What is that special thing that keeps an entertaining group active and performing for sixty-five years? Ask The Four Freshmen who performed last Friday night at the IWCC Arts Center. Naturally the group has changed members in that time period, but have stayed true to their unique blend of voices while accompanying themselves. Since the beginning of the group in 1948, they have been nominated for six Grammy Awards.
Friday night began with many old favorites for The Four Freshmen. This talented group combined their traditional songs with some newer harmonies and jazz arrangements so that people of all ages could thoroughly enjoy their songs. With the old favorite songs of "Graduation Day", "Something's Gotta Give", "Blue World", and "A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square", the audience was amazed with the performers perfectly matching the same blended harmonies of these well-known favorites of years ago. This group also masterfully combined their well-known sound with some present day jazz for the songs of the early 60s.
Stand-out performances were definitely "Graduation Day" which seemed to be from an earlier time period and "Stardust" which perfectly combined the original harmonies with a fresh jazz twist that beautifully expressed this song.
As in all performances, certain aspects stand out as being exceptional. With The Four Freshmen each member artistically added their particular talents to this group. Bob Ferreira has been with The Four Freshmen the longest and has a wonderful singing voice in the baritone range while being a master percussionist with active feet. Curtis Colderon added his beautiful jazz renditions to most of the selections on either the trumpet or the flugelhorn. Vince Johnson literally can whistle anything. He is absolutely amazing. When he sings with Bob, the two truly blend as one gorgeous sound. Brian Eichenberger sings the melody while playing the guitar. His voice quality sounds like the original lead singer from the 1950s.
For those who were not able to attend last weekend, the group just released a new CD entitled "Love Songs" which has many of the songs from the concert on it. The Four Freshmen is a wonderful group that truly transcends time.