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Welcome to the EvO:R Independent CD Reviews Section.
I would like to take a few minutes to introduce ourselves to everyone.
The EvO:R review section features reviews from various independent musicians that
submit material for our consideration.
I wanted to let you know a little about our review teams collective thoughts on music.
It's important to let the people we review know what we think of their music and how we listened to their creations.
We hold nothing back! The team has been instructed to be honest and respectful of all CD's reviewed.
The EvO:R CD Review Team
Album: In Between
Genre: Vocal Ensemble
Buy Music:CD Baby
Listen to Music:CD Baby
Rating:4.5 out of 5 stars
Edited by: Charles Harrelson
Review Comments: email@example.com
After reviewing rock, blues and pop bands and artist's over the past few years I was taken aback by a CD from a vocal group
My roots are deep seated in progressive rock and 70's rock music. I can listen objectively to almost any genre with the exception of
street level Gangsta' Rap and Hip Hop. So with that in mind I was curious how I would react to this vocal groups CD. They are actually a "
vocal chamber ensemble"
as I raise my right pinky to sip on my freshly brewed cup of expresso.
The Amici are: Regina Leon, Donna Reid, James Higginbotham, Larry Long and Gary Norden.
The members of Amici Cantanti were all trained in the classics. Individually they have performed in many of the world's most
prestigious venues (see web: www.amicicantanti.com). They met in New York while studying with the great Cornelius Reid. As they
themselves say, they're a pretty good garage band!
One of the biggest challenge for a vocal chamber ensemble is how to be successful delivering a constant stream of sound in motion. With four vocalists and a single
piano player to round out the group you can understand what I mean. You can't cover up a poor signing performance with louder drums or more guitars.
The vocalist is musically naked to the world. One mistake and everybody knows it.
Amici Cantanti recorded 12 "standards" from such legends as Gershwin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Bach, as well as classic like Over the Rainbow, Java Jive, Mr. Sandman
just to name a few. What separates Amici from just another vocal group doing standards is the four singers and one piano player transform these songs.
You won't be asked to listened to twelve songs which stayed true to the original version. This vocal ensemble totally changed each song into something living and breathing on another plane
of existence. When I first opened the CD I was expecting a Manhatten Transfer version of 12 classic songs.
What I got was a new version of songs I thought I knew but now have rediscovered. This is an accomplished bunch of singers using talent and a dry since of humor to deliver
breath taking music without all the distractions of multiple instruments. Who needs a 58 piece orchestra when you can sing like the members of this ensemble?
Embraceable You / It Had to Be You /
Cole Porter Medley: True Love / So in Love / In the Still of the Night /
Chattanooga Choo Choo /
Java Jive /
Mr. Sandman /
The Lion Sleeps Tonight /
It Might as Well Be Spring /
Somewhere Over the Rainbow /
Volare, Al Di La /
Gershwin Medley: Love Is Here to Stay, The Man I Love, I've Got a Crush On You /
Duke Ellington Medley: Take the "A" Train, Mood Indigo, Satin Doll, It Don't Mean a Thing /
In the Studio
The CD was recorded impeccably by Jonathan Schultz not in a studio but a concert hall, where the group was more at home
and felt less confined. Not one drop of reverb has been added to the mix. The subtle acoustic ambience one can hear is that of the hall.
Special thanks goes to the groups astute producer
and engineer Jonathon Shultz, exceedingly generous acoustic consultant.
Each performance sounded as if it was played before a live audience in a medium sized concert venue minus the annoying coughs and sneezes, the guy who has to clear his throat every 30 seconds,
or the person who has to get up to go to the bathhroom during a number.
The arrangements completely
floored me as each song was transformed from what we remember to what it is today. Nothing but a class act here.
Review by: Charlie Harrelson
4.5 stars out of 5 stars.
Look for this CD to be included in the Best Indie CD's for 2014. This should be completed in early January.
Review Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
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