All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Rare Silk

Rare Silk Rare Silk

Rare Silk began in 1978 as a 3-part harmony vocal group, much in the style of the Boswell Sisters. Their inception coincided with the beginning of local radio station KGNU. For several months, they created a weekly 15 minute local access radio show, which allowed them to build a repertoire. They met the great Benny Goodman by opening for him at Mackey Auditorium in Boulder. Mr. Goodman immediately took to the 3 women's vocal stylings and asked them to go on tour with him. Their first gig was at the Boston Globe Jazz Festival and was live broadcast on PBS. The tour included dates at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and a week in Japan at the Aurex Jazz Festival. After their tour with Benny, they were joined by male vocalist Todd Buffa and began restyling their approach to a more modern 4-part harmony sound. They were soon discovered by a Polygram scout and recorded their first album, 'New Weave' in 1983. This album was nominated for 2 Grammys and reached #2 on the Billboard Jazz charts.

From Jim Meredith:

Had I been a member of the vocal group Rare Silk, I wonder if I'd have grown tired of hearing fans tell me, “Hey, you remind me of the Manhattan Transfer.” Perhaps such comparisons were inevitable. Judging by the Downbeat magazine annual readers' polls results, the Manhattan Transfer and Rare Silk were widely regarded as the top two vocal groups through most of the 1980's. Yet, to my ears, Rare Silk always seemed a little more intent upon establishing their clear identity as a jazz vocal group. On NEW WEAVE, the group's first record, they draw more heavily from the instrumental jazz repertoire than was the case with most of the 1980's Manhattan Transfer records. “Red Clay” [with Mark Murphy's lyrics], “Lush Life,” “Sugar,” “Spain” [with Al Jarreau's lyrics], and compositions by saxophonists Richie Cole, Gerry Niewood, and Eddie Harris are all to be found on Rare Silk's NEW WEAVE. Comparisons with Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross seem not at all inappropriate. Furthermore, several familiar jazz instrumentalists make appearances on this record: Gary Bartz, Bruce Forman, Ronnie Cuber, and the Brecker brothers.

Read more





Black And Blue

Not On Label (Rare Medium Self-released)


American Eyes

Not On Label (Rare Medium Self-released)


New Weave

Not On Label (Rare Medium Self-released)




Stan Getz Stan Getz
saxophone, tenor
Mark Murphy Mark Murphy
voice / vocals
Houston Person Houston Person
saxophone, tenor
Tierney Sutton Tierney Sutton
voice / vocals
The Rippingtons The Rippingtons
Jackie Ryan Jackie Ryan
voice / vocals
The Manhattan Transfer The Manhattan Transfer
voice / vocals
Diane Schuur Diane Schuur
voice / vocals
Dee Daniels Dee Daniels
voice / vocals
Sue Oatts (Tucker) Sue Oatts (Tucker)
voice / vocals
Alex Pangman Alex Pangman
voice / vocals

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and through our retail affiliations you'll support us in the process.

Rare vinyl LPs and CDs from over 1,000 independent sellers
CDs, Vinyl, Blu-Ray DVDS, Prime membership, Alexa, SONOS and more
Specializing in high resolution and CD-quality downloads
Specializing in music, movies and video games
Marketplace for new, used, and vintage instruments and gear

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.