JazzTimes - 12/01, p.116
"...Sticks to the wide, safe path of big band and swing-era classics. The foursome are in top form..."
New York Voices: Peter Eldridge, Lauren Kinhan, Darmon Meader, Kim Nazarian (vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Lawrence Feldman (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, clarinet); Bobby Porcelli (alto saxphone, flute); Bobby Porcelli (alto saxophone, flute); Donny McCaslin (tenor saxophone, flute); Darmon Meader (tenor saxophone, clarinet); Doug Lawrence (tenor saxophone); Kenny Berger (baritone saxophone); Roger Rosenberg (baritone saxophone, bass clarinet); Craig Johnson, Barry Danielian, Greg Ruvolo, Marvin Stamm (trumpet, flugelhorn); Randy Andos, Larry Farrell, Jay Ashby, Dave Taylor (trombone); Andy Erzin (piano); John "Bucky" Pizzarelli (guitar); Paul Nowinski (bass); Marcello Pellitteri, Ben Wittman (drums).
Recorded at Clinton Studios, New York, New York and Presence Studios, West Port Connecticut from November 9-18, 1999.
Personnel: Darmon Meader (vocals, clarinet, tenor saxophone); Lauren Kinhan, Kim Nazarian (vocals); Bucky Pizzarelli (guitar); Bobby Porcelli (flute, alto saxophone); Donny McCaslin (flute, tenor saxophone); Lawrence Feldman (clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Roger Rosenberg (bass clarinet, baritone saxophone); Doug Lawrence (tenor saxophone); Kenny Berger (baritone saxophone); Greg Ruvolo, Barry Danielian (trumpet, flugelhorn); Marvin Stamm (flugelhorn); Jay Ashby, Randy Andos, Larry Farrell (trombone); Andy Ezrin (piano); Ben Wittman, Marcello Pellitteri (drums).
Recording information: Presence Studios, Westport, CT (11/09/1999-11/18/1999); Studio A, New York, NY (11/09/1999-11/18/1999).
Illustrator: Ed Fotheringham.
Arrangers: Michael Abene; Darmon Meader.
You have to admire New York Voices' diversity -- this is a jazz vocal group that has embraced everything from modal post-bop and Brazilian jazz to Stevie Wonder pearls. And how many artists have devoted an entire album to jazz interpretations of Paul Simon tunes? Not everything the Voices have recorded is great, but more often than not, their sense of adventure and open-mindedness have served them well. After paying tribute to pop-rocker Simon in 1997, the Voices make big band music the main focus of Sing, Sing, Sing. This time, they are backed by a big band and turn their attention to gems associated with swing icons like Benny Goodman ("Sing, Sing, Sing," "Don't Be That Way"), Duke Ellington ("In A Mellow Tone"), Woody Herman ("Early Autumn"), and Artie Shaw ("Stardust"). Although many of these classics came out of the Swing Era, Sing, Sing, Sing also has its share of post-World War II gems. Ralph Burns' lovely "Early Autumn" is a gem that Herman recorded in 1948, when he was exploring bop with his Second Herd and the Four Brothers. And "Orange Colored Sky," which was a major hit for Nat "King" Cole in 1950, is quite relevant to the CD's big band theme because Cole recorded it with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. This CD is a major departure from the Voices' Simon tribute, but considering how flexible they have been, it isn't surprising that they would do something completely different this time. Sing, Sing, Sing is a rewarding addition to their catalogue. ~ Alex Henderson