Clockwork | Every Voice Counts

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Every Voice Counts

by Clockwork

Clockwork: a jazz vocal quartet from San Francisco with a blend and sound that is reminiscent of great vocal groups of the past, but in the end truly their own. This record is at once playful, soulful, and precise with an eclectic mix of songs.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Carry You Around / Chameleon
4:27 $0.99
2. Rhode Island Is Famous For You
3:20 $0.99
3. The Goodbye Look
4:07 $0.99
4. Creep
3:43 $0.99
5. I Thought About You
3:10 $0.99
6. Who's Blues (Whose Blues)
1:58 $0.99
7. Where Do the Children Play?
3:15 $0.99
8. Pontchartrain
4:30 $0.99
9. My Attorney Bernie
2:56 $0.99
10. None of Us Are Free
4:40 $0.99
11. Anthropology
4:08 $0.99
12. The Water Is Wide
4:04 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
There is a community of people who practice and enjoy “vocal jazz.” I don’t belong to it … While I do sing in an a cappella quartet, and have a long history in vocal music, and know my flat nines from my raised elevens, I find many of the trappings of “vocal jazz” a little too much about “Wow!, look at us, we’re doing all this technically hard stuff with our voices …” and not enough about the songs themselves.

Fortunately, while all the members of Clockwork have complete card-carrying credibility in this community, they also go far beyond the genre. They honor the song! This record is complete evidence of that. True, some of the arrangements are demanding and require the consummate singing abilities that they all possess, but these same arrangements and performances never fail to capture the spirit of the song itself.

This record is at once playful, soulful, and precise. There is traditional vocal jazz excellence. There are jaw-dropping solos.
There is stunning vocalese. There is fine rhythm section backing. There is an eclectic selection of songs ranging from Rhode Island to Radiohead, with detours to Cat Stevens, Dave Frishberg, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill, Dr Seuss, Ani DiFranco mashed up with Herbie Hancock, Charlie Parker, a gut wrenching Hurricane Katrina tale mashed up with the Beatles, some creepy/ironic Steely Dan, even a traditional folk ballad.

Clockwork: Angie‑Soprano, Juliet‑Alto, John‑Tenor, and Dave‑Baritone — four diverse voices, four individual personalities, four histories in vocal music. What I’m struck by is how completely they have managed to form a “group” identity with this record, a blend, a sound that is reminiscent of great vocal groups of the past, but in the end truly their own.

~Richard Bob Greene


Review from Steven Ramm "Everything Phonographic":

I first heard of this four-member "jazz vocal" group 18 months ago at the Arts Presenters conference in New York. I caught their all-too-brief showcase and was given a short CD-ROM sampler of their music. I was told the album was "coming". Well, last month the postman delivered the finished product and even before I put the CD into my player I knew this was going to be cool. The cover of the jacket is an illustration by the great graphic artist, Jim Flora, whose art has graced many "cool" jazz Lps.

Slipping the disc in the player and pressing "play" got me off on the right foot. The quartet (2 males; 2 females) was singing an Ani DiFranco song meshed with a Herbie Hancock score played by a jazz quartet. Things slowed down (for the only time on the album) with the next track: The Dietz/Schwartz novelty tune "Rhode Island is Famous For You". Sung in the style of the Modernaires from the 1940s, its cute the first time but, once you've heard it the fun wears off. But soon we were back to winning performances, some with 3 or 4 musicians backing them (John Calloway's flute on the Cat Steven's song "Where Do The Children Play" is worthy of Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson) or even better when just accompanied by bass and drums, allowing their voices to substitute for instruments.

There are "gems" everywhere here. A Hurricane Katrina song uses the Beatles' "She's so heavy" as a coda. Charlie Parker music gets words on "Anthropology". San Francisco hip is represented by Dave Frishberg's always entertaining "My Attorney Bernie" and the album ends on the 100% vocal version of the traditional "The Water is Wide".

If you are a fan of the Manhattan Transfer - which has been lying low lately - this one is right up your alley.

~Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"



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