• You’re EVERYTHING, the whole package. Your lyrics, music, arrangements… fantastic! My new discovery. Richie Cole, legendary jazz saxophonist
  • “From start to finish this is serious music making that communicates on all levels, and while bringing a smile to the face serves to remind us just what is that we love so much about this wonderful sound we call jazz.”Nick Lea,
  • “You are an Important ‘Star’ in the Jazz vocal sky for us all. Keep your leading light beam shining.”Frank DeMiero, Executive Producer, DeMiero Jazz Fest; Owner, Sound Music Publications
  • “This quartet demands to be heard, loved and respected for its brilliance and daring. You have to marvel at the writing as well as the interpretations of the group’s vocalastics by the ineffable beauty of Richie Cole’s playing…Accomplished, extrovert performances… close creative partnership between the singers is immediately heard from the opening…One of the finest albums that you will hear this year.” Raul da Gama, Jazz Journalists Association
  • “Here’s a fresh sounding and hip vocal group [who] team up with the king of Alto Madness, Richie Cole […]. The tunes are all cleverly arranged [with] the whole vocal team weaving in and out like cast members of an Agatha Christie play. The team shows fun and swinging harmonics on the high stepping ‘Now I Have Everything But You’ and the dreamy ‘DC Farewell’ as well as hip unison with a full horn section on ‘He Was The Cat,’ a tribute to Eddie Jefferson. The closing take of the ‘I Love Lucy’ theme song is a gas of a way to close this winning section; for fans of vocals or jazz for the pure sound of it.”George W. Harris,
  • “A delightful hour of musical excitement. Congratulations to Cole and Carr for this wonderful collaboration. May there be many more!”Norman Vickers, Jazz Society of Pensacola
  • “And now, well into the new century, the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet takes hipness to a new level, and swings with élan on Vocal Madness…The tricky lyrics show the group’s sleek and elastic improvisations…Although this Washington DC based group has received some well-deserved accolades, it merits a wider audience.”Pierre Giroux, Audiophile Audition magazine

  • “Alto sax great Richie Cole’s latest project is an admirable collaboration with the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet. The singers (Ginny Carr, Robert McBride, Holly Shockey and Andre Enceneat) are a classy throwback to the vocal groups of the 1950s although a tad hipper than most. Together with Cole and a fine rhythm section (pianist Alan Blackman, guitarist Steve Herberman, bassist Max Murray and drummer Frank Russo), they perform six Richie Cole songs, two others (his emotional rendition of “Pure Imagination” and “I Love Lucy”) from his repertoire and four originals by Ginny Carr. While the singers are fine, blending together well and displaying an attractive group sound, it is especially gratifying to hear Richie Cole. He still has a wonderful tone, superb technique (listen to his double-time runs on “It’s the Same Thing Everywhere”), and his brand of bebop wit. Whether it is a revival of the wistful “Tokyo Rose Sings The Blues,” a feature for the singers on the uptempo “Take Me Away” or a tribute to Eddie Jefferson (“He Was The Cat”) which adds four horns, Vocal Madness is a delight.”Scott Yanow, LA Jazz

  • “RICHIE COLE has always played with passion, or, as he might call it madness. VOCAL MADNESS teams the UPTOWN VOCAL JAZZ QUARTET and Richie Cole on 12 cuts, most of them penned by Cole or Ginny Carr. The material here is lyric heavy, by that I mean, they form narratives with jazz music. Special note for the interpretation of Anthony Newley’s, “Pure Imagination”, built on a Cole solo, it and Cole have never sounded better. If by now you know what to expect from the UVJQ and Richie Cole you won’t be disappointed by this recording. No compromises on either side and nicely integrated.”Robert Rusch, Cadence Magazine (April 2015)

