Onyx Collective reimagine American classics on new album

‘Manhattan Special’ takes on the works of Rodgers and Hart/Rodgers and Hammerstein.

New York jazz group Onyx Collective have released Manhattan Special, a ten-track collection of compositions from the Rodgers and Hart/Rodgers and Hammerstein songbook.

The outfit enlist collaborators like Kelsey Lu, Nick Hakim and Julian Soto, among others, to reimagine evergreen American classics by the legendary songwriting duos Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, plus Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II.

The album’s single, “Manhattan,” was written by Hart and Rodgers for the 1925 revue Garrick Gaieties. The ode to New York City has been covered by music greats ranging from Ella Fitzgerald to Rod Stewart and Bette Midler.

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Onyx Collective’s leader Isaiah Barr told Rolling Stone that the group wanted to “paint a dreamy kind of surrealist portrait of the fantastical side of Manhattan” with the title track. “All the references in the song are still things we romanticize about the city, so it seemed like a perfect soundtrack to a New York love story.”

The LP also captures renditions of “Blue Moon,” “Falling in Love” and “My Funny Valentine.”

Stream Manhattan Special below:

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