This was the Manhattan Transfer before they become The Manhattan Transfer, an altogether different vocal group from which founder Tim Hauser was the sole holdover. Released by Capitol in the 1970s, Jukin' is an accumulation of scraps recorded over a period of two years in New York and Nashville. Back in those days, the Transfer seemed to be one of several hippie groups (like Spanky and Our Gang and Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks) that looked at the past ironically with arched eyebrows, not like the later Transfer which affectionately celebrated old music at its face value. Hence the pure country treatment of "Fair and Tender Ladies," which has a strong whiff of condescension in the group's nasal accents; even the doo wop tribute "Guided Missiles" reeks of barely concealed contempt. Then as now, the Transfer were unpredictably eclectic in their tastes, while also very much aware of the then-current rock marketplace. Hauser's version of Fats Waller's "You're a Viper" bears some resemblance to the later Transfer manner, and one number, "Java Jive," appears in the same arrangement as the one the 1975 Transfer used, if rougher in vocal texture. For all of the careful production, there is a casual looseness about these tracks that is typical of its time, the heyday of the hippie -- and as such, today's Transfer fans are in for a surprise if they want to check out the group's beginnings.
AllMusic Review by Richard S. Ginell