Tonic Vintage Vocals

Tonic Vintage Vocals

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Tonic Vintage Vocals have an interesting twist on the usual romanticism involved in producing old-styled harmonic jazz singing. They write new ones. The quartet of singers has worked the realms of theater, background singing, jingles, and such, and combined those experiences into a classic form of vocal swing. A handful of the pieces on their self-titled debut are from the classic songbooks: "Lemon Twist" (by Bobby Troup of "Route 66" fame), a bit of Gershwin, a bit of Hoagy Carmichael, a bit of Johnny Mercer and Jimmy Van Heusen. The bulk, though, are original compositions, running from a hopped-up version of swing in the vein of the modern swing era (Squirrel Nut Zippers, etc.), to a vastly more subdued form, often even in solo slinks. Singers from a period piece on the classic radio era perhaps. Their four-part harmonies are of course impeccable, and shine clearly on the easier-flowing works. When the groups gets closer to Cab Calloway-style call and response and scat they can lose some of their luster at least temporarily. The music is generally well played over the course of the album, though. More nostalgic than anything, but without as much of the American songbook as one would normally expect.

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