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The Four Freshmen - In Session
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The Four Freshmen - In Session

14-04-2015, 15:15
Jazz | Vocal Jazz

The Four Freshmen - In Session

Artist: The Four Freshmen
Title Of Album: In Session
Year Of Release: 2005
Label: The Four Freshmen
Genre: Jazz / Vocal Jazz
Quality: Mp3
Bitrate: 320kbps / 44.1kHz / Joint-Stereo
Total Time: 41:34 min
Total Size: 94,1 MB
WebSite: Cdbaby

01. It's All Right With Me
02. My One And Only Love
03. Skylark
04. If I Only Had A Brain
05. Early Autumn
06. Something's Gotta Give
07. How Do You Keep The Music Playing
08. That Old Feeling
09. September Song
10. If I Had You
11. You've Changed

Vocals – Bob Ferreira, Brian Eichenberger, Curtis Calderon, Vince Johnson

The Four Freshmen were one of the top vocal groups of the 1950s, and formed the bridge between '40s ensembles like the Mel-Tones and harmony-based rock & roll bands such as the Beach Boys as well as groups like Spanky & Our Gang and the Manhattan Transfer. The group's roots go back to the end of the 1940s and a barbershop quartet-influenced outfit called Hal's Harmonizers, organized at the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Butler University in Indiana by two brothers, Ross and Don Barbour. Their repertoire centered on standards such as "Moonglow" and "The Christmas Song," and they began to show an unusually free, improvisational approach to their harmony singing. A couple of membership changes brought Bob Flanigan, a cousin, into the fold alongside Hal Kratzsch, and suddenly the Four Freshmen were assembled in all but name, and that fell into place a little later.

There were membership changes along the way -- Kratzsch left in the spring of 1953, to be replaced by Ken Errair who, in turn, was succeeded by Ken Albers in April of 1956, while Don Barbour left in 1960, replaced by Bill Comstock. That lineup lasted intact for nearly 13 years, into the 1970s, but by that time the group's influence had faded to almost nothing. The Four Freshmen had managed to stay competitive with other pop acts through the mid-'60s, and even got a very visible boost from the Beach Boys, in the form of Brian Wilson's frequent expressions of admiration for the quartet as part of his inspiration behind putting together the rock & roll group's sound, but following the arrival of the British Invasion, they were no longer anywhere near the cutting edge of pop music. They continued to record and perform, even assimilating such contemporary songs as Jimmy Webb's "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," but they were effectively relegated to the "easy listening" stations. Their contract with Capitol ended in 1964, and the group's last affiliation with a major label was in the second half of the decade with Liberty Records, which yielded four LPs but no hits. By 1977, Bob Flanigan was the last original member, and he retired in 1992.

New lineups of the group have continued to perform into the 21st century, however, and are considered an artistically valid ensemble -- in 2000 the Four Freshmen were voted Vocal Group of the Year by Down Beat magazine's readers. And in 2001, no less a label than Mosaic Records -- the company that issues complete catalogs of jazz legends going back to the 1930s, in deluxe packaging -- released a multi-CD box of the Four Freshmen's complete 1950s recordings, proudly (and even defiantly, given the label's catalog) proclaiming the quartet's validity as a jazz outfit. ~ Bruce Eder

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