+ Kenny Barron, Corey Allen u. a.
“There is a celebratory nature to this record. You can hear it in the recording. The reasons for celebration alternate between reunion and the simple joy of creating music with talented and passionate people.” —Corey Allen, producer.
Vocalist Cheryl Bentyne, a 25-year member of the legendary Manhattan Transfer, steps into the solo spotlight with the release of Talk of the Town, her debut on the Telarc label. Driven by Bentyne’s sexy, compelling vocal style and backed by some of the finest players on today’s jazz scene, Talk of the Town features a number of standards from the American songbook, plus a few lesser known—but no less engaging—ballads that Bentyne makes her own.
Beginning with a simple and reverent version of Cole Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To,” Talk of the Town takes a melodic, straightforward approach to a broad range of familiar classics. Included in the set are familiar tunes like “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” “The Very Thought of You,” “Everything Happens To Me,” “It Might As Well Be Spring” and “These Foolish Things.” The album closes with “Still Good Friends,” which features a melody written by producer Corey Allen and lyrics by Bentyne.
Throughout the 13 tracks, Bentyne gets assistance from some of the most prominent names in the current jazz scene: pianist Kenny Barron, tenor saxophonist David “Fathead” Newman, flugelhornist Chuck Mangione, percussionist Don Alias and drummer Lewis Nash.
A member of The Manhattan Transfer since 1979, Bentyne won a Grammy award (shared with Bobby McFerrin) for her arrangement of “Another Night in Tunisia,” a song from the Transfer’s 1985 album, Vocalese. She also wrote and co-wrote tracks for the Transfer’s 1991 release, The Offbeat of Avenues, including the Grammy-winning “Sassy.”
But Bentyne has maintained a solid solo career separate and apart from her work with the world-famous vocal quartet. In 1988, she appeared on bassist Rob Wasserman’s highly acclaimed Duets album. Four years later, she released her solo debut album, Something Cool, a tribute to June Christy and other cool jazz singers of the 1950s.
Beyond the recording studio and performance stage, Bentyne has also dabbled in recording for motion pictures. She appears on the soundtrack to the 1990 film Dick Tracy, in “Back in Business,” a song she performed with Lorraine Feather and fellow Transfer member and Telarc labelmate Janis Siegel. She also collaborated with Mark Isham in the soundtrack to the 1991 Alan Rudolph film, Mortal Thoughts.
Vocal quartets and movie soundtracks aside, it’s the intimate and melodic projects like Talk of the Town that offer the most crystal-clear glimpse of Cheryl Bentyne’s vocal prowess. Check out her Telarc debut and hear what the whole town—and indeed, the whole world—is talking about.
Jazz thing 4-5 / 04: "Ihre zwischen tiefer Sopran- und
hoher Altlage pendelnde Stimme setzt sie aufregend und
mit viel Sexappeal in Szene und lässt sich von ihren
illustren Gastmusikern wie David "Fathead" Newman
und Chuck Mangione von Höhepunkt zu Höhepunkt treiben."