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Back in the 60s, there was a classic James Bond film starring Sean Connery entitled Goldfinger (United Artists, 1964). The key antagonist in the action-packed film was a character named "Auric Goldfinger." He had less than the Midas touch. Conversely, St. Louis-based trumpeter Jim Manley does indeed have that touch as he shines on Short Stories & Tall Tales.
With these stories and tales, Manley sends up a series of high-energy selections which run the gamut from Tower of Power funk ("She's in My Orbit") and electro-funk ("Holes in the Story," "Ur Soul Funky") to smoother elegance ("Dreaming Out Loud," "Along for the Ride") and habanera-hot Latin ("Last Call" and the quirky "Sparky's Tune"). With a neat production twist and awesome display, the talented Manley composed all the selections, performs and overdubs all of the melodic instrumentstrumpet and flugelhorn, valve trombone and keyboardsover pre-recorded base material. The interplay is uncannyand quite good.
First and foremost, Manley, who travels the horn's altissimo range with the flair of a whizzing razor-edged fedora, is a stellar trumpeter with spectacular chops and a gorgeous, inviting sound across his axe. As a soloist, Manley leverages his awesome range and trumpet skills to fly highand low on the larger hornsover the driving rhythms below. However, Manley is shrewdly aware of the difference between ennui-inducing showing off and solid music-makingbe it melody or improvisation.
Short Stories & Tall Tales also demonstrates that Manley has his finger on the pulseand literally the consoleof today's recording technologies. His performance across the date was individually produced with Manley recording over a rhythmic and harmonic bed of royalty-free loops drawn from cyberspaceand then handling the back-end mix with the savvy of Bond's "Q"or, perhaps the other more musical one.
As was the case with his previous more traditionally- generated efforts, Short Stories & Tall Tales validates Manley as a superior trumpet artist, fine soloist and a production savant. If the Bond folks ever decide re-make Goldfinger, they wouldn't have to look farther than "Double-High 7" for the sounds. He packs heat and has a 24K license to thrill.
Track Listing: Short Stories & Tall Tales; Last Call (What the Hell?); Holes in the
Story; Skating on Thin Ice; Dreaming Out Loud; Shout It Out; Sorry to
Say; Sparky’s Tune; Ur Soul Funky; Along for the Ride; She’s in My
Orbit; State of Confusement; When You Least Expect It; Where Did It All
Personnel: Jim Manley: trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone, keyboards.
I love jazz because my father shard it with me. I was first exposed to jazz as a kid with Eddie Condon records. I met Warren Covington when I was in College and he was leading the Tommy Dorsey Band. I sat in, and very soon after that began singing with a Big Band in Cleveland
I love jazz because my father shard it with me. I was first exposed to jazz as a kid with Eddie Condon records. I met Warren Covington when I was in College and he was leading the Tommy Dorsey Band. I sat in, and very soon after that began singing with a Big Band in Cleveland. The best show I ever attended was Earl Hines when I was in middle school. My Dad took me. The first jazz record I bought was a Dinah Washington LP. My advice to new listeners is to find artists and composers that are not mainstream. Go outside the box. Please don't just purchase what they are pushing on iTunes.