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Vocal Jazz - Released March 30, 2018 | BMG

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During the 1970s, and especially the 1980s, Manhattan Transfer topped the charts with its clever blend of jazz vocal light, doo-wop and cabaret. Following the passing of their leader, Tim Hauser, in 2014 due to a heart attack, very few observers gave them much of a chance. But The Junction is proof that the flame still shines bright, thanks in part to the arrival of Trist Curless (a rather surprising replacement for Hauser) and the intact virtuosity of Cheryl Bentyne, Janis Siegel and Alan Paul. Nine years after the surprising The Chick Corea Songbook, Manhattan Transfer offers a rather eclectic repertoire, mixing original compositions and well-chosen covers (US3/Herbie Hancock, Rickie Lee Jones, XTC). All in all, The Junction is as much a beautiful tribute to Tim Hauser as the signal of a new start. © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Vocal Jazz - Released March 30, 2018 | BMG

During the 1970s, and especially the 1980s, Manhattan Transfer topped the charts with its clever blend of jazz vocal light, doo-wop and cabaret. Following the passing of their leader, Tim Hauser, in 2014 due to a heart attack, very few observers gave them much of a chance. But The Junction is proof that the flame still shines bright, thanks in part to the arrival of Trist Curless (a rather surprising replacement for Hauser) and the intact virtuosity of Cheryl Bentyne, Janis Siegel and Alan Paul. Nine years after the surprising The Chick Corea Songbook, Manhattan Transfer offers a rather eclectic repertoire, mixing original compositions and well-chosen covers (US3/Herbie Hancock, Rickie Lee Jones, XTC). All in all, The Junction is as much a beautiful tribute to Tim Hauser as the signal of a new start. © Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz
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Pop/Rock - Released August 12, 1991 | Columbia

Other than a recreation of the Miles Davis/Gil Evans recording of "Blues for Pablo" (with trumpeter Mark Isham filling in for Miles), this program by the Manhattan Transfer is completely outside of jazz. It is doubtful if Sarah Vaughan would have much enjoyed "Sassy" (due to the reliance on electronic rhythms) or the poppish material heard throughout the date, despite the talents of the singers. Other than "10 Minutes Till the Savages Come" and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band's guest appearance on "Blue Serenade," the set is disappointingly forgettable. ~ Scott Yanow
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Jazz - Released September 29, 2009 | Four Quarters Records

It would be challenging for any ensemble to reinterpret the music of Chick Corea, but adding a larger vocal component did not deter the Manhattan Transfer in their attempt. Where the group picked some famous material, new pieces, and a few obscurities, this is not a comprehensive look at Corea's book. What the ensemble does offer is a wide-ranging view of Corea's more Latin-oriented themes, a few of the keyboardist's true cherry songs, and an expansion of where Corea's music might go if enhanced by a choir. Since Flora Purim and Gayle Moran are the only significant singers to grace Corea's music over the decades, their soaring presence has to be addressed, not to mention that the Transfer's vaunted, richly harmonic acumen is clearly present and accounted for. With assistance from keyboardist and music director Yaron Gershovsky and many guest instrumentalists (including Christian McBride, Edsel Gomez, John Benítez, and Vince Cherico), the group brings these tunes to life in a new reality. As might naturally be expected, Al Jarreau's lyrics to "Spain" show up, albeit three times -- in an adaptation of "I Can Recall" in a funky, plodding beat much slower than the original; the new composition, a five-minute "Free Samba" in choral carnival style with some counterpoint, English prose, and Corea alongside Airto joining in; and an inflated, extended version that allows everyone to fully stretch out. Pianist/arranger Fred Hersch appears on the excellent "Time's Lie" with Tim Hauser taking center stage on Neville Potter's lyric, while the kiddish "Children's Song #1" has lyrics by Janis Siegel and Cheryl Bentyne in layers of counterpoint. "Children's Song #15" is much more spare, with Lou Marini's flute and Joe Passaro's marimba shading a one-minute wordless vocal. Then there's the most well-revered "500 Miles High," as rich angelic voices reach for the heavens in wordless refrains holding tension and a modicum of energy, again quite unlike the initial famous version done by Return to Forever with Purim. In a minimalist 6/8 metered mode, "Another Roadside Attraction" is warmer and percussion-driven, while Hauser again steps away from the others for his wordsmithing during "One Step Closer," a swinger with finger snaps and the whistling of Hi-Lo's veteran Don Shelton. A take on "Armando's Rhumba" retitled "The Story of Anna & Armando" for Corea's parents has Siegel's delightful lead extravagantly expressing gratitude. As ambitious as this project is, with Corea's full blessing and endorsement, it falls short of being essential. Nonetheless, it is pleasing from start to finish, quaint and charming in its own way. ~ Michael G. Nastos
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International Pop - Released November 18, 2008 | Time-Life Music

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Jazz - Released January 1, 2011 | Capitol Records

This was the Manhattan Transfer before they become The Manhattan Transfer, an altogether different vocal group from which founder Tim Hauser was the sole holdover. Released by Capitol in the 1970s, Jukin' is an accumulation of scraps recorded over a period of two years in New York and Nashville. Back in those days, the Transfer seemed to be one of several hippie groups (like Spanky and Our Gang and Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks) that looked at the past ironically with arched eyebrows, not like the later Transfer which affectionately celebrated old music at its face value. Hence the pure country treatment of "Fair and Tender Ladies," which has a strong whiff of condescension in the group's nasal accents; even the doo wop tribute "Guided Missiles" reeks of barely concealed contempt. Then as now, the Transfer were unpredictably eclectic in their tastes, while also very much aware of the then-current rock marketplace. Hauser's version of Fats Waller's "You're a Viper" bears some resemblance to the later Transfer manner, and one number, "Java Jive," appears in the same arrangement as the one the 1975 Transfer used, if rougher in vocal texture. For all of the careful production, there is a casual looseness about these tracks that is typical of its time, the heyday of the hippie -- and as such, today's Transfer fans are in for a surprise if they want to check out the group's beginnings. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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Contemporary Jazz - Released May 17, 1988 | Craft Recordings

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Contemporary Jazz - Released November 15, 1987 | Craft Recordings

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Jazz - Released October 16, 2006 | Rhino

This collection features rerecorded versions of some of the Manhattan Transfer's best-known songs, including classics like "Embraceable You," "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" as well as their inspired reworking of Weather Report's "Birdland."
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Jazz - Released February 9, 2018 | BMG

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1970 | Craft Recordings

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Contemporary Jazz - Released January 1, 1985 | Craft Recordings

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Contemporary Jazz - Released December 23, 2008 | Craft Recordings

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Jazz - Released March 9, 2018 | BMG

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Jazz - Released March 23, 2018 | BMG

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Ambient/New Age - Released November 17, 1992 | Columbia

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Contemporary Jazz - Released October 27, 2009 | Craft Recordings

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Jazz - Released February 23, 2018 | BMG

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Contemporary Jazz - Released December 23, 2008 | Craft Recordings

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Contemporary Jazz - Released August 7, 1990 | Craft Recordings