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About this clip:
The legendary vocal group The Manhattan Transfer performs their signature version of Joe Zawinul’s composition “Birdland” during their performance on September 29, 2023, part of the 2023-24 Season, broadcast on Fridays Live.
About the concert:
The ride is ending for The Manhattan Transfer, but the legendary jazz ensemble has kept the vocalese flame burning brightly for half a century, and there will be fireworks aplenty before they’re done. With 10 GRAMMY Awards, including an unprecedented double win in 1981 in both popular and jazz categories, The Manhattan Transfer draws on a vast trove of hits and jazz favorites. From their 1975 gospel-powered breakthrough single “Operator,” and “Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone” through the vocalese masterpiece “Birdland,” the Transfer has made an indelible contribution to vocal jazz.
Founded by Tim Hauser in 1972, the four-part harmony group originally featured Janis Siegel, Alan Paul, and Laurel Massé. Cheryl Bentyne replaced Massé in 1979, and Trist Curless took over Hauser’s chair following his passing in 2014. As members pursued solo projects the Transfer’s output slowed in the 21st century. But with arrangements and keyboards by the titular legend albums like 2009’s “The Chick Corea Songbook” left no doubt they had lost none of their creative mojo.
Last year, in anticipation of the group’s golden anniversary and international farewell tour, the foursome released “Fifty,” a consistently swinging album making it abundantly clear that no one is going to take the place of The Manhattan Transfer.
Janis Siegel: vocals
Alan Paul: vocals
Cheryl Bentyne: vocals
Trist Curless: vocals
Yaron Gershovsky: piano, keyboards
Pete McCann: guitar
Boris Koslov: bass
Ross Pederson: drums
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