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October 17, 2003

New Zealand Herald

Alan Paul takes it in good spirit, although the question could have sounded very rude: Good Lord man, what took you so long?

At 54, Paul has only just got round to recording his debut solo album. The other members of the famous Manhattan Transfer quartet he has been with for 31 years have long since run parallel solo careers which makes Paul - with Another Place and Time - a late bloomer indeed.

"All things come in their time," he laughs. "I started working on one a few years ago but this fell into my lap. Maybe it was not feeling ready or not having a clear idea of what I wanted to do. But it culminated this year, and was an incredible project to work on because the publishing company had all the Hoagy Carmichael catalogue so I had the opportunity to pick any of those songs I wanted."  

"What we're most noted for is the four-part harmony, especially early in our career that was the sound. It was based on the Count Basie sax section - two altos and two tenors - and we tried to take that and apply it to whatever music we did, whether it was doowop or gospel. As we evolved the harmonies got more sophisticated and complex.

"When we got together, four-part was pretty much non-existent. Pop music was basically triads and you'd hear four-part in doo-wop groups and people like the Four Freshmen. But when Motown hit in, four-part was taboo, you couldn't have more than three parts. But because of our love for it we filled a niche." More

Posted by acapnews at October 17, 2003 12:48 AM

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