Published on Aug 21, 2012
1. Four Brothers
3. Meet Benny Bailey
5. To You
6. Sing Joy Spring
8. That's Killer Joe
9. The Duke Of Dubuque
11. Heat's Desire
13. On The Boulevard
14. Shaker Song
15. Java Jive
16. Blue Champagne
17. How High The Moon
18. Boy From New York City
19. Ray's Rockhouse
the Manhattan Transfer is an American vocal music group. There have been two manifestations of the group, with Tim Hauser being the only person to be part of both. The name comes from John Dos Passos' 1925 novel Manhattan Transfer and refers to the group's New York origins.
The first manifestation of the group was established in 1969 in New York City by Tim Hauser, Erin Dickins, Marty Nelson, and Pat Rosalia. Gene Pistilli, a good friend, soon became an integral component and composed for, and recorded with, the group. They contracted with Capitol Records, recorded several tracks, and issued their first album, Jukin' (1971). The album was later reissued in the UK by EMI's Music for Pleasure under the title The Manhattan Transfer and Gene Pistilli Pistilli had been best known for his performing and songwriting collaborations with Terry Cashman and Tommy West. This team endured until 1973. According to Hauser, "Gene and I were in two different places. He was more into R&B, and the Memphis sound, and by then I'd become more interested in jazz and swing..."
The next line-up of the group was formed in 1973 by Tim Hauser with singers Alan Paul, Janis Siegel, and Laurel Massé. After performances at Max's Kansas City, the group developed a cult fan base. Ahmet Ertegün, founder and chairman of Atlantic Records, saw them at Reno Sweeney and offered a recording contract. The group's first album for Atlantic was The Manhattan Transfer (1975), which included their first successful single, the gospel music tune "Operator". During the summer of 1975, the group was showcased in their own hour-long television variety series on CBS.
They also gained a following in Europe, where their next two albums, Coming Out and Pastiche, brought a string of hits. One was a revival of Wayne Shanklin's "Chanson D'Amour", which became a number one hit in the UK and Australia in 1977, though it failed to chart in the U.S. These were followed by a live album, The Manhattan Transfer Live, which was recorded in the UK and reached the UK Top 5.
Third line-up and journey into jazz
n September 1983, the group released the album Bodies and Souls, with an urban-contemporary style which resulted in two R&B chart singles. The first was the No. 2 hit "Spice of Life", which was co-written by former Heatwave member Rod Temperton who had penned several hits for Michael Jackson. The single also reached No. 40 on the US pop chart and No. 19 in the UK. The other single, the ballad "Mystery" (#80 R&B, No. 102 Pop), was later recorded by Anita Baker on her 1986 album Rapture.
In 1985, the group released two albums; the first was Bop Doo-Wopp, which included both live and studio recordings. The group's next album, Vocalese received twelve Grammy nominations—at the time making it second only to Michael Jackson's Thriller as the most nominated single album ever. The group won in two categories: Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group, and Best Arrangement for Voices. This was followed by a live recording of many of these songs titled Live. This concert, recorded in Japan, was also released on VHS and DVD, later titled as Vocalese Live.
For their next album, Brasil (1987), the group headed south to work with Brazilian songwriters and musicians Ivan Lins, Milton Nascimento, Djavan and Gilberto Gil. Brasil won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
The group did not release any more studio albums until 1991, when they signed with the Sony Music label and released The Offbeat of Avenues, featuring original material written or co-written by members of the quartet. Their efforts brought them their 10th Grammy award, for the song "Sassy". This was followed by the release of their first holiday album entitled The Christmas Album in 1992.
Switching back to Atlantic Records as their distributor, they released Tonin' (a collection of R&B and popular successes from the 1960s), The Manhattan Transfer Meets Tubby the Tuba (a children's album), and their 1997 album Swing which covered 1930s-era swing music. Their final album for the Atlantic company was The Spirit of St. Louis in 2000, dedicated to the music of Louis Armstrong.
The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.