According to Cheryl Bentyne, who’s one-quarter of the musical group the Manhattan Transfer, even Grammy-winning recording artists have to do their chores. This explains why she has spent the waning days of the summer outside her 1836 Sudbury, Mass., vacation home with a brush dripping “cottage red” on her hands.
“I painted a house!” she says. “Not the inside. Not a closet. Not around a windowsill. I painted a house.”
She goes on to explain that her husband thought it would be “a nice family project and my daughter and I are thinking, ‘No. Not really.’”
Fortunately for Bentyne, those labor days are now over and she gets to return to more familiar chores such as touring with her pals and slipping off to San Francisco for two nights of a semi-solo gig at the Rrazz Room.
It’s semi-solo because she’s joining forces with singer-lyricist Mark Winkler, expanding on the success of their recent gig in her Los Angeles home.
“This could be the start of something big,” she said, jokingly, as she plugged their opening number. “We get very Steve and Eydie!”
Bentyne’s not worried if the teaming actually proves to be something big. “I can carry quite a wide load,” she says, laughing. “The Transfer doesn’t tour constantly, and this kind of job would be fun to fit in wherever I can.”
The pair share a mutual appreciation for the West Coast strain of cool jazz espoused by the likes of June Christy and Bobby Troup. “It’s a little more theatrical,” she says.
That plays well for Winkler, who, in addition to his jazz vibe, has written songs for legit musicals like “Naked Boys Singing” and the currently in development “Play It Cool.” That stage sensibility appeals to Bentyne, who “would love to find a great theater piece, though it would have to work around other schedules.”
The other schedule is, of course, performing with the Manhattan Transfer. When she joined them in 1978, it was the third iteration of the quartet founded by Tim Hauser and then featuring Janis Siegel and Alan Paul.
More than 30 years and many Grammy Awards later, Bentyne loves her job, but can imagine life without the Transfer.
“We can’t go on forever,” she says. “We’re all turning corners and creating new projects, but I’d love for us to keep recording forever!”
IF YOU GO
Cheryl Bentyne and Mark Winkler
Where: Rrazz Room, Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday
Contact: (866) 468-3399; www.therrazzroom.com