Sovoso: Truth and Other Stories

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Primarily A Cappella; (415) 455-8602; www.singers.com

This San Francisco Bay Area sextet, which evolved out of Bobby McFerrin's Voicestra in 1993, has developed into one of the most creative groups in the burgeoning world of a cappella vocal ensembles. Like a cross between the legendary jazz trio Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross, the classic doo wop/gospel singing Persuasions, and the deeply spiritual and politically charged Sweet Honey in the Rock, SoVoSo comfortably moves from a funk-driven original tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., "Thank You for the Dream," to a velvety and swinging cover of the jazz standard "Afro Blue." On their second album, members Joey Blake, Melanie Rath, Nicolas Bearde, David Worm, Sunshine Garcia, and Rhiannon (replaced since the recording by Destani Wolf) pass around the composing and arranging duties. Their various songs address love, music-making, aging, and childhood dreams, and the performances range from meditative chants and drones to buoyant calliope-like counterpoints, free-form scat, and rhythm-and-blues-based crooning. The name SoVoSo is short for "from the Soul to the Voice to the Song," and the music always lives up to the name.