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Carmen McRae/Manhattan Transfer - Double Time Jazz Collection, Vol. 1
Carmen McRae/Manhattan Transfer - Double Time Jazz Collection Vol 1
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2004     1hr 20min


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Movie Details

Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Jazz
Studio: Eagle Rock Ent
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 11/16/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 20min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The superb Manhattan Transfer...and Carmen McRae's right up
C. O. DeRiemer | San Antonio, Texas, USA | 12/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Their coolness is timeless...and so is their expertise and style as a vocal jazz group. The Manhattan Transfer. meaning Tim Hauser (bass), Janis Siegal (alto), Alan Paul (tenor) and Cheryl Bentyne (soprano), has been knocking out audiences for close to 30 years. Hauser started a group called The Manhattan Transfer in 1969, but it didn't jell and the members went their own ways after a couple of years. In 1972 Hauser tried again with Siegal, Paul and Laurel Masse. When Masse left to try a solo career in 1979, the remaining three recruited Bentyne. The four of them have been singing together ever since. They are great jazz stylists who consider themselves just as much entertainers as singers. They seemingly can handle anything, from jazz to swing, from pop to doo wop. This DVD album is a record of a Tokyo concert they made in 1986 as they were promoting their album Vocalese. The album is one of their greatest. They took jazz instrumentals, asked Jon Hendricks to write words that echoed the style, beat and the instruments, then matched their voices, using Hendricks words, to the place of the instruments. The result is a stunning, intricate achievement.

The first half of the concert, recorded live before a packed Tokyo audience, is songs from the Vocalese album. The second half comes from TMT's repertoire. The songs are: Four Brothers, Rambo, Meet Benny Bailey, Airegin, To You, Sing Joy Spring, Move, That's Killer Joe, The Duke of Dubuque, Gloria, Heart's Desire, Birdland, On the Boulevard, Shaker Song, Java Jive, Blue Champagne, How High the Moon, Boy from New York City and Ray's Rockhouse.

The DVD is a gem. I can't think of a jazz group...or any other type of singing group, for that swinging as they are with Birdland, Four Brothers or How High the Moon, as sweet and poignant as Blue Champagne, as smooth and clever as Java Jive, or as hip as Rambo, Boy from New York City or Ray's Rockhouse. They are a rare combination of vocal dexterity, wide artistic taste, stage presence and style. Try to picture them with this brief excerpt from Four Brothers (music by Jimmy Giuffre, lyrics by Hendricks). Their coolness really is timeless.

Take a seat and cool it 'cause unless you overrule it
We are ready to show you some blowin'
A rompin' and a stompin' is a lot of fun
Four brothers who are blowin' our horns

So settle down an' listen 'cause you don't know what you're missin'
And we're ready to give you a showin'
A movin' it 'n groovin' it has just begun
Four brothers who are blowin' our horns

We got a little message that you're gonna enjoy
Ain't no sense in dodgin' the facts
So settle in your easy chair an' if you ever had a care - forget it,
It's time to relax

We might as well admit it, we're the best that ever did it
But in case you ain't too sure a knowin'
We're gonna let you listen to us one by one
Four brothers who are blowin' our horns...

The DVD transfer isn't pristine, but it certainly is watchable. Also on the DVD disc is Carmen McRae: Live in Tokyo recorded in 1986. McRae was a fine jazz stylist who invariably chose first-class songs. She had her own style as a singer and piano player, but she never let personal style get in the way of the lyrics. Hers is a great album for those who like outstanding songs and an impeccable jazz style. As with The Manhattan Transfer, the DVD picture isn't perfect but it's enjoyable to watch. Manhattan Transfer runs 81 minutes; McRae runs 80 minutes. They're on a disc issued by Double Time Jazz Collection. There are no extras."
Sic Transit Manhattan Transfer
PrettyStuzz | Charlotte, NC USA | 08/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I bought this because it had the Transfer's 1986 Vocalese show for a good price; I haven't watched the Carmen McRae performance. I can count the number of jazz vocalists I'll listen to on the fingers of one hand (Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Nat King Cole.)

The video and audio quality are okay, like standard definition TV and FM radio, nothing great.

The DVD records the Transfer's 1986 show in Tokyo. It's a straight recording of the stage performance from beginning to end, no inserts or voice-overs, and only the set changes are edited out. It's a superb anthology of MT's successful career (beginning in the early 1970s), of their pop and jazz music take-offs and put-ons. They conclude the show's first act with Miles Davis's "Movin", and it's hot. The band cooks.

They are older - they are no longer that cohort group who danced and romanced to "Gloria" before meeting up and forming Manhattan Transfer; so they perform it as homage to their own insecure origins, without the mockery, no sneering, just glorious street-corner harmony and the harmless irony of pop wherever it happens. In the third act they served up watered-down versions of "Birdland" and "How High the Moon"; but they included the (then) contemporaneous "Shaker Song".

By 1986 their days of wine-glass shattering notes are behind them; their exuberance is still genuine if wholly professional now; yet there's hardly anyone who gets it anymore. Inextricable Transfer devotees will appreciate Janis's third-act homage of her earrings - a dancing woman in a green island dress."
Favorite Jazz Group
Rondall Banks | Toccoa, Georgia | 02/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I brought this dvd for my favorite jazz group THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER and to my suprise even through I had never heard of Carmen McRae what can I say she is a great and amazing singer. This dvd is a must for all jazz fans. Rondall"
I quite agree with "Shuman Ralph" below, except
J Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt | 11/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"that this collection deserves all FIVE stars, in my opinion (rather than only three). Two concerts, both in Japan, both from 1986 are on this disk; I happened to like both McRae and MT and, although there's little in common between the two, enjoyed this DVD immensely. Matter of fact, it's good that they're so different, 'cause the two parts complement each other -- you don't get overwhelmed (there's a lot of material here). I won't get into particulars: if you know the artists, you don't need them; if you don't, then like someone said, if I have to explain then I can't: but irrespectively, if you do NOT know who these are but like jazz, get this thing, chances are high you'll like it.