My research turned up an interesting fact: The Manhattan Transfer, always one of my favorite vocal acts, won a total of seven Grammys in the period from 1980-1989. That certainly deserves some attention. Here are the seven songs (or albums) by Tim Hauser, Alan Paul, Cheryl Bentyne, and Janis Siegel that won Grammys in the 1980’s.
1980: Best Jazz Fusion Performance, Vocal Or Instrumental, “Birdland” Originally written by Joe Zawinul and performed as an instrumental by his band, Weather Report.
1981: Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo Or Group, “Until I Met You (Corner Pocket)” A jazz standard written by the amazing Freddie Green, late guitarist with The Count Basie Orchestra, with lyrics by Donald E. Wolf.
1981: Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, “Boy From New York City” A hit for The Ad Libs in 1964, The Manhattan Transfer took it to #7 in August 1981.
1982: Best Jazz Vocal Performance Duo Or Group, “Route 66” Written by Bobby Troup (Dr. Joe Early on Emergency! and former spouse of Julie London) in 1946 and recorded by The Nat King Cole Trio that year. The Transfer gives it their Grammy-winning touch here.
1983: Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo Or Group, “Why Not! (Manhattan Carnival)” Can’t find much on this song, other than it was written by Michel Camilo, Julie Elgenberg, and Hilary Koski and it appears on their 1983 album Bodies and Souls.
1985: Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo Or Group, Vocalese This whole album took the Grammy. Here is the Sonny Rollins standard, “Airegin,” from the album.
1988: Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, Brasil Another full-album win, this for their first foray into Brazilian music. This is “Soul Food To Go.”
The group earned one more Grammy in 1991 for the song “Sassy,” from their album The Offbeat Of Avenues.
Hope you didn’t feel overwhemed by the size of this. The Manhattan Transfer is one of those bands you don’t hear much about. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 27, 2017.