Swingle Skyliner

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The Swingle Singers formed in France back in the ’60s, but by the time they released this album in 1979 they were based in England, with a partially English membership, so I guess the magnificent image of Concorde swooping down was an appropriate invocation of that spirit of Anglo-French co-operation.

The complex, multi-layered swirls of vocal harmony that Ward Swingle and Co. specialised in must’ve sounded anachronistic even when this was originally released 30 years ago, especially as all the songs are culled from the golden era of the Big Bands. I like the slow numbers best, like “Mood Indigo” and “L’il Darlin”, with those eerie beds of vibrato-free harmony hanging suspended over ennui-inducing chord changes.

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Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 9:37 am  Comments (1)  
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  1. Don’t know how this one escaped my attention. I love the freakin’ Swingles. I even saw them at the Mount Vernon, Ohio Memorial Theater in the early 70s with my parents. We actually met Ward! Anyway, a couple years ago I heard a Swingles documentary on BBC Radio 2 during a long car journey and remembered how much I like them and how distinctive they were. I’m afraid I was straight off the e-bay, whereapon the Swingle Singer-sized hole in my music library was tastily filled without great expense.


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