Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Manhattan Transfer - The Offbeat of Avenues (1991)


A desperate attempt to remain somewhat relevant? I was big fan in the early '80s, I began to lose interest in the this vocal quartet with the release of their Brasil album in 1987.  With good reason, it turns out. While the group members are undeniably talented singers, they're not strong writers; the pop material presented here is weak and the drum machines are many. Even though there's some recognizable guest artists (Lew Soloff, Jerry Hey, Jeff Lorber, Richard Elliot, Mark Isham, Dirty Dozen Brass Band), jazz aficionados need not apply.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #179
Peak on the US Billboard Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart: #2

Tracks: Most tracks are forgettable, save for A World Apart (with help from David Pack, Michael McDonald, and an actual acoustic piano) and Confide In Me (written by Donald Fagen). Track 3, 10 Minutes Till The Savages Come, has promise but would have benefited with the use of real musicians and not programming. Their attempts to sound like Madonna (Women In Love) and at New Jack Swing (What Goes Around Comes Around) are downright laughable. This album yielded the group a Grammy Award, in the category of Best Contemporary Jazz Performance for the song Sassy (track 2). Put me down for a dissenting vote on that count. The final track, a vocalese cover of Miles Davis/Gil Evans track, Blues for Pablo, I'd describe as interesting but not enjoyable. Too bad.

Billboard, August 24, 1991, p. 64

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

Previously revisited for the blog:
Man-Tora! Live In Tokyo (1996)
The Christmas Album (1992)
Brasil (1987)
Vocalese (1985)
Bodies and Souls (1983)
Mecca For Moderns (1981)
Extensions (1979)

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