THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER’S "Fifty" GRAMMY®-Nominated For Best Jazz Vocal Album

Article Contributed by MAD Ink PR | Published on Monday, November 21, 2022

Fresh from their performance at the GRAMMY® Museum earlier this month, multi-GRAMMY® Award-winning vocal group The Manhattan Transfer celebrates its 50th anniversary, with a GRAMMY® nomination in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category for their new studio album, Fifty. Having previously been nominated for 15 GRAMMY awards—winning 10 collectively—this is the group’s first-ever nomination in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category. Their album Vocalese won in 1985 for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group.

Every album by The Manhattan Transfer is eclectic, with founding member Janis Siegel stating: “We treat pop songs like jazz songs and jazz songs like pop songs. This is our signature and our strength—to be recognized for that is amazing.”

“This album was created as a gift to our fans around the world, and we’re beyond thrilled that our peers in the industry have acknowledged our work. We thank them for their heartfelt support,” Cheryl Bentyne added. “This is truly an honor to be recognized for Fifty.”

Trist Curless said, "I never would have dreamed I’d be a part of a group with such an important vocal jazz legacy, let alone be considered for a GRAMMY!”

“Our deepest gratitude—we are so elated to receive this nomination,” added Alan Paul.

The nominated album finds the best-selling act partnering with Germany’s renowned WDR Funkhausorchester Köln (WDR Radio Orchestra Cologne), plus symphony arrangers including GRAMMY® Award winners Jorge Callandreli and Vince Mendoza, as well as vocal arrangers including Amanda Taylor of säje, to revisit their biggest hits from throughout the decades, including new arrangements of “Chanson D’Amour” and “Agua” plus the timeless classics “The Man I Love” (recorded for the first time by the group) and The Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” all with the groups signature jazz harmonies. You can listen to the album here.

Rounding out the album are brand-new liner notes from co-founder Alan Paul, who reflects on The Manhattan Transfer’s enduring career and matchless accomplishments. Paul notes in reference to the track “The Man I Love”:

"In 1945, Artie Shaw and his Orchestra went into the studio and recorded a second version of ‘The Man I Love.’ When I heard the orchestration, I felt it would be fantastic for the group to sing it and they felt the same way. So, in the style of Vocalese, the group’s third transition, I wrote new lyrics to all the solos and ensemble parts and then did the vocal arrangement following Artie Shaw’s recording. Cheryl flawlessly sings Artie Shaw’s clarinet solo and Janis, the Roy Eldridge trumpet solo."

In addition to the new album, the quartet are currently celebrating their golden anniversary with a final extensive, global tour with stops across the US, Europe, UK, Japan and Australasia, with dates continuing through 2023. The group’s performance at the GRAMMY® Museum in Los Angles earlier this month also saw the museum accepting original vocalese charts from the group into their permanent collection.

GRAMMY® Award Wins
23rd Annual GRAMMY® Awards – 1980
Best Jazz Fusion Performance, Vocal or Instrumental – “Birdland”
Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices – “Birdland” (awarded to Janis Siegel)
24th Annual GRAMMY® Awards – 1981
Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal – “Boy From New York City”
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group – “Until I Met You (Corner Pocket)”
25th Annual GRAMMY® Awards – 1982
Best Jazz Vocal Performance Duo or Group – “Route 66”
26th Annual GRAMMY® Awards – 1983
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group – “Why Not!”
28th Annual GRAMMY® Awards – 1985
Best Jazz Vocal Performance, Duo or Group – Vocalese
Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices – "Another Night in Tunisia" (awarded to Bobby McFerrin and Cheryl Bentyne)
31st Annual GRAMMY® Awards – 1988
Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal – Brasil
34th Annual GRAMMY® Awards – 1991
Best Contemporary Jazz Performance – “Sassy”