New York Voices, a vocal ensemble comprised of Kim Nazarian, Lauren Kinhan, Darmon Meader, and Peter Eldridge, continue to redefine excellence with their two, three, and four part harmonies on their new album A Day Like This. The vocal quartet’s passion for great arrangements that cater to their vocals, while building on a strong foundation of some of the industry’s best musicians, contribute to an album that someday will be referred to as a classic.
It doesn’t seem to matter if it is Kinhan’s lush vocals on "The World Keeps You Waiting," Nazarian’s cooing on "In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning," or Meader’s scat solo from "On A Clear Day," the vocal ensemble is always breathtaking. The timbre of Eldridge’s vocals adds depth and texture to many of these great songs.
Lush, well-textured arrangements were written for songs such as "A Day Like This," or Meader’s arrangements for "On A Clear Day," which are in my estimation even better than the original arrangements. That is no disservice to Burton Lane (lyrics by Alan Lerner), who wrote the song for the musical, On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, it is simply to say that Darmon Meader took an already strong composition and made it even better.
Like the Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices have defied time, and the short lifespan that is the inevitable fate of so many talented musicians and artists. They have done so by continually providing breathtaking vocal performances such as we hear on "Love You Madly" and "As We Live And Breathe." The listener experiences the thrill that you can only experience, while listening to music that is to be treasured, and held in your heart.
"No Moon At All," is an enchanting tune that had me wishing I was on a ballroom floor. Mike Tomaro has an absolutely wonderful baritone saxophone solo.
This CD has so many great musicians it is a shame that we cannot mention all of them. They include Meader who doubles on tenor sax and Eldridge who doubles on piano, as well as, Pacquito D’Rivera’s pretty clarinet playing on "Chamego (Betty’s Bossa)" and Jay Ashby’s masterful trombone solo on John Coltrane’s "Noticing The Moment." Bob Mintzer (bass clarinet), Dave Samuels (vibes) and Gil Goldstein (accordion) all put in great performances on A Day Like This. We would be remiss in not mentioning that Nazarian and Eldridge wrote lyrics for the previously instrumental "Noticing The Moment," and it further enhances the music.
New York Voices provides good contemporary interpretations of Stevie Wonder’s "Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing" and revitalize Laura Nyro’s "Stoned Soul Picnic." On the Wonder tune Chuck Loeb guests on guitar, and as one would expect is stellar. Jay Ashby’s percussion is energetic. I really liked what Eldridge and Meader did with the new arrangements for "Stoned Soul Picnic," and the ensemble, well for lack of a better word adds a lot of soul.
This is already a classic CD and it doesn’t hit the streets until this week.