The Spirit of Saint Louis was the name of the airplane flown by Charles Lindbergh on his history-making solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927. Now, "The Spirit of Saint Louis" is also the title of a new album by the Manhattan Transfer. But the album is dedicated to another famous Louis - Louis Armstrong.
Vocal veterans Manhattan Transfer turn to the late jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong for the inspiration behind their latest album. They take on such "Satchmo" classics as "Stompin' At Mahogany Hall," adapted from the Spencer Williams tune "Mahogany Hall Stomp," with lyrics by Manhattan Transfer's Alan Paul.
Louis Armstrong certainly knew what it meant to miss New Orleans. He left his home in Louisiana when he was 21, and became one of the world's greatest entertainers. His raspy voice, soaring notes on the trumpet and infallible leadership were his trademarks.
Satchmo's wife Lillian Armstrong wrote "Nothing Could Be Hotter Than That," sung by the Manhattan Transfer's Cheryl Bentyne, Janis Siegel, Alan Paul and Tim Hauser from their new album "The Spirit of Saint Louis."
The Manhattan Transfer has always been known for crossing musical boundaries. Their first album, recorded in 1975, featured the Top 40 hit "Operator," and had critics calling them "Cabaret Rock." By 1980, they proved they could sing in just about any style, from doo-wop and jazz to Latin, swing and blues. Their 1985 album "Vocalese" earned three Grammy Awards. But, the group's specialty is pop standards, like "Blue Again."
Manhattan Transfer's "The Spirit Of Saint Louis" recently climbed into the Top 10 on Billboard's jazz albums chart. Fresh back from a tour of Japan, the group just launched a U.S. tour. Their album "The Spirit Of Saint Louis" is dedicated to Louis Armstrong who wrote the music for the 1935 tune, "Old Man Mose."