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This album was reviewed by five members of
RARB. In this compilation, their comments are
always listed in a consistent order. Thus, for each song (and in the
"overall" section), all comments numbered "1" are from the same
reviewer, as are those numbered "2", etc.
There are a lot of good things on this album, yet a LOT of the
pieces sound like one another......it may seem more apparent
than on a rock cover album because it all seems like be-bop,
40's era jazz, the heyday of vocal jazz. I would have liked to
see more fusion, hard bop, etc, and for a vocal jazz group,
this is the FIRST time I heard virtually no scat
singing.....odd indeed. What they do they do VERY well, and
the brief forays away from bebop shine like a star....I feel
they're talented enough to want to consider broadening out a
Rating: 7 (7.0)
If you're looking for a gift for an older relative's birthday,
this album is perfect (or, of course, if you like old jazz
standards). There are no holes in this album, and the
Counterparts have a very nice sound, but their repertoire will
make it difficult to be huge with their fellow students and
will make it easy for them to sing for older crowds. While the
bass section seemed kinda weak, the group has some great voices
and fabulous blending.
Rating: 7 (6.7)
It's nice to hear a college-level student-run jazz group that
actually sings jazz with a bit of jazz style and decently in
tune. Most groups fall flat on their faces when they try a jazz
Overall some of the better COED jazz I've ever heard
out of a college group. In the slower songs, these folks
really have a feel for what jazz should really sound like
stylistically. In some of the others, though, there are minor
technical and stylistic problems. It's great to hear a coed
jazz album with less than 5 Manhattan Transfer tunes. Some
really cool and uncommon stuff, although more variety would
have been nice — then again consistency is good.
Rating: 8 (7.3)
They sound like they were lifted straight out of the forties or
something, but they do what they do quite well — jazz
songs. They have a nice confidence in their sound that
translates well, especially on the solos. For the most part
they have really nice voices — some of the women are great, but
the men are relatively weak. They blend pretty well, especially
the sopranos. This album is fun to listen to in small doses,
but after a while it gets really old, especially since most of
the songs sound the same and are arranged in the exact same
way. The one song on here that's from past 1960 shows that they
could do more pop songs or at least some other kind of song
than jazz, which would be refreshing. There are too many songs
on this album that sound like filler, but the good ones are
Rating: 7 (5.5)
The Counterparts have an obvious preference for classic
big-band numbers, and they do these well. Blend and balance
are generally very good. The leads are uniformly good, and
often outstanding. Ensemble precision is also quite good, but
there are frequent times when I would prefer to hear just
intonation in the background, where the Counterparts seem to be
determined to use equal temperament.
Rating: 8 (7.3)
Good rhythmic opening, although the samba the song
shifts to mid-way is borderline cheese. The rhythmic
quality also gets very muddy as the song wears on. Good
soloist, excellent tuning.
Good mature solo sound, she's really in control. Good,
tough, interesting arrangement, tons of stuff going on,
all of it with great intonation. One of the album's
Nice feel, nice solo, some tuning problems
This arrangement starts out nicely. Seema Desai has a
great voice — perfectly suited to this kind of song, and
it sounds really easy/natural for her (despite
consistently missing the highest notes). She even makes
the song less annoying than it would be otherwise. The
arrangement gets really cluttered at the end, but
otherwise it's not bad — I like this song.
The smooth, easy female lead on this song is excellent.
I also like the uptempo feel of this piece. The
background tends to sound a bit muddy, but it might be
too much reverb on a line which contains staccato
figuration. There are occasional patches of
INCREDIBLE harmonic blend and tuning on this
one. Very slinky, laid-back jazz feel, the kind of jazz
I love to listen to. Very reminiscent of the Transfer
song it's based on.
The sultry sounds of the soloist set the tone for this
lush jazz song, the only problems occurring when the two
lead voices sing the same notes and occasionally are not
perfectly together. Great background blend.
Nice soloists, basses are too loud.
I actually like this song a lot more than I thought I
would, the arrangement is nice and coherent (and
appropriately _calm_), the first soloist is
good, the other one falters at times and has slight
A velvety smooth jazz blues number. Excellent control
and feel, and once again the duet female leads are easy,
Ehh....pretty generic as jazz arrangements go...nothing
new or exciting was brought to the song. Some good
tradeoff between the men and the women... and four of
those six points were again for the incredible sense of
pitch these guys have.
