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April 21, 2004

Cincinnati Enquirer

Their four-part harmonizing was so close, it was hard to tell where one voice ended and another began. When New York Voices visited the Cincinnati Pops on Sunday, the group's incomparable blend, hip delivery and great arrangements resulted in one swinging party. The Grammy-winning jazz vocal quartet joined guest conductor Jeff Tyzik and the Pops for an evening of big band-era swing. Their songbook was a sophisticated, polished package, from a haunting, pure-toned "I'll Be Seeing You," sung a cappella, to "Cloudburst," a nonstop barrage of patter by singer Darmon Meader, who also wailed on his saxophone.

The group's arrangements, by the multitalented Meader, were fun and inventive. Ellington's "Bli-Blip" was a slow, swinging scat on nonsense syllables. Louis Prima's classic "Sing, Sing, Sing," which ended the first half, was not the souped-up, Big Band style many know, but a cooled-down version that emphasized the words.

Tyzik introduced the second half with a tribute to Count Basie. The medley included "Basie's Back in Town," a fast, gutsy ride with impressive feats from Spangler and VanMatre, and "Lullaby for Basie," a simple tune that Tyzik embellished with his trumpet. New York Voices' "Don't Be That Way" and "I Can't Believe You're in Love with Me" were classy and sophisticated, with high-flying interjections from screech trumpeter Brad Goode. But the highlight came in Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust," sung with gorgeous blend - a rare reflective moment in this high-energy evening. The only disappointment was that there was no encore, despite a standing ovation from the large Music Hall crowd.

Posted by acapnews at April 21, 2004 8:47 AM


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