Wednesday, April 17, 2013

New York Voices Live, with the WDR Cologne Big Band

The New York Voices are a tastefully tuneful vocal quartet in the tradition of such groups as the Manhattan Transfer. They sing well together and do not revert to the cliches you can hear elsewhere. They team up with a hot WDR Big Band Cologne for a night of very good music on New York Voices Live (Palmetto 2160).

The arrangements are very nicely done, there are some very good soloists in the band, the latter are quite tight and full, and the program gives a solid mix of classics redone and new material. Nelson's "Stolen Moments" sounds glorious with lyrics, and there are nice approaches to some American songbook standards, a Paul Simon tune, and some worthy new fare.

What impresses throughout is the musicianship of all concerned. The WDR bands, thanks to government support, gig and rehearse extensively as I understand, and you can hear that here.

It's something of a hoot. If you like the idea, you are half the way there. They fulfill their end of the deal with a thoroughly enjoyable set.

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