The repertoire ranges from 2 pieces from the pen of Paul Simon, several "standards", 2 originals and 1 piece from Annie Lennox. The program opens with a bluesy take of Simon's "Baby Driver", complete with distorted guitar (Paul Shigihara) and a rousing lead vocal from Eldridge. Though the lyrics are a touch "space-y", every one swings the heck out of the piece.Following that is a sweet take on Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" (lyrics by Mark Murphy) with the Voices blending and several fine solos (trombonist Ludwig Nuss and alto saxophonist Heiner Wiberny). Ms. Nazarian leads the Voices and the Band through a high-powered reading of "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning", the highlight of the first half is an exciting tenor solo from Paul Heller; then, the piece slows down for the Voices to caress the melody and harmonies. Swing reappears on a rousing reading of Jimmy Van Heusen's "Darn That Dream". After Eldridge's take on the lyrics, there are 3 strong solos including a hearty "scat" from Meader. The CD closes in a Latin vein with a long, high-powered, romp through "The Sultan Fainted" (an Eldridge-Meader original), complete with fiery solos from Olivier Peters on EWI, Meader scatting once more, and Frank Chastenier on acoustic piano, followed by a solo exchange featuring Hans Dekker on drums and percussionist Pernell Saturnio.
The way the New York Voices work together is mighty impressive, weaving their individual voices in and out of the mix, never sounding phony or academic. Abene's arrangements work seamlessly alongside the vocals and the 18-member WDR Cologne execute his charts with aplomb. Recorded in 2008 (during NYV's 20th anniversary), this music is both timeless and fun. For more information and to have a listen, go to www.palmetto-records.com/album.php?album=191.
www.shaynadulberger.com. To find out more about this show and upcoming concerts, go to uncertaintymusic.com.