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Party of Four by the Royal Bopsters is Released Today
(Published: November 13, 2020)

Motéma Music has released Party of Four, the sophomore release from renowned vocal jazz quartet The Royal Bopsters. This twelve-track venture, which follows up their critically acclaimed 2015 debut, celebrates both the proud history and the bright future of vocal jazz. A hard-swinging amalgam of vocal virtuosity, electrifying group chemistry, and masterful arranging, Party of Four displays the group's stunning facility to swing deeply and sing passionately while navigating incredibly precise four-part harmonies.

A master class in the art of vocal jazz and vocalese, Party of Four demonstrates the dazzling possibilities of four voices coming together as one. Bopsters Amy London, Dylan Pramuk, Pete McGuinness, and the late Holli Ross (to whom the album is dedicated) are joined by guest lead vocalists, NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan (91 years young) who delivers a delightful rendition of "Lucky to Be Me" and NEA Jazz Master Bob Dorough, whose humorous recording of his classic "Baby, You Should Know It" became one of his final recordings when he sadly passed in 2018. GRAMMY-winning bassist and jazz personality Christian McBride also guests on bass for two strong tracks.

Party of Four follows up The Royal Bopsters' debut release - The Royal Bopsters Project - which was an unprecedented vocal jazz summit featuring five of history's most celebrated vocal bop innovators and monarchs: Mark Murphy, Jon Hendricks, Sheila Jordan, Bob Dorough and Annie Ross. The album was proclaimed "Extraordinary." by Downbeat (4.5 stars), "A priceless landmark" by Jazz Times (Best Albums of 2015), and "A magnum opus of jazz and song" by WBGO Radio. Party of Four, with liner notes by WBGO's Michael Bourne, builds on that solid foundation and is poised to become one of the defining jazz vocal albums of the year.

Cited as "expert practitioners of vocalese" in The New Yorker, The Royal Bopsters celebrated their first release with a star-studded, sold-out week-long residency at New York's iconic Birdland Jazz Club with guests Annie Ross, John Hendricks and Bob Dorough. Darmon Meader, of the New York Voices, sang tenor on the first album, and then soon after the Birdland show Pete McGuinness, a three-time GRAMMY-nominated arranger, stepped into the tenor chair for the group. Party of Four - the title penned by Holli Ross - began to take shape as Pete and Dylan brought additional arrangements to the group in 2016. The new music shone, and seeds were planted for the ensemble's sensational second chapter. NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan, who began her career singing with Charlie Parker, and who now, with the passing of Annie Ross this July, has become the reigning Queen Matriarch of Vocal Bop, has commented "The Bopsters are my favorite vocal group." The love is mutual, and The Bopsters include Sheila as a guest in their live shows wherever possible. Dorough, who is most famous for writing Schoolhouse Rock, also guested frequently until his sudden death in 2018. He and Annie, as well as Mark Murphy, are all much loved and sorely missed by the Bopsters.

Each Royal Bopster is a renowned jazz educator, and collectively they instruct at the entire gamut of excellent jazz programs in the NYC area: The New School (London was a founder of the program), NYU, William Paterson, Manhattan School of Music, Montclair State, City College, Hofstra and Jazz House Kids (where London & Pramuk teach and co-created their Vocal Academy). The group's vast collective knowledge of the history and technique of the artform of vocal jazz shines through on every note.

Party of Four offers audiences a jubilant recognition of multiple generations of architects and proud purveyors of the vocal jazz art form. Dedicated to Bopster Holli Wasser Ross, the album is a resounding celebration of life, rhythm, harmony and tradition at a time when the world can definitely use a little cheering up.

The album was released this weekend to coincide with Holli Ross's 64th birthday on November 16th and Sheila Jordan's birthday on November 18.

More Information: https://theroyalbopsters.lnk.to/PartyofFourID!jw

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