Monday, March 18, 2013

NY Voices Anniversary; Diehl's Quartet - Bob Stewart

Celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, New York Voices is the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble renowned for their excellence in jazz and the art of group singing. Like the great groups that have come before, such as Lambert, Hendricks and Ross and the Manhattan Transfer, they have learned from the best and taken the art form to new levels. For their new disc -- Live -- they're captured in a 2008 performance with the famed WDR Big Band of Cologne, Germany. The program is a collection of the group's old favorites with a few never recorded and/or new arrangements. There are lots of featured solos from the big band that break up the usual vocal palette and make it an altogether different NYV experience.

Pianist Aaron Diehl is a 2007 graduate of the Julliard School where he studied with Kenny Barron and Eric Reed. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Hank Jones and Benny Golson, among others, and has been featured on Marian McPartland's "Piano Jazz" radio program. His current quartet initially took shape in 2008 when he was asked to play a concert of John Lewis' music. In April 2011, Diehl states, "I thought it would be wise to use the opportunity to document this ensemble. I decided to compose and arrange music in line with our own sound and conception, while using the strategies of bandleaders like Duke Ellington, who developed their music in line with the abilities of their personnel." The result is his debut release with a quartet, "The Bespoke Man's Narrative."

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