Richie Cole with the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet is like sprinkles on ice cream, makes a good thing even better with Vocal Madness!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
There are a plethora of vocal groups working the jazz scene that simply bang out some old school standards with little originality and minimal soul. Vocal Madness is a breath of fresh air with tight harmonies drawn from a brilliant color palette of sound and harmonic texture. The vast majority of the release are original compositions with arrangements that are seemingly hand crafted for each member. The presence of legendary saxophonist Richie Cole simply raises the bar and UVJQ responds in kind.
There is a warm rich organic sound that transcends the traditional expectations. The vibrant pop of the swing found in "Take Me Away" is the perfect compliment to the exquisite ballad "DC Farewell." This is not a release of swing for the sake of swing but a harmonic exploration of vocal possibilities with tunes that are remarkably personal and allow the listener to come along for the ride.
The voices will give you goose bumps, the arrangements will grab your ear while the stories will touch your heart. A tremendous effort once again from The Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet with Vocal Madness!
Tracks: Now I Have Everything But You; It's The Same Thing Everywhere; Tokyo Rose Sings The Blues; Take Me Away; So You're Gone; Bossa Nova Eyes; He Was The Cat; Pure Imagination; I Got Friends; Vanna Bonta; DC Farewell; I Love Lucy.
Personnel: Ginny Carr; Robert McBride; Holly Shockey; Andre Enceneat