The Manhattan Transfer
Come in twos, pay your dues,
What can you lose?
Just your blues!
So lose them!
Jon Hendricks, "Birdland"
Formed in 1975, this four person group is modeled on a saxophone
quartet. Most of their albums feature at least one
and the aptly named Vocalese featured Hendricks lyrics
exclusively. In addition, they've done at least two Eddie Jefferson
songs as well, and several by various other people. Basically, there's
nothing they've done in this field that isn't top-notch, though I must
say that "Blues for Pablo" is a bit weird for my taste.
Clicking on an album title takes you to the
Manhattan Transfer Fan Club
page for that title, which include lyrics now!
See also Jon Hendricks Freddie the
- Extensions (Atlantic, 1979)
- "Birdland" Hendricks (Grammy winner)
- "Body and Soul" Based on Eddie Jefferson's vocalese on
Coleman Hawkin's solo, the tenses have been modified in the
first half and the lyrics of the second half have been
rewritten by TMT and Richie Cole to honor Jefferson.
- "Shaker Song" (?) I'm not sure if this qualifies as a
vocalese, but it is definitely based on a Spirogyra
instrumental. Credited with lyrics by Allee Willis and
- Mecca for Moderns
- "Until I Met You" Vocalese version of "Corner Pocket" from
Basie's April In Paris. Don Wolf lyrics on the
head, with a long (and uncredited) vocalese by Jon Hendricks.
- "(The Word of) Confirmation" Eddie Jefferson lyrics on a
Charlie Parker tune. Features a wonderful Jon Hendricks
scat solo as well as a nice Richie Cole alto sax solo.
- Bodies and Souls (Atlantic, 1983)
- "Down South Camp Meeting" Hendricks vocalese on a Benny
Goodman Orchestra recording.
- "Why Not!" Possible vocalese -- I've heard part of an
instrumental version which would presumably have been the
- Vocalese (Atlantic, 1985)
All lyrics are by Jon Hendricks.
- "That's Killer Joe"
- "Airegin" Vocalese on the LHR version of this song, with Jon
Hendricks singing the vocalese version of his scat solo in
- "To You" Vocalese from on the version from First
Time! The Count Meets The Duke by the Basie and
Ellington bands. Alan does a great version of Quentin
"Butter" Jackson's trombone solo.
- "Meet Benny Bailey" James Moody guests on this track.
- "Another Night in Tunisia" Mostly scat, but Jon Hendricks
sings lyrics to a Charlie Parker solo in the middle.
- "Ray's Rockhouse" Vocalese, original on David Fathead
Newman's House Of David. Jon Hendricks scat
- "Blee Blop Blues" Original is a Basie piece.
- "Oh Yes, I Remember Clifford" Tribute to Clifford Brown.
- "Sing Joy Spring" Written by Clifford Brown, the long and
totally excellent Janis Siegel solo is vocalesed from
- "Move" From Miles Davis's Birth of the Cool.
- Live (Atlantic, 1986)
Live in Tokyo on the Vocalese tour.
- "Four Brothers" (Hendricks lyrics)
- "Meet Benny Bailey"
- "To You"
- "Sing Joy Spring"
- "That's Killer Joe"
- "Shaker Song"
- "Ray's Rockhouse"
- The Offbeat of Avenues (Columbia, 1992)
- "Blues for Pablo" Hendricks.
- Man-Tora (Rhino, 1996)
Live in Tokyo on the Body and Soul tour.
- "Birdland" See Extensions.
- "Body and Soul" See Extensions.
- "Four Brothers" From Pastiche.
- Swing (1997)
- "Stomp of King Porter" Hendricks on Benny Goodman's 1935
recording of "King Porter Stomp" (Victor 25090-A). (I've
found this recording (or an identical twin) on Benny
Goodman: Let's Dance.)
- "Sing A Study In Brown" Hendricks on Count Basie Orchestra
at the Meadowbrook Lounge, 1937.
- "Sing Moten's Swing" Hendricks on Bennie Moten's Kansas
City Orchestra recording (Victor BVE-74847-1), 1932.
- "Sing You Sinners" Kurt Elling (?) on Fletcher Henderson
and his Orchestra, (Vocalion 4125), 1937.
- "Down South Camp Meeting" Same lyrics as the Bodies and
Souls version, except for lyrics for the very short intro.
- "Topsy" Partial vocalese? "Additional Lyric by Tim Hauser."
- "Clouds" Hendricks on "Nuages", recorded by Le Quintette du
Hot Club de France, 1940.
- "It's Good Enough To Keep" Alan Paul lyrics to the Benny
Goodman Sextet, (Columbia WCO-6942) 1940.
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