More than 20 years after Captain Beefheart's last musical outing, the Magic Band (sans the Captain) reconvened for the 2003 All Tomorrow's Parties festival. Actually, it's a Magic Band that never was, consisting of Drumbo (John French) on drums, vocals, and harmonica; Rockette Morton (Mark Boston) on bass; and guitarists Mantis and Feelers Reebo (Gary Lucas and Denny Walley, respectively). (For the live shows, Robert Williams – another Magic Band alumnus – took over the drum chair when Drumbo had to sing and play harp.) Of course, these guys knew the material, but they don't just play the tunes, they attack them, summoning up the controlled chaos that made the original Captain Beefheart recordings such singular achievements.
This 2014 Hyperion collection of 22 hymns sung by the Choir of Westminster Abbey is a straightforward presentation of familiar versions for choir and organ. For the most part, the arrangements are conventional four-part settings, with occasional interpolations of seldom-heard harmonizations and descants, and the performances by the men and boys are appropriately reverent and joyous. The majority of selections are hymns of praise, including Praise, my soul, the king of heaven; Thine be the glory; and Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, though Drop, drop slow tears; I bind unto myself today; and Let all mortal flesh keep silence bring a more somber and penitential mood to the program. The recordings were made in late 2012 and early 2013 in Westminster Abbey, so the sound of the album is typically resonant and spacious, and the choir has a well-blended tone, though the trade-off for the glorious acoustics is a loss of clarity in some of the words.
2011 two CD collection from the Jazz/Pop vocal quartet. Formed in New York City in 1969, The Manhattan Transfer rose to the top of the UK charts in 1977 with 'Chanson D'Amour,' a record that kicked off a love affair between the British public and the vocal quartet. They racked up eight further UK chart entries, all of which are included in this 40-track retrospective. Effortlessly switching from Rock 'n' Roll to Pop, Bebop, old time Gospel, Bossa Nova and '30s Jazz Swing, this set demonstrates why The Manhattan Transfer are considered the most versatile vocal harmony group on the planet.