Singing is fine, but this usual (boring) way you usually
hear vocal jazz choirs sing.
Really didn't have the feel of the original.
Sounds like a Nickelodeon commercial — if done even the
slightest bit tongue in cheek it would be pretty funny,
but as it is it's just sort of ridiculous, and makes
them sound as if they're literally stuck in the
50's. However, having said that, it's not badly done -
if you like this sort of thing. Since I don't, I give it
Fairly standard arrangement in the classic style. Solid
performance, but it feels uninspired.
WOW....perfect example of all the good things
about studio a cappella. Good vocal effects throughout
the song backing up the music......Some of the real high
notes, in soloist and background, sound really strained,
but that's a minor complication at best.....I have to
wonder how this sounds live.
The Counterparts show with this song that their jazz
repertoire is because of choice, not because of an
inability to do pop. Heavy on reverb, but it is good
for this song, sounding spacious and not muddy. Solo
tenor and bass do a great job with the octave melody.
The arrangement is good, and all of the singing is
Cool arrangement, though it had minor technical problems.
Way rushed, arrangement not bad — nice soprano line,
overall sound is not quite haunting enough (might be if
slowed down), solo sounds echoed but not in a good way -
too well enunciated. Doesn't have quite enough pop
sensibility, doesn't sound _intimate_ enough
for the feeling of this song. It almost works though.
Well-engineered studio piece, faithful to the original
arrangement in sound and feel.
This is my weakness as a reviewer....I'm a sucker for a
good right hook! As in song
hook....WOW!!! The soloist was perfect
for this song, as she conveyed the right amount of
sassiness with a sliver of anger in the delivery. Good
shout chords in the beginning....really gets you by
the....heart.... I'm impressed with the rhythmic groove
it builds without an ounce of vocal percussion in the
song until about 2/3 of the way through. Easily my
favorite song on the album.
Great soloist, neat song with a great chorus. Rhythm in
the beginning verse is a little hard to follow.
I have grown to hate this song — the verses aren't bad,
but the random instrumental parts are really
annoying. The arrangement is kind of weird — not quite
coherent. Background is really loud at times, but the
solo is okay, although sort of blared out without that
much feeling. The bridge is somewhat better, but the
moaning in the background is horrifying.
Soulful (female) lead. Once again the background sounds
muddy. I'm beginning to suspect that this is because
they're using equal temperament intonation (although
"Mercy Street" seemed to be in just intonation).
TOO FAST!!!! As I remember, the song
was much more haunting than this....this sounds like a
Singers Unlimited cover....too "happy". The soloist
should be commended for trying her own style instead of
imitating Kate Bush.... Unfortunately it doesn't quite
fit......LAME, LAME, LAME ending
Nice solo. Music is difficult to follow during parts of
the verses, but most of the song is very pretty.
I still like Seema, but this song is overly cheesy. It
just seems sort of pointless, although not blatantly
Some questionable intonation on certain chord changes
among the ensemble; the high soprano descant is
frequently flat in very exposed places. Also not a
particularly good number for showing off a lead voice.
AAAARRRGGHHHHH!!!! I guess the group
must really love the song, otherwise WHY would
a group of this talent level do a VERBATIM take
of this already oversung song. They perform it
flawlessly...but to what aim? They're better than this.
Interesting solo voice, background well sung, but no
surprises. If you've heard one...
Not Harry, but good
They arranged this song so that it depends entirely upon
the soloist, and if he were less mediocre it would sound
nice. That's really the main problem I have with it.
The male lead is the best feature of this number, but I
also like the arrangement, since it shows some variety
and a tiny bit of playfulness. Much of the potential
goes unrealized, though, as the ensemble energy level
doesn't match the lead's.
THANK YOU for not covering the Transfer version
of this. This is a good example of a vocal JAZZ
ENSEMBLE.....about the equivalent of what most
groups do with pop/rock music.
Pretty standard arrangement, but very well sung. For
the most part, a good rendition of what you'd expect
from this song.
