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Cheryl Bentyne: Manhattan’s Latest Solo Transfer

Cheryl Bentyne
Cheryl Bentyne

Cheryl Bentyne has plenty to celebrate. This spring, the fire-haired chanteuse with the glorious pipes marks her 25th anniversary alongside Tim Hauser, Janis Siegel and Alan Paul in the Manhattan Transfer. And just recently, Bentyne passed a more personal milestone, blowing out 50 birthday candles on January 17.

As a sort of b-day present to herself (and a welcome gift to those of us who have long been awaiting her reemergence as a solo performer), Bentyne has released Talk of the Town (Telarc), a collection of a dozen of her favorite standards, plus one self-penned original, produced by her pianist-arranger husband Corey Allen. Recorded some 21 months ago in Brooklyn and released last year in Japan, Talk finds the Seattle-born soprano in excellent company for her first stateside solo outing since 1992’s boldly experimental, Mark Isham-produced Something Cool. Backed by a kickass trio comprised of pianist Kenny Barron, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Lewis Nash, Bentyne also welcomes such disparately appealing guests as Chuck Mangione (who lifts a soft-swingin’ “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” off its hinges with a soaring flugelhorn solo), David “Fathead” Newman and Take 6 teammates Mark Kibble and Alvin Chea.

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