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Stripped is a vocal band that continues to stretch ideas about what a cappella music can be. Their concerts are highly focused on improvisation, audience participation, and making music that moves the spirit. The voices gathered here have blend and unity, but frequently remind the listener that individual expression can flourish within the context of a group sound, like a single flower enhances the garden with its own particular bouquet and color.
Members: Gayle Bisesi, Leslie Beukelman, Mariama Torruella, Sean Archer
Stripped: Breaking Boundaries
"Breaking" is the debut album of three-woman, two-man quintet Stripped, who have performed their dynamic original vocal jazz music throughout Chicago, receiving awards at the Chicago Cultural Center Cx2 competition and at the 2004 Harmony Sweeps Regionals. Of these seven original tunes, the breathless, scattish "Strip It Down," "Flavaday," the moody, mysterious "Lullaby Moon," the funny, manic "I Don't Want to be Kissed" and the bluesy "All Good That Ends Well" are all written and composed by group member Sean Archer; "Its Time" and "Bring It, Life!" are written and composed by group member Mariama Torruella. Stripped has a wonderfully sophisticated, smooth sound with complex, sometimes dissonant harmonies that are effortlessly nailed by these talented singers. "Breaking Boundaries" is a fine debut recording, some of the best vocal jazz and original material we have heard in a long time. If you love fresh, intense vocal jazz, put on Stripped, and your seatbelt!