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Legendary alto saxophonist Richie Cole first heard the Washington DC-based Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet in 2012 and immediately declared them "My new discovery, the whole package." Cole, who has worked extensively with The Manhattan Transfer and been featured on their Grammy-winning albums "Vocalese," "Mecca for Moderns," and "Extensions", instantly recognized the vocal appeal of UVJQ and the unique songwriting and jazz arranging talents of their leader, Ginny Carr. A lover of swingin' vocal harmonies and a prolific songwriter himself, Cole invited Carr to arrange his own songs for her group and collaborate with him on a recording featuring their collective original compositions. "Vocal Madness" is a rich compilation of original songs by both Richie Cole and Ginny Carr, with arrangements by Carr. It's a high-flying and highly original performance by the power ensemble of Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet and their band, with guest Richie Cole on sax.


released November 10, 2014

Ginny Carr, Robert McBride, Holly Shockey, Andre Enceneat (vocals).
Frank Russo (drums), Max Murray (bass), Alan Blackman (piano), Steve Herberman (guitar), Chris Rose (percussion), Richie Cole (alto sax).

Recorded and mixed at Bias Studios (Springfield, VA), by Bob Dawson.
Produced by Ginny Carr and Bob Dawson.



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Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet Washington, D.C.

Often compared to The Manhattan Transfer with their tight jazz harmonies and vocal sass, UVJQ has built a following across 5 continents and put their creative, original stamp on the group vocal style that mixes great fun with great art. Billboard Top 25 Jazz Chart, NPR profiles, extensive international airplay, international festival headliners. See website for full bio, videos, press reviews. ... more

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Track Name: He Was The Cat (a Tribute to Eddie Jefferson)
There was a fellow named Jefferson who
Would tear it up with the band
A vocalizin’ phenomenon who they used to call the Main Man
He would think like a sage, sing like a horn
And there on the stage somethin’ special was born
He would swing, “dit n’ doo dat”
He was The Cat.

He sang with Moody in ‘57
He put a lyric to bop
When little Benny came down from Heaven
He put it over the top
Jazz was hot in the East, cool in the West
But his vocalese it was simply the best
Because man, couldn’t he scat
He was The Cat.

Eddie was hip but wise as an old man
Takin’ that trip to celebrate Coleman
Lettin’ it rip on “Body and Soul” man
And oh what he’d do, the poetry flew
A founding father was Jefferson but
He never got the acclaim
We’re here to tell you that he’s the one that
Put vocalese in the game
He would dig sittin’ in, blowin’ the hit
And then he would spin out a story to fit
He was some acrobat
He was The Cat.

There was a time when there was jazz cookin’ up on every corner
Everybody would sit and listen as they blew
Tellin’ stories they knew in each his own way
Tellin’ the news, bop to blues
Set the moods any way they’d want to
Innovation was always there
Electrifyin’ the air everywhere you’d be,
Let me tell ya
All around you’d hear the sound of life abounding free
Comin’ out of a horn, bein’ born a new way
Never knew what you’d hear
First we heard from The Bean
Then the word on the scene was so choice:
Eddie Jefferson’s voice, what a beautiful noise
Master of a lyric and what an inventor
Singin’ with the spirit of jazz at the center
Anyone who’d hear it knew that he was a mentor
Enter for the love the sound
You found the rhythm town where you can marry vocabulary
To every melody that you hear
For when Eddie would sing, the story was king
He’d talk about a thing, then be sockin it like the swing of a bat
He sang it like that!

He would embrace his lyrical zen to
Tickle those phrases like he was meant to
Take us to places nobody’d been to
An Everest climb, the cleverest kind!
When Charlie Parker and Moody played it
There was a hush in the crowd
And then when Eddie would elevate it
The jazz community bowed
He’d evoke what we heard on the soloin’ rides
And make every word tell a story besides
And we’re all tippin’ our hat!
He Was The Cat.

- Music and Lyrics by Ginny Carr, © 2012
Track Name: Take Me Away
Take me away with you, lover of mine.
Any old day will do, any place is fine.
Find us a paradise we can explore.
It would be very nice even if I've been before.
Whether old or new
I'll adore the view
Even more with you.
Take me away.

Show me the open road, fly me afar.
Show me a king's abode in Scotland or in Zanzibar.
Maybe St. Thomas, love... The tropical moon
Will make us a promise of fantasy beneath a dune.
Sweep me off my feet
To the isle of Crete
And don't be discreet!
Take me away.

Let's unwind and let's get away and never react
To all the things that we've left undone.
I wouldn't mind if we jet today, matter o' fact.
Let me know when we go, my bag's already packed!

Take me away with you somewhere sublime
Just for a day or two, or maybe for the rest of time.
Sip a bit of grape
On a windy cape,
Baby let's escape!
Take me away.

Let's unwind and let's get away and never look back
To all the cares that we had before.
I wouldn't mind if we jet today, matter o' fact.
Let me know when we go, my bag's already packed!

What do ya say we go pitch us a tent?
Rent us a bungalow or rumble through the Orient?
Watch the moonlight beam
On a mountain stream.
Well, a girl can dream.
Take me away!

- Music and Lyrics by Ginny Carr, © 2014
Track Name: So You're Gone
So you're gone.
The sun will still keep shining
Though you're gone,
There'll be a silver lining.
Life goes on.

So you're gone.
No reconciliations,
Moving on.
That beckoning vacation's
Proving long overdue.
I'll be long over you.
Though you're gone,
I won't even know you're gone.

With zing and with pep I'll greet the new day.
The spring in my step will give me away.
I can't do a thing but accept the old "Come what may."
No worse for the wear not finding you there,
I nearly don't care about why you'd go,
And so... you're gone.

No tears will find my pillow.
You're gone.
But here's a sign it's still, oh, very wrong:
My heart won't let you go even though I know,
I know it's so....
You're gone.

- Music and Lyrics by Ginny Carr, © 2014