I'm sick of that song!
weird arrangement, but I kind of like it, nice dynamics,
the tenors singing the lyrics are too flat and
expressionless, the scat sounds like it's being sung by
Popeye, the end is cheesy, but otherwise not bad.
Standard sort of arrangement. Once again competent, but
See #9 — very tasteful bass in the
As most of this song is sung by Dan Coleman (music
director) and a bass line, it needs a good solo to carry
it: enter good solo. While he doesn't blow you away,
his voice is just pleasing to listen to.
Solo really weak, wavering, can't quite hit the bottom
notes, the background/arrangement kind of cute, not a
bad scat. This whole song is just kind of cute and
cheesy — I would like it more if the solo weren't so
Excellent male lead, with an arrangement that alternates
between spare and chordal. Balance seems a bit wonky in
the choral sections, and pitch is highly questionable on
one recurring chord.
FINALLY.....a song that isn't primarily
vocalist/jazz ensemble. Good ensemble work in the
beginning, with some nice rhythmic shifts.
Exactly what you expect from this song. Group chord
singing for the most part.
I don't particularly like this song, and the arrangement
is too group-oriented for it — it makes it even more
cheesy than it already (inherently) is. The background
is not quite together in places. They blend well
though. Overall the best thing about this song is its
Charming, ensemble arrangement, very well done.
Solid rendition of a classic.......not too BOBSish in
the feel, with some GREAT chords
throughout.....great showpiece for the bass section
(This group has REALLY good basses,
Soloists ok, basses sound kinda wimpy. While they sang
it right (I think), I didn't really like the title chord
that the song seems to revolve around.
Great solo, wimpy bassline
Arrangement okay but not particularly great, the
snapping is sometimes irritatingly off-rhythm, the first
solo is slightly off pitch, the second is strikingly
weak, the third is nice, but the fourth is the best (she
makes it obvious that she should have been singing the
whole song). The basses sound like they're either in a
different key or up a third from where they should be,
throughout the whole song. The end is really lame and
Once again, great balance on close harmony. An
excellent vehicle for showing off several female leads;
and the dynamics really sell this arrangement.
More basic jazz, with a decent counter-rhythm going on
in the background. However, the tuning isn't as tight
And here's schmultzy club jazz, to round out the bunch.
Soloist sounds like her voice is about to cut out, but
she hangs in there, and the arrangement and background
are lively enough to make the schmultz enjoyable.
I like this song, but it would be so much better if the
solo were just a little more confident and steady (or if
she had a better voice) — she wavers a bit and her voice
cracks a few times, although that's not as bad as it
sounds. The arrangement is mostly par for the course for
them — good in some places and in others just
A standard swing arrangement. Enthusiastically
performed, but suffering from the occasional pitch
problem in the highest soprano voice.
I LOVE the female soloist, but the male voice
comes off as whiney. Again, good backgrounds, but same
old same old.
This song is one of those that takes you back to the
good old days. Two solos: the male has an old movies
kind of sound to his voice (nice casting!), the female
just has a great voice. Unfortunately most of the
melody/words are done by the whole group in an
The male soloist has too ridiculous a voice to take him
seriously, the female isn't bad, overall not really a
memorable song in any way shape or form.
Classic style arrangement, very well done. I like the
leads here, as well.
GOOD piece......a bit different in the
jazz feel than the other numbers.... nice verve to the
movement of the music.....It's a more intricate piece,
and the group seems to be more into this one than some
of the others.
I guess Harry's just got me spoiled. Good upbeat effort
just doesn't quite fly.
Solo weak, arrangement mildly fun, bassline could be so
much more interesting. I don't really like this song all
that much though.
An upbeat, lively arrangement. Ensemble is particularly
good here, and intonation in the highest voices is very
One of my favorite songs — excellent ebb and flow around
the soloist in the background. Soloist sounds good
here.....nice ending to the album
Very soulful soloist, imitative arrangement, but no real
The solo is really uneven — when it works it's sort of
nice, when it doesn't it's really annoying, and more
often it doesn't work. I like the song itself, but their
rendition of it is far from stellar.
Another outstanding (female) lead saves an otherwise
boring melody line from becoming completely tedious.
The background textures also help a bit, but not enough.