The Manhattan Transfer returns!!

One of my favorite music groups – regardless of genre – is the vocal harmony quartet Manhattan Transfer.  I’ve dug their sound all the way back to high school, when our music teacher brought in a copy of their LP Extensions and played it for us.  I was hooked.

All these years (and several enjoyable concerts later), I’m still grooving to their music and to their sound.  And now comes news that the Manhattan Transfer have returned with a brand new album, The Junction, and the first single from that LP, “Cantaloop (Flip Out!),” received a special premiere on the Jazz Times website.

That title … “Cantaloop” … you know that sounds familiar.

You have to take a trip all the way back to 1964 … when Herbie Hancock recorded a track called “Cantaloupe Island” for his LP Empyrian Isles.

Then the song evolves a little more, when in 1970 El Chicano covered the track in a Latin-edged clasic.

But if you go back to Herbie Hancock’s original track, and then spin forward to 1993, it gets sampled by a British group called Us3 – who then add a smooth rap over the track.

But Manhattan Transfer take this track one step farther than the Us3 rap … farther than the Herbie Hancock original … they mix their awesome blend of vocalese (vocal lyrics that replicate the original instruments) and come up with a super-awesome track.

Since the premiere track is currently a Jazz Times exclusive and I can’t embed it in the blog post just yet … I encourage all of you to visit this link and hear the track for yourself.  As I said before … it is totally stunning.  And it’s great to hear Manhattan Transfer back in the studio once again.

Can’t wait to see them on tour once again.  😀