The Manhattan Transfer: Blue Note

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The Manhattan Transfer

Blue Note, NYC, November 6, 2014

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

The-Manhattan-Transfer-Blue-Note-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212The Manhattan Transfer lost their founder Tim Hauser on October 16, but the legendary four-part harmony vocal group did not miss a beat at their performance at the Blue Note. Hauser’s replacement, Trist Curless, blended in beautifully with the surviving members Alan Paul, Cheryl Bentyne, and Janis Siegel. Their brilliant musical director and pianist Yaron Gershovsky assured that no group does what it does better than The Manhattan Transfer. Whether scatting, vocalizing or moving together in unison, the group is as vibrant today as it was when it was formed more than 40 years ago.

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They opened with their classic version of “Tuxedo Junction” followed by “The Duke of Dubuque.” They went back to their 1975 LP for a very kinetic “Candy.

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” Bentyne did a dramatic yet jazzy “I Thought About You.” Curless followed with a solo, vocalizing the sound of a trumpet, accompanied by trumpeter Boris Koslov, of Charlie Parker’s “Billie’s Bounce.” Jon Hendricks’s lyrics were featured on “The Sidewinder” (set to Lee Morgan’s instrumental composition, with an amazing display of piano virtuosity by Gershovsky) and “Tutu.”  On the latter (a melody by Marcus Miller, made famous by Miles Davis), trumpeter Lou Soloff made a guest appearance. The quartet closed with a jumping “The Boy from New York City;” followed by their encore, “Ch Chu Ch’Boogie.”

Ron Forman

Ron Forman has been a Mathematics Professor at Kingsborough Community College for 45 years. In that time, he has managed to branch out in many different areas. From 1977 to 1994 he was co-owner of Comics Unlimited, the third largest comic book distribution company in the USA. In 1999,after a lifetime of secretly wanting to do a radio program, he began his weekly Sweet Sounds program on WKRB 90.3 FM, dedicated to keeping the music of the Great American Songbook alive and accessible. This introduced him to the world of cabaret, which led to his position as a reviewer for Cabaret Scenes.