Note by Tim Hauser Manhattan Transfer
My experiences with The Cliftonaires are varied, from listener, friend, and occasional "sit in" participant. I was quite taken by some of the vocal group accompaniments and that late 40's,
early 50's style of arrangements. This led me to the now legendary Cliftonaires' "green" album.
It instantly became one of my favorite recordings, and made me very anxious to work with them.
Magicians need mediums, and producers and arrangers need singers. These were selected singers, some of whom were members of currently performing ensembles. They needed to find
singers who had an appreciation and understanding of these styles of vocal group singing. This method offered the opportunity to explore a range of feelings and grooves that most individual vocal groups would be unable to singularly achieve. The Cliftonaires are Phil Granito, Jack Scandura, Louis Vinci, John Clemente, Joel Katz, Cindy Taylor, Wayne Smith, Amy Ortiz and Sandi Italiano. Stylistically, they are all lead singers, and cover a well-rounded gamut of RnB grooves from Gospel inspired shuffles, to four-part harmony ballads. So, suffice to say that each of these members truly holds up his and her end of this emotional halo.
Don Juan told Carlos Castaneda that there were an infinite number of roads to follow in life.
It didn't matter which one you chose, as none of them led anywhere. The important thing was to choose the one that had heart. This road certainly had heart, and it is one I cherish.
Jack, Philly, Sandi, Ami, Cindy, Joel, Louis, Wayne and John- you gave a lot of us so many magical, musical moments. Thank you. We are out there, listening to your hearts.