Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Their next recording, Extensions, earned The Manhattan Transfer their second US popular music success: "Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone", written by Alan Paul and Jay Graydon as a tribute to the 1960s’ CBS television series created by Rod Serling. Their journey into JAZZ began with the album Extensions... featured a cover of Weather Report's "Birdland", with lyrics by Jon Hendricks, the piece that has become The Manhattan Transfer's signature tune. One of the most popular jazz recordings of 1980, "Birdland" brought The Transfer its first Grammy award (Best Jazz Fusion Performance, Vocal or Instrumental), and the award for Best Arrangement For Voices.
During 1981, The Manhattan Transfer made music history by becoming the first group to win Grammy awards for both popular and jazz categories in the same year. "Boy from New York City" (a cover of the 1965 success by The Ad Libs), which scored in the top 10 on the popular charts, won them the award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal, and "Until I Met You (Corner Pocket)" earned them a Grammy for Best Jazz Performance, Duo or Group. Both of these songs appeared on the group's fifth album, Mecca for Moderns. During 1982, the group won another Grammy, for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group, for its rendition of the classic ode-to-the-road, "Route 66". The song was on the soundtrack to the Burt Reynolds film Sharky's Machine
During September 1983 the team produced the album Bodies and Souls, with an urban-contemporary style which resulted in two R&B-chart singles — the #2 "Spice of Life" (also #40 on the pop chart) and the ballad "Mystery" (#80 R&B, #102 Pop). Despite its disappointing chart performance, "Mystery" — with powerful lead vocals by Siegel — has become one of the group's best-loved songs. Hauser has called it the group's biggest turntable (radio airplay) success. Anita Baker covered it on her "breakout" album, Rapture.
The Manhattan Transfer's next set, Vocalese (1985) was a great critical success. Vocalese received twelve Grammy nominations — at the time making it second only to Michael Jackson's Thriller as the most nominated single album ever. The Transfer won in two categories: Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group, and Best Arrangement for Voices. This was followed by a live recording of many of these songs titled Live. This concert was also released on VHS and DVD.
The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. By that time, it had become known for mixing jazz, big band, and popular music styles. The group's 30-plus year history and success has lead them into this new millenium with worldwide sales in the millions, Grammy Awards by the dozens, and veterans of sold-out World Tours.
Their newest CD, "The Chick Corea Songbook" was released in September 2009. This release features Chick Corea's most recognizable material with an appearance by Chick Corea himself on Free Samba. Other notable musicians on this recording are Airto, Scott Kinsey, Gary Novack, Steve Hass, Alex Acuna, Jimmy Earl, John Benitez, and Christian McBride.
Posted by CRN Digital Schedule at 3:24 PM