Vocalese (album)

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This article is about the album. For the musical style, see Vocalese.
Studio album by The Manhattan Transfer
Released 1985
Recorded 1985
Genre Vocal jazz
Length 45:29
Label Atlantic
Producer Tim Hauser, Martin Fischer
The Manhattan Transfer chronology
Bop Doo-Wopp

Vocalese is the eighth 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) – 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



  • Clarence Banks: trombone
  • John Barnes: arranger
  • Count Basie Orchestra: orchestra
  • Mike Beisner: additional backing vocals
  • Cheryl Bentyne: arranger, vocal arrangement, lead & backing vocals
  • Alex Blake: bass
  • Ray Brown: bass
  • Ron Carter: bass
  • Sonny Cohn: trumpet
  • Richie Cole: alto saxophone
  • Johnny Coles: trumpet
  • Gene Curtis: assistant engineer
  • Richard Davis: bass
  • Walter Davis, Jr.: acoustic piano
  • Eric Dixon: saxophone
  • Martin Fischer: producer
  • Bob Flanagan: additional backing vocals
  • Tommy Flanagan: acoustic piano
  • The Four Freshmen: additional backing vocals
  • Dan Garcia: assistant engineer
  • Yaron Gershovsky: arranger, keyboards, acoustic piano, synthesizer, vocal arrangement
  • Dizzy Gillespie: composer, trumpet
  • Autie Goodman: additional backing vocals
  • Freddie Green: guitar
  • Bernie Grundman: mastering
  • Craig Harris: engineer, sampling, Synclavier programming, vocoder
  • Fayette Hauser: art direction
  • Nels Hauser: art direction, photography
  • Tim Hauser: arranger, producer, lead & backing vocals
  • Marshall Hawkins: bass
  • Jon Hendricks: composer, creative consultant
  • Rod Henley: additional backing vocals
  • Dick Hindman: acoustic piano
  • Kenny Hing: saxophone
  • Danny House: saxophone
  • Bill Hughes: trombone
  • Ralph Humphrey: drums
  • Wayne Johnson: banjo, guitar
  • Philly Joe Jones: drums
  • Thad Jones: composer, music supervisor
  • Gary Ladinsky: engineer
  • Charles Loper: trombone
  • Steve MacMillan: assistant engineer
  • Brian Malouf: engineer
  • Dan Matovina: assistant engineer
  • Phil Mattson: arranger, vocal arrangement
  • Bobby McFerrin: arranger, bass, guitar, percussion, vocal arrangement, additional backing vocals
  • James Moody: tenor saxophone
  • Bob Ojeda: trumpet
  • Frank Paparelli: composer
  • John Patitucci: bass
  • Alan Paul: arranger, vocal arrangement, lead & backing vocals
  • Dick Reynolds: vocal arrangement
  • Don Roberts: baritone & tenor saxophones
  • John "J.R." Robinson: drums
  • Marshal Royal: saxophone
  • Bud Schaetzle: director
  • Elliot Scheiner: engineer, mixing, remixing
  • Janis Siegel: arranger, vocal arrangement, lead & backing vocals
  • Tom Size: assistant engineer
  • Ivy Skoff: production coordination
  • Byron Stripling: trumpet
  • Grady Tate: drums
  • Danny Turner: saxophone
  • McCoy Tyner: acoustic piano
  • Mel Wanzo: trombone
  • John Williams: saxophone
  • Jay Willis: assistant engineer
  • Dennis Wilson: arranger, conductor, trombone
  • Shelley Wiseman: production assistant
  • Casey Young: synthesizer programming
  • Snooky Young: trumpet



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


External links[edit]