Clockwork
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Clockwork

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF | AFTRA

San Francisco, California, United States | SELF | AFTRA
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"The Best Vocal Jazz Ensemble C.D. of 2010"

Truly, the above reprint from the liner notes of the comments of Richard Greene (executive producer and one of the creative forces behind "The Bobs") says about all that need be said about this c.d. But I will add more, because I am in awe:

This c.d. is flat-out sensational. It is the best vocal jazz ensemble c.d. of 2010. It's one of the best vocal jazz ensemble c.d.'s ever.

Normally, a recording that is this eclectic (everything from standard vocal jazz fare, such as "I Thought About You" and the little covered Dietz-Schwartz novelty, "Rhode Island Is Famous For You," to Radiohead's "Creep") portends a display of ego. In this case, however, everything is done so well that whatever ego that's on display is fully justified.

The cut that just knocks my socks off is track #8, "Pontchartrain." The song begins with Vienna Teng's hymnlike poem; but as the song morphs and builds, Dave Duran's arrangement turns into John Lennon's blistering "She's So Heavy" solo from Abbey Road, before returning to the hymn. Is this a case of the sacred meeting the profane, or do we have two separate sacraments going on here? You decide; but whichever, the effect is stunning.

And there's other stuff on this c.d. that is nearly that captivating. Consider Clockwork's treatment of Cat Stevens' (oh, all right; Yusef Islam's) "Where Do the Children Play," in a funky 7/4. Or Bird's "Anthropology," one of the very few ensemble vocalese of a bop or swing classic not penned by Jon Hendricks or King Pleasure (Walter Bishop, Sr., for the record). Or the blue-eyed soulful rendition of the Mann-Weil tune, "None of Us Are Free." Or the album opener, a meld of Ani DiFranco's "I Carry You Around" with Herbie Hancock's "Chameleon" (now, there's eclecticism for you! But it works into one homogenized stew of funk.). Or one of Frishberg's most hilarious tunes, "My Attorney Bernie," which the group just nails at warp speed. Or the set-ender, the emotional hymn, "The Water Is Wide" with a knockout arrangement by soprano Angie Doctor. Altogether, this album is just a thing that makes you go "Wow!"

This c.d. is destined to go down in history as one of the most criminally underrated recordings ever. I'm already upset that more people won't listen to this than will be. But I'll get over it, I'm sure. For now, if you're reading this review and you don't own this, I'm tellin' ya, buy it now before it goes out of print! RC - Rick Cornell, Amazon.com review


"JazzTimes Magazine, November 2010 - CD review"

Clockwork's CD release of "Every Voice Counts" gets a glowing review in the November 2010 issue of JazzTimes magazine. - by Christopher Loudon


"JazzTimes Magazine, November 2010 - CD review"

Clockwork's CD release of "Every Voice Counts" gets a glowing review in the November 2010 issue of JazzTimes magazine. - by Christopher Loudon


"Columbia College Jazz Festival"

Clockwork is exceptional!! Their adjudication and clinics were positive and inspirational,
and the evening concert performances are still creating a buzz. - Dr. Rod Harris


"Review of "Every Voice Counts" on amazon.com, June 2010"

I first heard of this four-member "jazz vocal" group 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, "Everything Phonographic"


"The Maui News, February 2009"

There is nothing easy about vocalese, but the quartet Clockwork will put any jazz fan
completely at ease. The San Francisco-area group - including a Maui girl - produces
music to curl up in, but don't get too comfortable. The group can blow you away,
artistically and sonically.
… Make no mistake, this is a jazz group. At various times they do pieces in the finest
tradition of big bands, combos and smoky after-hours balladeers. Clockwork also
ventures into a cappella music that that would be right at home at a madrigal concert.
All of it is done with a harmonic richness that speaks volumes about musicianship and
artful arrangements ...
... Listening to Clockwork is a memorable treat - for jazz fans and those who love the
human voice - but in full performance mode the group displays a talent for visually
emphasizing lyrics and emotional content. Banter and interplay between tunes prove
these singers are serious about their music but they don't take themselves seriously. - Ron Youngblood


"Liner notes "Every Voice Counts""

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, co-founder of "the Bobs" & producer "Every Voice Counts"


"The Maui News, February 2009"

There is nothing easy about vocalese, but the quartet Clockwork will put any jazz fan
completely at ease. The San Francisco-area group - including a Maui girl - produces
music to curl up in, but don't get too comfortable. The group can blow you away,
artistically and sonically.
… Make no mistake, this is a jazz group. At various times they do pieces in the finest
tradition of big bands, combos and smoky after-hours balladeers. Clockwork also
ventures into a cappella music that that would be right at home at a madrigal concert.
All of it is done with a harmonic richness that speaks volumes about musicianship and
artful arrangements ...
... Listening to Clockwork is a memorable treat - for jazz fans and those who love the
human voice - but in full performance mode the group displays a talent for visually
emphasizing lyrics and emotional content. Banter and interplay between tunes prove
these singers are serious about their music but they don't take themselves seriously. - Ron Youngblood


Discography

"Every Voice Counts" released March 2010

Clockwork with Clipper Anderson, John Calloway, Deszon Claiborne, Jeremy Cohen, Michelle Djokic, Gerry Grosz, Phil Hawkins, Mark Ivester, David Landon, Jim Schneider

1. I Carry You Around/Chameleon
2. Rhode Island Is Famous For You
3. The Goodbye Look
4. Creep
5. I Thought About You
6. Who's Blues (Whose Blues)
7. Where Do the Children Play?
8. Pontchartrain
9. My Attorney Bernie
10. None of Us Are Free
11. Anthropology
12. The Water Is Wide

Photos

Bio

Clockwork is a vocal quartet who sing mostly close-harmony jazz but also our own twists on pop and rock tunes.

