the liner notes don't say when, but I'm guessing some time in the '50's), and the group does some heavenly back-up over Ella's "solo." Ah, but if only these 7 artists could have met in the flesh!

Or consider "Seven Steps to Heaven." Jon Hendricks does the vocalese lyrical honors (who else?) and the leadoff vocal, with Al Jarreau taking over thereafter. With Till Bronner doing a tremendous impression of Miles Davis, this cut just shines.

Or consider "Someone to Watch Over Me." With Shelea Frazier taking the lead, this is the most soulful rendition of this Gershwin standard ever.

And I adore "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans." With Aaron Neville doing the honors, I think this is my favorite rendition of this song ever (including Satchmo's!).

Or look what they do to the old Nat King Cole classic, "Straighten Up and Fly Right." With George Benson doing the honors, Take 6 kicks butt. Again, if only Take 6 had been around at the time Natalie's father had made this popular!

To prove that the group has not lost sight of its gospel roots, however, they end the disc with "Shall We Gather at the River?" and a wordless "Grace." It's quite clear that everything these guys do is with the glorification of God in mind; but it's equally clear that they don't have to wear their religions on their sleeves to pump out great recordings.

20 years later, I must say: Take 6 still rules! RC
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on November 14, 2008
I've waited years for this amazing a cappella gospel group to make a recording of jazz standards, and the results were worth the wait. Their incredibly tight harmonies, ambitious arrangements (kudos to Mark Kibble), and glorious ensemble sound bring a cappella singing to another level entirely. Sweet Georgia Brown is pure joy, Straighten Up And Fly Right is pure swing, and A Tisket A Tasket is pure fun. There's also a lushly beautiful Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans, with Aaron Neville's honeyed voice and a delightful brass band imitation. Their greatest achievement here, though, is the R&B classic What's Going On, which their unaccompanied voices soulfully blend into a soaring, powerful groove that demands repeated listening. Enjoy.
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on April 2, 2009
Cats in the know going nuts over this one. Another step forward in their life's work to SPREAD LOVE. Certainly their best collaborative effort, they got all the best people, the legends, even reaching up to heaven for Ella! Vocalese masters Jon Hendricks, Al Jarreau. This would have been Gene Puerling's desert island album I betcha. Then, Aaron Neville, Brian McKnight. They are of course legends themselves ... Alvin Chea is moving jazz bass continuo ahead just on his own. This is a headphone album, rewards multiple listens. Engineering on this ought to win a Grammy just by itself.
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on January 18, 2013
I like everything that Take 6 does and this album is no exception, however I tend to love their acappella recordings better than their recordings backed by musical instrumentation. There are at least 3 songs done with musical backing, and though I still love each peice, their wonderful sound is so rich that musical instruments seem to cover up the rich quality of their unique voices. This a really good album and just because it is Take 6, I highly recommend this album. Anyone who likes The Manhattan Transfer sound will absolutely love their sound; I certainly do!
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on October 24, 2008
Take 6 has outdone themselves once again with their new CD "The Standard"!!! I have been a fan of this group for many years and I absolutely love their music! The collaborations on the CD rocks! I would definitely recommend "The Standard" for anyone who is a major fan of Take 6!!
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on March 24, 2009
Take 6 has its roots as a Gospel group -- a mighty fine Gospel group. So, it came as no surprise to me that the first two CDs I ever purchased of theirs were their Holiday offerings (both highly recommended, BTW).

This time around, they turn their attention to more secular pursuits, a collection of standards, that allows them to utilize their unbelievable harmonies on songs that are not are not of a religious nature. They do a tremendous job on both the accompanied and acapella selections. My only complaint is that they brought in a couple of guest artists, that they didn't need to. They don't need to be anybody's back-up singers.

I highly recommend this CD, especially to lovers of vocal harmony groups like Boyz II Men or Manhattan Transfer.
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on July 5, 2009
Take 6, the jazz-gospel sextet with the airy harmonic sound, has come up with their soulful take on the jazz classics that could sure to make even Renee Olstead blush. "The Standard" contains such classics as "Sweet Georgia Brown", "The Windmills Of Your Mind", and even a soulful take on the Gershwin classic "Someone To Watch Over Me". Their airy harmonies give new insight to these standards, while maintaining their soulful bent. Indeed, this is one of the best albums Take 6 has released in recent years.
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on January 14, 2009
The Take 6 cd arrived in a timely manner. The CD was worth the money and I will continue to purchase Take 6 products. Thanks.
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on November 29, 2008
This work of Take 6 is amazing. I`m a jazz collector and I love this group, Jorge from Patagonia Argentina.
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