  • “CD is terrific. I’ve aired it on my show.” Robert Fogle, Jazz Host, CHRY-FM (Toronto)
  • [Vocal Madness] is an endlessly hip album from the UPTOWN VOCAL JAZZ QUARTET with RICHIE COLE. They swing, have great arrangements by UVJQ member Ginny Carr, and project a sense of fun in everything that they sing. Alto saxophonist Cole has been a stalwart in carrying on the bebop tradition. He hit the scene with the Buddy Rich Big Band in 1969, and has been creating exciting music ever since. His Alto Madness groups have been known for the excitement that they generate, and that excitement is present on this recording. Simply stated, this album is a complete gas.Joe Lang, 'Jersey Jazz' (March 2015 issue)
  • UPTOWN VOCAL JAZZ QUARTET with RICHIE COLE/Vocal Madness: Some things happen organically in the strangest ways. The vet sax man that was one of Manhattan Transfer’s secret weapons stumbled upon the DC vocal quartet and flipped. The cross pollination began as he started picking up where he left off. Having the crew riff on his signature “I Love Lucy” treatment and other things just made it flow more. Almost like a hidden time piece that escaped from the vaults after hiding in a corner for years, this killer jazz vocal set hits all the right notes and will be tickling your fancy before you know what’s happened. Killer stuff so thoroughly in the pocket, hearing almost isn’t believing. It’s that hot.Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher, Midwest Record
  • Richie Cole with the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet is like sprinkles on ice cream, makes a good thing even better with Vocal Madness! There are a plethora of vocal groups working the jazz scene that simply bang out some old school standards with little originality and minimal soul. Vocal Madness is a breath of fresh air with tight harmonies drawn from a brilliant color palette of sound and harmonic texture. The vast majority of the release are original compositions with arrangements that are seemingly hand crafted for each member. The presence of legendary saxophonist Richie Cole simply raises the bar and UVJQ responds in kind. There is a warm rich organic sound that transcends the traditional expectations. The vibrant pop of the swing found in “Take Me Away” is the perfect compliment to the exquisite ballad “DC Farewell.” This is not a release of swing for the sake of swing but a harmonic exploration of vocal possibilities with tunes that are remarkably personal and allow the listener to come along for the ride. The voices will give you goose bumps, the arrangements will grab your ear while the stories will touch your heart. A tremendous effort once again from The Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet with Vocal Madness! Brent Black, CriticalJazz (2015)
  • If DownBeat still had a Vocal Group category in their Polls, I have no doubt that Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet would win. I really enjoyed the last album they made, and their new one is even more impressive as they partner up with Richie Cole. The meeting up of two fine talents, the outstanding UVJQ and the multitalented Cole, who is still playing so well.Don Albert, South African Correspondent for DownBeat (USA) and Jazz Journal International (UK)
  • I’ve been wondering where the bebop voices had gone and Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet is the current answer to this missing musical link. Richie Cole adds zest and authenticity to this project, bringing along his historic participation in the development of early bebop singing and passing on that legacy to this project. Ginny Carr stands out as an arranger/composer on several of these original songs and Richie Cole shines in the prolific composing department as well. These four vocalists sound like a small choir: rich, lush and harmonically innovative. Dee Dee McNeill, LA Jazz
  • The Uptown Jazz Vocal Quartet is an exceptional vocal group. Add to this, alto saxophonist Richie Cole, a great admirer of the UJVQ, and the stage is set for a hugely entertaining hour of music making. The flawless harmonizing of the singers, along with some vocal solo moments, blend well with the alto saxophonist’s outstanding solos. This fine set is a swinging assurance that this kind of jazz singing is in good hands.Bruce Crowther, Jazz Mostly
  • Love everything about that record (Vocal Madness).Jack Frieden, Vocal Sound of Jazz
  • Exceptional tight-harmony group … symmetry and individual vocals that blend so well. Yes, they really are that good and worthy of serious attention. We need what they offer… They’ve got it. They are carrying the torch.John Hoglund, Cabaret Scenes Magazine
  • Clever and swinging and completely uncontrived. George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly
  • Vocal Madness by Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet is intelligent, incredibly tight, and, frankly, perfect jazz singing. The original material is worthy of the same praise. Richie Cole, alto legend and unofficial 5th member of Manhattan Transfer, is everywhere on this recording. Easy enough to draw the conclusion, but if you ask Richie he will tell you that Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet “Has it.” Says it all. The song “He Was The Cat” caught Richie’s ear. An original written about Eddie Jefferson. Richie was right. Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet has massive amounts of “It.”Steve Martin, host of 'The Real Jazz Conversation,' WOBO, Cincinnati
  • Vocal jazz fans will go crazy for “Vocal Madness.” The quartet’s harmonies are impeccable, and boy do they swing! Richie Cole is magnificent on alto sax.Randy Morse, The Best of Brazil (Beyond Brazil)
  • Vocal Madness…a highly attractive and energetic package! Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet… what more could ya want from life? Richie Cole has long been famed for his bebop style and upbeat creativity, and he sparkles throughout the entire CD, whether vamping, accompanying, soloing, or just kicking up his heels for the hell of it. In fact, he’s the quartet’s fifth voice…the base five were made for each other… the pairing is quintessential. Mark S. Tucker, FAME
