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Vibrate

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 9, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The Manhattan Transfer's first studio album in four years, Vibrate, explores the traditional and progressive sides of jazz, as well as various shades of Latin, world and pop music. "After 30-plus years,...these vocal veterans remain strong in voice, approaching every tune with casual confidence backed with a wisp of whimsy and playfulness.' - Singer.

Amazon.com

Some of the Transfer's best records have been themed, such as Brasil and Vocalese. However, their biggest commercial successes have come from albums like Extensions and Mecca for Moderns, recordings that highlighted the genre-hopping versatility of the vocal quartet and yielded big pop hits along with it. This album falls into the latter category. The previous five decades are harmonically represented throughout these 11 tracks, including traditional '40s vocal styling on "Embraceable You," a classic '50s doo-wop medley, and some Beach Boys-styled psychedelic '60s pop on "Feel Flows." They've always excelled at jazz, and do so here with lyrics by Jon Hendricks to melodies from Horace Silver and Marcus Miller. But it's the group's forays into the 21st century via songs by Brenda Russell and Rufus Wainwright that really stand out. --Mark Ruffin

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Walkin' In N.Y.
  2. Greek Song
  3. Vibrate
  4. The New JuJu Man (Tutu)
  5. Doodlin'
  6. The Twelfth
  7. First Ascent
  8. Core Of Sound (Modinha)
  9. Feel Flows
  10. Embraceable You
  11. Come Softly To Me/I Met Him On A Sunday


Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 9, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B0002VEXAU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,073 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joshua Smith on October 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
When the Manhattan Transfer decided to follow up their brilliant 1991 album "The Offbeat of Avenues" with three mediocre albums starting with 1994's "Tonin'," I felt like I lost four of my best musical friends. Luckily, my friends are back with a terrific new release for Telarc records. Everything I love about the Manhattan Transfer is here. Daring vocal arrangements combined with bold song choices. This is the formula they used for their 5 best albums "Extensions," "Mecca for Moderns," "Vocalese," "Brasil" and "Offbeat of Avenues." Luckily they returned to that winning formula for "Vibrate." Kudos to the Transfer for this extrememly rewarding new CD.
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Format: Audio CD
The Manhattan Transfer has always been a very eclectic singing group, given the superlative degree of musicianship of each of its four singers. But when you think of the M.T., you tend to think of two genres: vocalese (e.g., most of "Vocalese" and the best cuts of "Mecca for Moderns") and jazzed-up doo-wop (e.g., "Boy from New York City," "Trinkle Trinkle" and "Operator")

This album has precious little of that. Its vocalese consists of a harmonized version of Jon Hendricks' wonderful "Doodlin'", an old Horace Silver staple most prominently covered by Mark Murphy; and its doo-wop is the last cut, a cool medley of "Come Softly To Me" and "I Met Him on a Sunday" (complete with "Papa do-run-run's" in the background)

The album as a whole is as wide a pastiche of eclectism as you'll find from a singing group. From Latin-tinged ("Walkin in New York), to Oriental-influenced ("Greek Song"), to Mediterranean-toned ("Vibrate"), to straight ahead jazz ( Miles'"The New Juju Man"), this album has it all.

My favorites are the three cuts augmented with a string quartet and piano: the aforementioned title track; a lovely cover of Gershwin's "Embraceable You"; and IMO the album's highlight, or "Core of Sound." I think the reason these work so well is that, not only are they gorgeous arrangements in and of themselves, but also the violin extends the soprano range of Cheryl Bentyne, while the cello extends the bass range of Tim Hauser, so that the tightly harmonized quartet sounds even more impressive than usual.

Special note, as well, to the most adventurous track, "First Ascent", a space-aged sounding, tightly harmonized tune over a fast 7/8 background.

Based on all of these superlatives, you ask, why only four stars?
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album proves why the Transfers are still the planet's premiere vocal group!! Happy that they are back to their eclectic/variety album mode. from the esoteric tunes of Miles Davis to swing to vocalese to doo-wop to latin to contemporary tunes by Rufus Wainwright and Brenda Russell - this album has almost everything. Would've wanted a couple of R&B flavored tunes on this..... or even to be so daring as to visit the dance genre or acid jazz/smooth jazz sound once again (remember Mecca for Moderns and Extentions?)Janis, Tim, Cheryl and Alan - after all these years, I am still your number one fan!

Just a note to Telarc - the major disappointment on this album was the photography, art direction , packaging and lay-out. For such a classy group, the CD's Front cover was definitely NOT flattering for the group.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you're looking for swinging music with the natural sound of a live concert, this album will disappoint. Robert Woods, erstwhile owner of Telarc, created what was, overall, the finest recording company that ever has existed in part because he sought to reproduce REAL sound in REAL environments. He produced this MT project, and it has "business decision" written all over it, not "musical decision." What you get here is another over miked, cut-and-pasted recording job indigenous to a technological-mad industry. Record some tracks here, record some tracks there. Doesn't matter where or when. Slip on the headphones and overdub until you drop. Slap all these tracks together and offer it to a gullible public that has grown up hearing nothing else and considers the sound man as one of the performing musicians. Sad. Looks as if Bob Woods employed too many rock 'n roll cooks in this project's kitchen. The MT, rather than standing in front of background instrumentalists, is immersed a rock 'n roll-style mishmash of sound. The included (and copious) program notes glow in admiration of each arrangement, but they are mostly ones that send me jumping to the next track in search of the swinging Manhattan Transfer I remember. The search was largely in vain. Only in the Doodlin' track did they come close.

Where oh where has good sound gone?
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Format: Audio CD
You can never fault the Manhattan Transfer on quality - they're some of the best singers working today - but some of their song selections make me scratch my head in wonder. Maybe I'm younger than the average fan, but songs like "Walking in New York" are just a little too Lite FM for me. That said, I thought "Greek Song" was a risky choice that paid off very well. Overall the album is quite good, but there's not a track that truly stands out as classic MT. It's very well done, just not the collection of songs I was hoping for.
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