Linus Entertainment 270134
The a capella vocal group The Nylons has been around since 1979 and although all but one of the original members has moved on, the group's trademark upbeat sound is fully intact on its 15th recording. The mix of funky rhythms, jazzy harmonies and quirky mash-ups is due in part to the addition of Toronto-based group-singing luminary, Dylan Bell. As producer and arranger of most of the 12 tracks, and even guest scatter on one, Bell is like the Fifth Nylon (as George Martin was known as the Fifth Beatle) and a big contributor to the success of “Skin Tight.” Of course, the four singers - Claude Morrison (the original), Tyrone Gabriel, Garth Mosbaugh and Gavin Hope - do the heavy lifting. Whether called on for vocal percussion, tight harmonies, scat solos or beautiful crooning, all the singers do their part with skill and joy. The repertoire is largely covers from a variety of eras and genres and while some stay relatively true to the originals with voices substituting for the instruments, others get fresh reworkings. Spider-Man gets a clever spin as it ranges between funk, swing and rap, with a solo courtesy of bass Tyrone Gabriel, while Teach Me Tonight sees lead singer Gavin Hope essentially doing homage to Al Jarreau's version over a Four Freshman-like doo-wop accompaniment. The closing track Gone Too Soon, with its Gene Peurlingesque arrangement, is a beautiful tribute to both its originator Michael Jackson and one of The Nylons founding members, the late Denis Simpson.