When you think of conservative harmonic structures you probably think of hymns that you sing at church. Normally, they are very conservative because the people who sing at church are just regular folk, not seasoned professionals. When you think of more advanced harmonies there are classical composers who are adventurous, but how about something that the average person can hear and perhaps get excited about. I would suggest The Hi-Lo's (two tall guys and two shorter ones). In the picture, starting at the lower left and moving counter clockwise, they are Gene Puerling (the Grammy Award-winning arranger), Bob Morse, Bob Strassen, and Clark Burroughs. Puerling formed the group in about 1953, and did he have an imagination? Just listen to their rendition of the song “Tenderly” and you’ll understand how far out they were. Listen!
Pretty amazing for the early 50’s! Puerling was the one who developed the arrangement of “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” for The Manhattan Transfer. You can find many of the Hi-Lo's albums on compact disc, and if you’re someone who has aspirations of being an arranger, their albums are a classroom for advanced harmonic technique. Here’s another song to check out, "Goody Goody". Listen!
Both songs are from the album Suddenly It's the Hi-Lo's/Harmony in Jazz Label=Collectables
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