Morning Music: The Manhattan Transfer

Extensions - The Manhattan TransferIn 1977 Weather Report released the song “Birdland” on their album Heavy Weather. It’s the band’s keyboardist Joe Zawinul’s composition. I know the song more from the version by The Manhattan Transfer. That’s because I went to a music festival, and in between bands, the sound person played the same set of music over and over. And one of the songs was this version of “Birdland” off their Extensions album.

The two versions of the song are actually quite similar. But the vocal harmonies on The Manhattan Transfer version — with the vocal slides — are really fantastic. And I’m not that fond of the Weather Report live version I found. So here is The Manhattan Transfer doing the song live, with lots of stage business, which I never would have expected, given the great care they show their music. It’s impressive that they can do this live. And the scatting at the end is incredible.

2 thoughts on “Morning Music: The Manhattan Transfer

  1. Wonderful music. For the folks who enjoyed this I would recommend they listen to Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. Also the Hi-Los and the Singers Unlimited for great harmony. Frank, your musical interludes are important as they remind us of the great beauty in this world. A lot of bad things happen daily but also good things too.

    • Thanks. It’s nice to have something regular that is positive (except when I decide to use it to complain). Lambert, Hendricks and Ross is a great recommendation! I’ll probably work them in here in a couple of days. I’ve been getting desperate with other work encroaching on my FC time. As always, I really like it when people mention other artists. It makes things a lot easier. It would be easy enough for me to fall into alternating between American Music Club and Aimee Mann.

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