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The Manhattan Transfer at the Blue Note NYC (E51)


The Manhattan Transfer at the Blue Note (E51)

The Manhattan Transfer entered a short residency at The Blue Note during the week prior to Thanksgiving, 2021. And it was marvelous!

Hoping for a jazz show at a jazz club (as opposed to the band’s pop hits), I was so happy to get my wish. A lot of jazz songs and vocalese interpretations of classic jazz tracks. A vocal arrangement of Herbie Hancock’s Cantaloupe Island… enough said.

A trip to the Blue Note with my sisters, Juliet and Heidi.

Aged to maturity, this vocal jazz band still shines well. The 250-300 people that packed this small venue were in good spirits as the band took the stage. It was a blur of ensemble and individual moments (everyone got their solo). The show afforded this DJ the opportunity to do some investigative work on the provenance of the songs – which turned out to be super fun!

Quite of few of the band’s selections cam from their recent album (The Junction, 2018) and that was just fine with me as it is truly packed with jazz standards.

The Manhattan Transfer
The Manhattan Transfer at the Blue Note

LISTEN HERE – The Manhattan Transfer at the Blue Note

The Manhattan Transfer at the Blue Note (E51)
The Manhattan Transfer at the Blue Note (E51)

The Manhattan Transfer at the Blue Note. A playlist and research of the songs that made a November 2021 night at the Blue Note club special.

The Manhattan Transfer at the Blue Note

Count Basie

One of the songs the Manhattan Transfer reinterpreted was originally recorded by Count Basie.

Topsy” was a 1938 instrumental release for bandleader Benny Goodman, written by Edgar Battle and Eddie Durham, which became a #14 pop hit. The tune had previously been recorded by Count Basie and His Orchestra on August 9, 1937.

Count Basie

William James “Count” Basie (/ˈbeɪsi/; August 21, 1904 – April 26, 1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. In 1935, he formed the Count Basie Orchestra, and in 1936 took them to Chicago for a long engagement and their first recording. He led the group for almost 50 years, creating innovations like the use of two “split” tenor saxophones, emphasizing the rhythm section, riffing with a big band, using arrangers to broaden their sound, and others. Many musicians came to prominence under his direction, including the tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, the guitarist Freddie Green, trumpeters Buck Clayton and Harry “Sweets” Edison, plunger trombonist Al Grey, and singers Jimmy Rushing, Helen Humes, Thelma Carpenter, and Joe Williams.

The Manhattan Transfer on Lester the Nightfly

The Playlist – The Manhattan Transfer at the Blue Note

Tracks included in order of appearance. We moved quickly from track to track on this show.

SongArtist / AlbumYear
TopsyCount Basie / Topsy1938
TopsyThe Manhattan Transfer / Swing1997
(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66 Nat King Cole / The Nat King Cole Story1991
Route 66The Manhattan Transfer / Bop Doo-Wopp1984
Swing Balboa The Manhattan Transfer / The Junction2018
Tuxedo JunctionThe Manhattan Transfer / The Summit: Live on Soundstage2018
The Duke of DubuqueThe Four Vagabonds / Four Vagabonds Vol. 11941
The Duke of DubuqueThe Manhattan Transfer / Bop Doo-Wopp1984
It’s Good Enough to Keep (Airmail Special)Benny Goodman / It’s Good Enough to Keep1941
It’s Good Enough to Keep (Airmail Special)Ella Fitzgerald / Live at Newport Jazz Festival 19671967
It’s Good Enough to Keep (Airmail Special)The Manhattan Transfer / The Summit: Live on Soundstage2018
Little Did I DreamDave Frishberg / Do You Miss New York? Live2003
The Moment of TruthTony Bennett / I Wanna Be Around1963
10 Minutes Till the Savages ComeThe Manhattan Transfer / The Offbeat of Avenues1991
The Man Who Sailed Around His SoulXTC / Skylarking1986
The Man Who Sailed Around His SoulThe Manhattan Transfer / The Junction2018
Cantaloupe IslandHerbie Hancock / Empyrean Isles1964
Cantaloop (Flip Out!)The Manhattan Transfer / The Junction2018
Groovin’The Young Rascals1967
BirdlandWeather Report / Heavy Weather1977
Birdland – LiveThe Manhattan Transfer / The Summit: Live on Soundstage2018
BirdlandThe Manhattan Transfer / Extensions1997
Playlist: PJDJ

A PLAYLIST NOTE – The Manhattan Transfer at the Blue Note

Enjoying the ride, the back and forth, the insights… the fun.

I want to share my appreciation for you. For listening with an open mind. For comments and thoughts. For advice and suggestions. I am very pleased to go on these musical journeys each week knowing you are there to appreciate stand-out music from inspired musicians.

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DJ and radio personality PJ Ewing is the host of Lester the Nightfly.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Foxy (Adelaide)

    I love the high music really colorful!!!

  2. Finn Ewing

    Yea me too!!!!

  3. Finn

    The different pattern really work well!

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