- Released: October 10, 2000
- Originally Released: 2000
- Label: Warner Bros Mod Afw
JazzTimes - 3/01, p.70
"...The album invokes Satchmo's gruff-but-wistful appeal through an adventurous range of traditional to postmodern arrangements..."
- 1.Stompin' at Mahogany Hall
- 2.The Blues Are Brewin'
- 3.Sugar (That Sugar Baby O'Mine)
- 4.A Kiss To Build A Dream On
- 5.Old Man Mose
- 6.Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans
- 7.Gone Fishin'
- 8.Nothing Could Be Hotter Than That
- 9.Blue Again
- 10.When You Wish Upon A Star
Manhattan Transfer: Tim Hauser, Cheryl Bentyne, Alan Paul, Janis Siegel.
Additional personnel includes: Gabriel Skoletsky (vocals); Greg Leisz (guitar, pedal steel guitar, mandolin); David Torn (guitar, loops); Chris Bruce, Smokey Hormel (guitar); Joel Deroun, Rachel Purkin, Michele Richards (violin); David Campbell (viola); Larry Corbett (cello); Jon Clarke (clarinet, saxophone, winds); John Rotella (clarinet); Teddy Borowiecki (accordion, organ, piano); Steve Berlin, Plas Johnson, Jackie Kelso (saxophone); Jon Hassell (trumpet); Patrick Warren (Chamberlin, Marxophone); Emil Richards (vibraphone); David Piltch, Oscar Meza, Jr. (bass); Abe Laboriel Jr. (drums, loops).
Recorded at Sunset Sound Factory, Hollywood, California.
Personnel: Janis Siegel, Alan Paul, Tim Hauser (vocals); David Torn (guitar, loops); Chris Bruce, Greg Leisz (guitar); Rachel Purkin, Joel Derouin, Michele Richards (violin); David Campbell (viola); Larry Corbett (cello); Teddy Borowiecki (accordion, organ, pump organ); Jon Clarke (clarinet, woodwinds, saxophone); John Rotella (clarinet); Plas Johnson , Steve Berlin (saxophone); Jon Hassell (trumpet); Patrick Warren (chamberlin); Abe Laboriel, Jr. (drums, loops).
Audio Mixer: S. "Husky" H”skulds.
Recording information: Globe Studios, New York, NY; Sonora Recorders; Sunset Sound Factory, Hollywood, CA.
Illustrator: Chris Pyle .
Photographer: Roy Zipstein.
Arrangers: Chris Bruce; Roger Treece; Greg Leisz; Jimmie Haskell.
That's St. Louis as in Louis Armstrong, to whom this album--comprised of pop and jazz songs associated with him--is dedicated. The clue to the album's style, however, is on the back cover of the CD booklet--it's an old 78 RPM test pressing with the original Atlantic Records logo. In other words, this is the Manhattan Transfer's version of low-fi.
Instead of the hyper-slick productions found on the band's earlier albums, the songs here are mostly performed with minimal backing, and the overall aesthetic is dominated by sound effect loops, wheezing pump organ and accordion, comically honking saxophones, and piano and drums recorded as unrealistically as possible. In fact, with the exception of the group's trademark lush harmonies, this is all so eccentric it could pass for a Tom Waits album. Does it work? It certainly does on "Old Man Mose," which was born to be the soundtrack for an old Fleischer Brothers cartoon. As for the rest, it depends on how you feel about irony, but the answer in the end is yes--THE SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS is an audacious and occasionally brilliant album.