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The Chick Corea Songbook

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/29/2009
  • Label: Four Quarters Ent
  • UPC: 822545181927
  • Catalog Number: 1819
  • Sales rank: 57,797

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Manhattan Transfer Primary Artist
Ronnie Cuber Baritone Saxophone
Fred Hersch Piano
Janis Siegel Vocals, Finger Snapping, Group Member
Cheryl Bentyne Group Member
Billy Drummond Drums
Alex Acuña Percussion
John Benítez Electric Bass, Vocals, Coro
Jack Bryant Handbells
Yaron Gershovsky Piano, Keyboards, Vocals, fender rhodes
Tim Hauser Finger Snapping, Group Member
Conrad Herwig Trombone
Scott Kinsey Keyboards
Lou Marini Flute, Alto Flute
Christian McBride Acoustic Bass
Gary Novak Drums
Mike Panella Trumpet
Joe Passaro Marimbas
Alan Paul Group Member
Don Shelton Human Whistle, Soloist
Ramon Stagnaro Acoustic Guitar
Steve Tavaglione Soprano Saxophone, EWI
Vince Cherico Drums
Jimmy Earl Electric Bass
Luis Quintero Percussion, Conga, Timbales
Basie Hauser Finger Snapping
Edsel Gomez Piano
John Herbert Acoustic Bass
Airto Percussion
Laurie Green Finger Snapping
Steve Hass Drums, Finger Snapping
Gary Wicks Electric Bass, Fretless Bass Guitar, Acoustic Bass
Scott Gilmore Handbells
Michele Weir Finger Snapping
Robert Rodriguez Trumpet
Barb Sennet Wilson Finger Snapping
Bais Haus Synthesizer
Janet Vrudney Handbells
Ramon Stagnero Acoustic Guitar
Technical Credits
Joaquín Rodrigo Composer
Al Jarreau Composer
Van Dyke Parks Composer
Fred Hersch Vocal Arrangements, Instrument Arrangement
The Manhattan Transfer Producer
Janis Siegel Composer, Liner Notes, Vocal Arrangements
Cheryl Bentyne Composer, Liner Notes
Corey Allen Arranger, Producer
Chick Corea Composer, Vocal Arrangements
Yaron Gershovsky Arranger, Programming, Vocal Arrangements, Instrument Arrangement
Tim Hauser Composer, Liner Notes
Scott Kinsey Arranger
Scott Noll Engineer
Alan Paul Producer, Liner Notes, Vocal Arrangements
Mark Wilder Mastering
Neville Potter Composer
Yusuf Gandhi Executive Producer, Concept
Pamela Springsteen Portrait Photography
Artie Maren Composer
Basie Hauser Composer
Edsel Gomez Arranger
Burton Yount Art Direction
Beth Coller Photo Assistance
Paul Goldman Booking
Don Shelton Whistle
Bill Airey Smith Engineer
Michele Weir Vocal Arrangements, Vocal Producer, Instrument Arrangement
Francisco Javier Galego Lyricist
Bais Haus Arranger, Producer, drum programming
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A very ambitious album that succeeds on every level!

    Over the last several decades, Chick Corea has composed fantastic genre defining music. Chick has been equally proficient as a composer and performer of straight ahead jazz, Jazz/Rock Fusion, Latin Jazz and Jazz/World fusion. Vocal jazz is not what he has been known for though. The Manhattan Transfer, working in conjunction with Chick, are about to change that. This album, the groups first for the great Four Quarters label, features challenging but accessible vocal arrangements of eleven Corea compositions including the new tune, Free Samba. The arrangements, production and music are all top notch, and the groups' vocals have nver sounded better. A special treat is new lyrics for two songs, "Another Roadside Attraction" and "One Step Closer" were co-written by Van Dyke Parks. This album is simply a must for any fan of jazz and great vocal music. Congratulations Manhattan Transfer on 40 years of making fantastic music.

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