Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet celebrates CD Releaseat Blues Alley Oct. 30Shows at8:00 & 10:00 PM
Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet will celebrate and spotlight its head-turning new CD with a performance at Blues Alley in Washington, DC on Tuesday, October 30.
This quartet has put their sublime signature on the group vocal jazz genre with ear-popping, harmonized material that’s never been heard before. For over two decades, the four singers and their band have been enchanting listeners and building a loyal audience across five continents with their tightly harmonized renditions of jazz and American Songbook classics. Their signature sound reminds the listener of such iconic vocal groups as Lambert/Hendricks/Ross, the New York Voices and the Manhattan Transfer, but they have now put their distinctive stamp on 4-part harmony vocal jazz with their own songbook, which is quickly becoming a new classic.
Hustlin’ for a Gig, their latest CD, is a feast of original music, lyrics, and arrangements by group leader Ginny Carr, in which UVJQ stretches group vocal jazz beyond standards and takes the listener on an exciting journey of original songs celebrating the uniquely entertaining sound that only a finely honed vocal jazz group with an ear for the marriage of music, lyric, harmony, rhythm-in-the-pocket, and ensemble precision can deliver. Ms. Carr has crafted delightfully literate lyrics and matched them to harmony-rich tunes and arrangements that spotlight both the ensemble and the individual voices and wrapped it all up in a diverse package of vocalese, fiery big band bop, swingin’ centerpieces inspired by the Basie sound, lush ballads, Chicago-style blues, cool jazz, latin grooves, and even a touch of classic soul. Backed by a terrific 8-piece rhythm and horn section, the singers announce the album with “He Was The Cat,” the story of the late jazz singer Eddie Jefferson sung as an original vocalese tribute, which has been heralded as a tour de force by many, including Eddie’s musical collaborator, the great alto saxophonist Richie Cole. From there, the album unfolds into a musical celebration dedicated to making sure the audience has fun while experiencing high art Jon Hendricks-style, always reminding the listener that the wit of a great lyric combined with the panache of four voices blending and swinging together like a horn section is a rare and joyful sound. The CD was recorded by 2-time Grammy winning engineer Bob Dawson.
“Old school moving to new cool. As versatile and entertaining as any vocal group you may hear. The Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet takes their original influences of some iconic masters and transforms them into their own unique flavor and unforgettable sound.” – Brent Black, CriticalJazz.com
“They are remarkable vocalists who blend stylish harmonies with dynamic solos in a format that parallels that of the typical instrumental jazz quartet. Add literate, witty lyrics that you can actually understand when you hear them sung, set them in a variety of musical forms, cool and hot, and you’ve got a recipe for success. Hustlin’ For a Gig is vocalese at its best.” – Jack Goodstein, Blogcritics.org
“This disc is a giant step back into a form that saw its high point earlier in recent history and still hasn’t been improved upon, in this outing remaining delightful as hell and clearly vintage, every bow and ribbon in place, singin’ ‘n swingin’. Any promoter that wouldn’t sign the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet to pizzazz their fest up would be an idiot!” – Mark S. Tucker, FAME
“What a breath of fresh air! Here is a fresh group with such well-informed musicality and such perfect blend in their interrelationship as a quartet that hearing them just puts the audience at ease to enjoy the music. This is one of those recordings to keep listening to throughout the day. The Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet is definitely uptown and their music rings of originality and superb musicianship.” – Grady Harp, Amazon Hall of Fame/Top 50 Reviewer
Hustlin’ for a Gig ranks high on the charts August – September:
BILLBOARD CHART TOP 25 JAZZ:
- It rocketed to #18 on the Billboard Jazz Chart in August, where it remained for a week in the company of Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney, and other legendary artists.
AMAZON. COM, the world’s largest CD retailer, ranks it in the top tiers:
- Top 100 Jazz and Top 25 Vocal Jazz for 4+ weeks and continuing
- #2 – #3 in Hot New Releases in Vocal Jazz
- Best Sellers in Jazz & “Most Wished for” Vocal Jazz Release
On Aug. 4, 2012, NPR aired “Performance Chat with Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet” on Weekend Edition. Listener reactions catapulted UVJQ into the world spotlight, to the delight of their fans old and new. The interview with host Susan Stamberg can be heard on NPR’s website. (Click the image below to listen.)
“Hustlin’ for a Gig” CD Release Party
Tuesday Oct. 30, 2012
1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20007
Shows @ 8:00 & 10:00 PM