  • The music is full of warmth, swinging rhythm and a full exploration of the possibility of the harmonic vocal quartet, with its own unique sound and taste. Rich, ingeniously arranged harmonic textures that sway to the rhythm of expressive melodies executed in perfect harmony and warm tone.Robert Ratajczak, LongPlay Reviews (POLAND)
  • Forget the old standards. These tight harmonies and hand-crafted lyrics will have you believing they’ve been around for forever.Doug Boynton, 62nd Street
  • A whiz, a star, a revelation. The group is fabulous.Bob Dorough, legendary jazz singer/songwriter
  • Old school moving to new cool. As versatile and entertaining as any vocal group you may hear. The Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet takes their original influences of some iconic masters and transforms them into their own unique flavor and unforgettable sound. Brent Black, CriticalJazz (2012)
  • Decades in the future, if there is any justice, some critic is going to be writing that a new vocal group reminds him of UVJQ. They indeed are making the form their own…They are remarkable vocalists who blend stylish harmonies with dynamic solos in a format that parallels that of the typical instrumental jazz quartet.Jack Goodstein,
  • The word that kept occurring to me as I listened to the album is FUN! The singers are having fun singing tunes that are fun for both the performers and the listeners. I really dig listening to music that has as its primary purpose giving the audience a good time, and that is exactly what you get.Joe Lang, Jersey Jazz Journal (NJ Jazz Society)
  • Rich, ingeniously arranged harmonies…swinging and evocative brand of vocalese.Mike Joyce, The Washington Post
  • I must say I enjoy good vocal groups, like the Four Freshmen, the Hi-Los, Lambert Hendricks Ross, Manhattan Transfer and New York Voices. I have just discovered a new group who call themselves Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet and they are sensational.Don Albert, South African correspondent for DownBeat Magazine (US) and Jazz Journal International (UK).
  • UVJQ is continuing the tradition of vocalese hipness, much to the satisfaction of those of us who love Eddie Jefferson, King Pleasure and Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. [They] add another whole dimension to the tradition with new original compositions and engaging original lyrics… All-in-all, the UVJQ mixes the old and new in a charming, original way.Amy Duncan, Jazz History Online
  • Crisp melodies, excellent tone and warm harmonies typify the set. A rich and enjoyable experience. D. Oscar Groomes, O's Place Jazz Magazine
  • The close harmony work of the quartet is exceptional, as is the rhythm backing. You’ll be hooked on both the band’s singing and Ginny Carr’s wonderful writing.Ian Tiele, International Association of Jazz Record Collectors' Journal
  • Clever vocalese lyrics coupled with a complex line and a killing band…The quartet is in full harmonic force. C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz
  • Ginny’s lyrics carry the message, from the opening salute to Eddie Jefferson (“He never got the acclaim/(yet) he’s the one that put vocalese in the game”) to the closing promise of even better things to come (“Imagine the fun we’ll invent / it might even be fun to repent”). Her lyrics are full of gentle ironies and surprising twists. She’s a singer/songwriter several cuts above the general run of many who advertise themselves as such. A lovely album, full of affirmation and achingly authentic acumen. Amen.Alan Bargebuhr, Cadence Magazine
  • While pop culture followers were being celebrity-twerked like bulls being tricked by rodeo clowns, an evening of vitalizing magic happened for a more savvy crowd in Washington D.C. American alto sax phenomenon Richie Cole joined the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet at the world-famous jazz supper club Blues Alley for an end of summer sold-out show that delivered supreme musicianship and romance of the legendary kind. The gold was not lost on grateful audiences in the nation’s capital… Joined by “keeper of the be-bop flame” Richie Cole, the night belonged to music, genius and romance.Sam Harrison,
  • Your stuff is fantastic. I’m in love with your music.Rich Germaine, President, Jazz Radio Network
  • I LOVE Vocal Madness. I’ve been a fan of Richie Cole since he toured with Eddie Jefferson and Phil Woods, and I think the UVJQ has made a quantum leap forward with this new CD.John Penney, WRCJ, Detroit
  • Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet with Richie Cole ‘Vocal Madness’ is excellent and the superb Richie Cole is just that ‘Superb’!Peter Kuller, host of 'Jazz from Down Under', Radio Adelaide, Australia
  • I really appreciate the sound that this group is perpetuating. A rare breed.Michael Gourrier, host of 'Bebop and Beyond,' WRIR, Richmond
  • Fans of vocalese, bebop and Mr. Alto Madness, Richie Cole, will not want to miss Vocal Madness, where the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet sings scintillating arrangements of Richie’s music as well as original songs by the quartet’s Ginny Carr, with the saxophonic excitement of Richie Cole adding even more oomph to the proceedings. Terrific CD—the arrangements, the singing, and Richie as well.Bob McWilliams, Kansas Public Radio
  • Great music. I’m enjoying the record a lot.Jeff Hanley, host, Jazz After Hours, PRI
  • The Harmony, Rhythm and Improvisation of ‘Vocal Madness’ is a listener’s delight for something fresh in Vocalese.Jay Edwards, Jazztones, WCLK, Atlanta


Famed broadcaster Susan Stamberg interviews UVJQ on NPR .

WGLT Music Director and jazz host Jon Norton interviews his favorite jazz artists on the podcast series, “GLT Jazz Next.” In a UVJQ podcast, Ginny explains the inspirations behind the group here.

An interview with Ginny Carr on WGXC’s “The Jazz Disturbance, hosted by “Cheryl K.”

Jeffrey Siegel interviews Ginny about UVJQ on his jazz show, “Straight No Chaser.” Click to listen.

Jerry Maddock of KGNU (Denver) interviews Ginny about UVJQ on his jazz show, “Jazz and Beyond.” Click to listen.


Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet Electronic Press Kit