Two Grammy Award-winning groups — one delivering four-part harmonies as the quartet Manhattan Transfer, and the other being one of the most versatile a cappella groups in the music business as sextet Take 6 — performed live to a sold-out auditorium at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul on Feb. 15.
According to both groups, who shared the stage for the opening number, Minnesota was one of the coldest stops of their collaborative tour entitled The Summit.
After the groups performed three songs for the opening of the show, they introduced each other to the audience and Take 6 left the stage. Thus began the stage rotation of each group until close to the latter half of the show.
Both groups’ music was tight, and their voices sounded well-preserved and crystal clear. Manhattan Transfer left the stage for Take 6, and then it was time to get funky. Leading off with the crowd-pleasing funky groove was Take 6 bass man Alvin Chea. Once he started the bass line and drum sounds, Khristian Dently moved to piano, and both Joey Kibble and David Thomas picked up folk guitars to display yet another facet of the group’s versatility and talents.
Later, both groups returned to the stage for some friendly musical jousting that led to both groups going back and forth — Take 6 would sing a few of Manhattan Transfer’s hit songs and vice versa, while pretending to outdo each other. It was all in fun. The audience loved every minute of it.
These two musical giants have racked up 20 Grammy Awards between them. Manhattan Transfer has earned 10 Grammys to date as they celebrate the 40th anniversary of their debut album on Atlantic Records.
Original group members Janis Siegel, Alan Paul and Cheryl Bentyne have added newest member Trist Curless — a replacement for the group’s founding member Tim Hauser, who passed away in October 2014. Take 6, on the other hand, celebrates their 28th anniversary. The group started in 1980 at Oakwood College in Alabama and has since racked up 10 Grammy awards out of 24 nominations in a variety of categories ranging from R&B to soul, jazz and Gospel, including 10 Dove Awards.
Both groups came back together for the final number to a standing ovation. After the show, Take 6 made themselves available behind the tables where they signed copies of their CDs.
The Summit Tour has been selling out all over the country for going on two years now, said Chea of Take 6 to MSR after the show. Asked what’s next for the tour, Chea said, “We have a special coming out that will be available on video soon, just checkout the website.”
To learn more about The Summit Tour Concert Special, go to the Take 6 website at www.take6.com.
James L. Stroud, Jr. welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.
James L. Stroud Jr. is a contributing writer and photographer at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.