Vocalese (album)

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Studio album by
Recorded1985 at The Village Recorder, Ocean Way Recording & Bill Schnee Studios (Los Angeles, CA); Craig Harris Music (Studio City, CA); Fantasy Studios (Berkeley, CA); Can-Am Recorders (Tarzana, CA); Clinton Recording Studios (New York City, NY).
GenreVocal jazz
ProducerTim Hauser, Martin Fischer
The Manhattan Transfer chronology
Bop Doo-Wopp

Vocalese is the ninth studio album by Jazz band The Manhattan Transfer, released in 1985 on the Atlantic Records. Recording sessions took place during 1985. Production came from Tim Hauser and Martin Fischer. This album is considered to be The Manhattan Transfer's most critically acclaimed album. It received 12 Grammy nominations, making it second only to Michael Jackson's Thriller as the most nominated individual album. It also received extremely high ratings from music critics, including a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating from Allmusic. The album peaked at number 2 on the Top Jazz Albums and number 74 on the Billboard 200. The album's title Vocalese refers to a style of music that sets lyrics to previously recorded jazz instrumental pieces. The vocals then reproduce the sound and feel of the original instrumentation. Jon Hendricks, proficient in this art, composed all of the lyrics for this album.

Critical reception[edit]


This album earned the group Grammy Awards for:

It also earned Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Male for Bobby McFerrin and Jon Hendricks for "Another Night In Tunisia".

Track listing[edit]

  1. "That's Killer Joe" (Benny Golson, Jon Hendricks) – 5:02
  2. "Rambo" (J J Johnson, Jon Hendricks) – 3:19
  3. "Airegin" (Sonny Rollins) – 3:19
  4. "To You" (Thad Jones) – 3:53
  5. "Meet Benny Bailey" (Quincy Jones, Jon Hendricks) – 3:29
  6. "Another Night in Tunisia" (Dizzy Gillespie, Jon Hendricks, Frank Paparelli) – 4:12
  7. "Ray's Rockhouse" (Ray Charles, Jon Hendricks) – 5:06
  8. "Blee Blop Blues" (Count Basie - Jon Hendricks) – 3:01
  9. "Oh Yes, I Remember Clifford" (Benny Golson, Jon Hendricks) – 3:45
  10. "Sing Joy Spring" (Clifford Brown, Jon Hendricks) – 7:07
  11. "Move" (Denzil Best, Jon Hendricks) – 2:49




  • Producers: Tim Hauser and Martin Fischer
  • Recorded and Mixed by Elliot Scheiner
  • Additional Engineers: Craig Harris, Gary Ladinsky and Brian Malouf.
  • Assistant Engineers: Gene Curtis, Dan Garcia, Steve Katayama, Steve MacMillan, Dan Matovina, Tom Size and Jay Willis.
  • Mixed at Sound Labs Hollywood (Hollywood, CA).
  • Mastered by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering (Hollywood, CA).
  • Album Coordination: Ivy Skoff
  • Publishing Coordination: Sue Yahm
  • Art Direction: Fayette Hauser and Nels Israelson
  • Photography: Nels Israelson
  • Management: Brian Avnet



  • US Billboard 200 – 74
  • US Jazz Albums (Billboard) – 2


External links[edit]