THE MANHATTAN TRANSFER FACTS:
Members: Tim Hauser, Alan Paul, Janis Siegel, Cheryl Bentyne
Genre: Pop, Jazz, A capella
Hometown: New York City, New York
Albums: Jukin' (1971); The Manhattan Transfer (1975); Coming Out (1976); Pastiche (1978); Extensions (1979); Mecca for Moderns (1981); Bodies and Souls (1983); Bop Doo-Wopp (1985); Vocalese (1985); Brasil (1987); The Offbeat of Avenues (1991); The Manhattan Transfer Meets Tubby the Tuba (1994); Tonin' (1995); Swing (1997); The Spirit of St. Louis (2000); Couldn't Be Hotter (2003); Vibrate (2004); The Symphony Sessions (2006); The Definitive Pop Collection (2006); The Chick Corea Songbook (2009)
Awards: 10 Grammy Awards
Hits: "The Boy from New York City"
Other: The group name is taken from a 1925 John Dos Passos novel.
For more than 40 years, the Manhattan Transfer has been providing music fans with a unique blend of jazz, R&B and pop sounds. Although the lineup has seen numerous changes throughout the decades, lead singer Tim Hauser has remained, making the band one of the longest-running such groups in recent memory.
Hauser formed the Manhattan Transfer with four others in 1969. The quintet performed together for several years, and released their only album in 1971 with Jukin'. The record was a moderate success but did not generate much traction outside of the band's niche fanbase. The group soon broke up after a disagreement about musical styles, but Hauser was determined to keep going.
In 1972, he formed a new band with the likes of Allan Paul, Janis Siegel and Laurel Masse. The second incarnation was much more successful, and after developing a solid group of fans, the band released the first of this lineups four albums in 1975 with a self-titled record. The released was a considerable success and even charted reasonably well on the pop charts, and the singles "Operator" and "Tuxedo Junction" were favorite among fans.
Over the next several years, the band's popularity continued to grow - especially overseas. 1976's Coming Out featured a slew of hit singles in the UK and Australia including "Chanson d'Amour," which reached the top of the charts in Great Britain. In 1978, the quartet came out with the album Pastiche, which featured a number of jazz standards such as "Four Brothers" and "Love for Sale."
Ever since a slight change in lineup in the late '70s, the band has remained the same. In 1979, the Manhattan Transfer released what is considered to be their most commercially successful album in the U.S. with Extensions. The record marked a sharp turn in musical style, and featured a disco song "Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone." Additionally, the song "Birdland" won the group a Grammy Award.
Throughout the '80s and '90s, the band continued to roll out album after album, and although the currently lineup has been together since the late '70s, their most recent album, 2009's The Chick Corea Songbook, was one of their most well-received and enjoyed significant critical claim, as it was praised as a throwback to their earlier works.