Infinity Music Hall & Bistro
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Manhattan Transfer

Infinity Hartford

DETAILS

Sun, September 28, 2014
Hartford, CT
Show at 7:30 PM

Ticket INFO

Price: $69 - $89

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GENRE

Jazz / Pop
Manhattan Transfer

It's been nearly forty years since Tim Hauser, a former Madison Avenue marketing executive, paid his bills by driving a New York City cab while aspiring to form a harmony vocal quartet sui generis that could authentically embrace varied musical styles, and still create something wholly unique in the field of American popular song.

Manhattan Transfer

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Artist Bio

Hauser had been in doo-wop groups, folk groups, and even in a short-lived quintet named The Manhattan Transfer, but as the sounds of jazz, R&B, pop, rock ‘n’ roll, salsa and swing poured out of brownstones, Hauser now dreamt of four-part harmonies without limits. 

In the Fall of 1972, Hauser's taxi fare was an aspiring young singer named Laurel Massé, who was familiar with the sole album by Hauser’s earlier Manhattan Transfer combo, and was looking to form a group. A few weeks later, another of Hauser’s fares invited him to a party where he met Brooklyn native Janis Siegel; although already in a group, Siegel agreed to help out on some demos and before long she was the third member of The Manhattan Transfer. As Hauser, Massé and Siegel began rehearsing, Massé’s then-boyfriend, who was drumming in a Broadway pit band, introduced Hauser and Siegel to Alan Paul, who was co-starring in the original production of Grease, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Signed to Atlantic Records by the legendary head of the label, Ahmet Ertegun, the group released their self-titled debut in 1975; the second single from the album, a remake of the Friendly Brothers gospel classic "Operator," gave the group their first national hit. "Operator" took radio stations by storm, from the opening four-part a cappella intro to Siegel's emotional lead vocal, eventually peaking in the Top 20. 

In 1978, Massé was injured in a car accident and during her convalescence, decided not to rejoin the group that had since moved to California. One of many who auditioned for her slot was Cheryl Bentyne, a stunning singer from Mt. Vernon, Washington, and a four-year veteran of The New Deal Rhythm Band. At Bentyne’s dazzling audition, the other Manhattan Transfer members immediately felt her impact, invited her to join, and, as Paul puts it, “The Transfer’s second phase began.” 

The first album featuring the now legendary quartet of Hauser, Siegel, Paul & Bentyne was 1979’s Extensions which earned the band another smash (#1 in New York and #2 in Los Angeles) with “Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone” - their updated take on, and, if you will, extension of, the theme to the Rod Serling hosted program of the same name. The album also featured a vocal remake of the Weather Report classic "Birdland," with lyrics by Jon Hendricks, that would go on to be recognized as the group’s anthem, and earn them their first two Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Fusion Performance, Vocal or Instrumental and Best Arrangement For Voices for Siegel’s work on the song. 

The critical praise and commercial success of the group’s first seven studio albums could hardly have prepared them for the monumental 12 Grammy nominations they received in 1985 for the album Vocalese. Those 12 nominations made Vocalese the single greatest Grammy nominated album in one year, and cemented the group’s status as one of the most important and innovative vocal groups in the history of popular music. 

Heading into the new millennium, with worldwide sales in the millions, Grammy Awards by the dozen, and as veterans of sold-out world tours, The Manhattan Transfer once again proved their uncanny knack for being ahead of the times by teaming up with the then relatively unknown, but future Grammy Award winning, producer Craig Street to record their tribute to the music of Louis Armstrong (The Spirit Of St. Louis). 

The release of The Definitive Pop Collection, a 2-disc retrospective of the group’s greatest hits, provides not only an opportunity to look back at one of the greatest bodies of work in American popular music, but also the chance to look ahead to 2008, the 35th Anniversary of a group that is restless, adventurous, limitless and, as the Philadelphia Inquirer so aptly put it, a group that "still can sound dangerous!”

Similar Artists:

New York Voices, Take 6, The Singers Unlimited, Natalie Cole, Al Jarreau, Diane Schuur


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