Clockwork, an award-winning San Francisco based vocal ensemble with a signature sound and style, performs a banquet of music from funk to gospel and R&B to standards. Rooted in the tradition of great vocal jazz groups such as the Hi-Lo's and Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, the Clockwork “sound” draws inspiration from all styles. As the great Duke Ellington said, “If it sounds good, it is good.”

Experienced in both accompanied and a cappella performing, the group has arrangements for duos, trios and an 18-piece big band. Members of Clockwork have performed live with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, The Hi-Lo’s , Meredith Monk, Don Shelton, Gene Puerling, Barbara Lewis, Sufjan Stevens, John Zorn, Barbara Morrison, Kent Nagano with the Deutches Symphonie Orchester and the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, The PM Singers, Heatwave, GQ, Barbara Lynn, Richie Cole, M-Pact!, the House Jacks, Boyz Nite Out, InFusion, Vocal Flight, and on Ward Swingle's Instructional video "Swingle Singing."

ABOUT US
The singers of Clockwork have proven themselves to be versatile and have been noticed in the artistic community for their wide-ranging talent and abilities. In addition to Clockwork, all the singers are in demand for clinics, adjudication, projects and performances.

Angie Doctor, soprano, a native Californian, began her career doing commercials and voice-overs in Chicago from 1984 to 91. A songwriter and arranger besides being an accomplished singer, her work is on a number of recordings. The latest recording project is a CD of a cappella duets with Dan Bob Schumacher (of The Bobs), arranged and produced by Richard Bob Greene. She has also performed her originals, is a guest artist on Richard Bob Greene’s solo album “Low? Bottom? Me?” and sang on the soundtrack for the Dimension Films/Miramax feature Spy Kids. A founding member of the Grammy-nominated PM Singers, Angie’s expertise has been called on as a judge and clinician at festivals and workshops throughout the country since 1995 to the present.

Juliet Green, alto, is a Maui girl. Juliet has jazz and performance in her genes both her father, the late Pat Green, and her mother the late, Betty Green Janes-Brown were well-known Island performers for more than 40 years. After college, Juliet began teaching music in the Portola Valley School District where she still works. But those genes could not be denied and she began singing with Foothill’s Fanfairs and De Anza’s Vocal Flight. She was a founding member of the award-winning a cappella group +4db and in 2001, she helped form the group Vocalese Inc. Her debut CD, Simple,(2003) features many of her original lyrics. Juliet teaches at the Jazzschool in Berkeley and sings with the big band A Touch of Brass and also with jazz vocal quintet Moodswing (2005 Bay Area Harmony Sweepstakes Champions).

John Paddock, tenor, is a bay area native, who began as a boy soprano. Then, as a founding member of the PM Singers, John received a Grammy nomination for his work on the album Night in the City, on which he both sang and engineered. John and Angie have appeared together at the Monterey Jazz Festival, the IAJE national convention and Birdland. Both singers have performed live with Bobby McFerrin, The HiLos! members Gene Puerling, Don Shelton and Clark Burroughs, The Singers Unlimited’s Bonnie Herman and with Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass.
In addition to Clockwork, John and Angie sing with the Pacific Mozart Ensemble, and have performed with Sufjan Stevens, Dave Brubeck, at Carnegie Hall with Meredith Monk and are featured soloists on the 2005 Grammy nominated performance of Leonard Bernstein's Mass recorded in Berlin, Germany with Kent Nagano and the Deutsches Symphonie Orchester.

Dave Duran, baritone, has been performing since he was six years old and is also a founding member of two award-winning groups, +4db and Moodswing, Dave met Juliet while both were studying jazz vocal music at De Anza College with Roger Letson. They were key vocalists in the acclaimed college group Vocal Flight.

Dave and Juliet are three time Regional Champions in the A Cappella Harmony Sweepstakes, twice with +4db and once for Moodswing and placed in the National Finals. They were voted Audience Favorite and awarded Best Arrangement each time they appeared in the contest. Dave and Juliet had the opportunity to tour and perform in Seattle, Washington DC, Boston, France, Germany, and Japan.

Angie and Dave appear on an instructional video with Ward Swingle, (produced by John Neal and directed by Richard “Bob” Greene), demonstrating rehearsal and vocal techniques for a cappella singing.

"Listening to Clockwork is a memorable treat - for jazz fans and those who love the human voice - but in full performance mode the group displays a talent for visually emphasizing lyrics and emotional content. Banter and interplay between tun