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Down 4 The Count / Press

“And this group is good. Comprised of Colleen Keene, who does most of the arranging and is capable of freakishly high soprano notes; Christine Tavares, a well-known fixture on the musical scene; Penny Watson, the self-described “chick in the middle”; Jason Lingle, singer and percussionist; and new member Eric Bradley, the ensemble has talent to burn. Their program the other day was suitably eclectic. It featured jazz classics like Duke Ellington’s “Whirlybird” and “Don’t Get Around Much Any More” and Count Basie’s “Splanky,” standards like “Hernando’s Hideaway” and Cole Porter’s “It’s Alright With Me,” as well as more modern, contemporary and even original stuff, along with a few novelties. Keene’s ode to San Luis Obispo, “I’m Leaving SLO,” was a highlight, as was the lovely Randy Newman ballad “When She Loved Me” from “Toy Story 2,” the group’s take on the classic “Bernie’s Tune” and their namesake song.”

“This is the finest a cappella vocal jazz ensemble I have ever heard. Their musicianship and vocal breadth, coupled with their seeming willingness to try just about anything vocally gives them a polished, dynamic quality. It doesn't hurt a bit that they so obviously enjoy their work, either... ”

“...Frontwoman Colleen Keene's wide vocal range is best sampled in her arrangement of the standard "Whirlybird." Accompanying the vocalese written by Keene is a burning soprano sax solo performed by the group's alto, Penny Watson. ...The group mixed up their set list with songs from their first CD (Down 4 the Count), award winning arrangements like "Hernando's Hideaway"...The group created a fun environment and made some wonderful music.”

“Like tight jazz harmonies? Can't get enough of that super high soprano sound? Got the blues? Well, Down 4 the Count's self-titled album might be just the thing for you. There's little question that this group knows how to sing jazz. They do it very well... If you're a fan on the hunt for music, the question is whether or not you like the genre of vocal jazz in general. If you do, you'll probably enjoy Down 4 the Count. D4TC's greatest strength has to be their arranging talent. Penned exclusively by group members, the arrangements on this album are nicely textured and engaging. They also play pretty well to the strengths of the singers...it should be noted that good arrangements are nothing without good singers to deliver them. The musicians of Down 4 the Count are all good vocalists who transition easily between solo and background singing. What's more, they all clearly have a good sense of vocal jazz tone and delivery, which lends an authenticity and charm to the album.”