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JT Video Premiere: “Manhattan Melody (That’s My New York)” by Chris Stamey and the ModRec Orchestra

Track is taken from the celebrated indie rocker's new jazz- and standards-influenced double album New Songs for the 20th Century, out now

Chris Stamey
Chris Stamey

JazzTimes is honored to present the premiere of the video for “Manhattan Melody (That’s My New York)” by Chris Stamey and the ModRec Orchestra. The track leads off the first disc of a double album, New Songs for the 20th Century, released June 28 by Omnivore Recordings. Like the rest of the album, the song was written, arranged, mixed, and produced by Stamey, a respected indie-rock veteran and cofounder of the dB’s. But both the song and the album aren’t quite what you’d expect based on his résumé—the influence of the Great American Songbook is strong, and the overall sound is much closer to jazz than rock. It doesn’t hurt that Stamey brought in some ringers here: Branford Marsalis on tenor sax, Matt Douglas on clarinet, Jim Crew (along with Stamey himself) on piano, Jason Foureman on bass, and Dan Davis on drums. Django Haskins is the vocalist, one of more than a dozen singers who alternate tracks throughout the album, including Nnenna Freelon, Ariel Pocock, and power-pop maestro Marshall Crenshaw. 

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