Material: The m-pact name carries a line of descent that predates all six of its current touring members. For over 23 years these poets of a cappella tradition have performed live rhapsodies of America’s most chart-topping hits. This vocal ensemble often depicts the music of mainstream artists in a tonality that is very prevalent in the vocal jazz genre. The vocal melodies featured in their two most recently released singles, “Come Together” (a song by The Beatles) and “Guillotine” (by Jon Bellion), resemble the cadences that are frequently utilized by bands such as Mo5aic and Rockapella.
Musicianship: The cultural diversity of m-pact helps the group to casually alternate their artistry from pop and rock music to soul and R&B. That notion ignited an element of surprise, throughout the pulse of their live audience at the Beckmann Auditorium. The beat-boxing tonalities of Jeff Smith set the tempo for lead singers Drew Tablak, Jamond McCoy, Aaron Schumacher and Andy Degan, with bass vocalist Tracy Robertson providing the pivotal rhythm for their melodic coherence.
Performance: M-pact demonstrated their vocal competency with a brand of tongue-in-cheek finesse that’s similar to the showmanship of a cappella group Straight No Chaser. The arrangements of m-pact’s vocal melodies dovetailed perfectly with comedic odes to the theme music from classic American television shows like The Flintstones, The Jeffersons and Cheers. Perhaps the most sensational moment came toward the end of m-pact’s show, during the beat-boxing solo by Jeff Smith. He incited the live audience with vocal percussion reminiscent of the technique that made Bobby McFerrin so successful in the ‘80s.
Summary: This three-hour show highlighted the range of the band’s four lead vocalists. Their presentation featured solos, clever choreography and a soulful duet between Jamond McCoy and Tracy Robertson. M-pact’s lengthy performance gave their loyal following an extensive view of every band member, both as a person and as a performer.
Players: Jeff Smith, beatbox, tenor vocals; Drew Tablak, soprano vocals; Tracy Robertson, bass vocals; Jamond McCoy, baritone vocals; Aaron Schumacher, alto vocals; Andy Degan, tenor vocals