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Mecca for Moderns

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Album Review

After the deserved artistic, critical and popular success of Extensions, the Manhattan Transfer went back to ace producer Jay Graydon for Mecca for Moderns, which almost matches its predecessor in its contemporary energy while drawing selectively from the past. Outstanding is the handclapping treatment of the 1965 rock tune "The Boy from New York City" (a number seven hit single) and the happily swinging vocalese of the Count Basie band's "Until I Met You (Corner Pocket)," although their version of Charlie Parker's difficult "Confirmation" isn't nearly as assured. There is also an ample dose of the inventive weirdness that invaded Extensions: the African/Caribbean "(Wanted) Dead or Alive," with its checklist of dictators, that segues right into a tongue-in-cheek secret agent spoof, "Spies in the Night"; or the ambitious, wordless composition "Kafka." No longer a mere nostalgia act, the Manhattan Transfer had not only caught up with the times, they were now slightly ahead of them as well. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Smile again and again and again!

This group is in my top ten. They can do it all. They cover every style of music fathomable, and do so with ease. "On the Boulevard" is one of the most underated songs ever! Its truly wonderment on wax! "Boy from New York City" is incredibly jaw-dropping as well! "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square . . . forget-about-it!!! These cats can do what everybody else has tried to do but couldn't!

Biography

Formed: 1969 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Riding a wave of nostalgia in the '70s, the Manhattan Transfer resurrected jazz trends from boogie-woogie to bop to vocalese in a slick, slightly commercial setting that balanced the group's close harmonies. Originally formed in 1969, the quartet recorded several albums of jazz standards as well as much material closer to R&B/pop. Still, they were easily the most popular jazz...
Full Bio
Mecca for Moderns, Manhattan Transfer
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