Syncopation, the vocal jazz quartet that burst onto the jazz scene in 2002 and has been heralded by the Boston Globe as the "Manhattan Transfer of the 21st Century," again presents its clean, brilliant vocal style in fine fashion with this album, Wonderful You. It’s a tight collection of pop song covers that spans three decades.
The light and airy vocals give this collection an ambience as bright as only a group that clearly understands the dynamics and innovativeness of today’s jazz can offer. Syncopation is clearly such a group. Intertwined with R&B, soul, and fusion, the songs are full of marvelously enticing harmonies, and each melody is nicely accentuated by each member’s distinct vocal gifts. The group displays a complete sense of comfort and familiarity with the material and each other, a virtue not to be taken for granted with any style of group vocals, and a point obviously not lost on Syncopation.
From the energetic rendering of the opening track, "Breakout," the Swing Out Sister hit from the 80s, the group strolls through some very impressive interpretations of such tunes as Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings," The Stylistics classic "Betcha By Golly, Wow" and the Earth, Wind, and Fire mega-jam, "Getaway" (great "scat" work on the latter). This group proudly flexes its vocal muscle and massages some modern "oomph" into already very-much-alive classic material. A total project that reinvigorates our memories of beautiful times and music past.