Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
183

Jim Manley: Alter Ego

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Manley: Alter Ego Jim Manley is an impressive trumpeter (and pianist), as he proved on an earlier album, Splendor in the Brass, and his sidemen are no doubt talented musicians as well, but what they have conspired to produce on Alter Ego is surely aimed at a generation younger than my own, people who grew up listening to MTV, rock, "alternative bands, and all manner of electronic gadgetry, not to mention smooth jazz.

Whenever I see the term "programming next to a musician's name, it gives me pause. What it usually means is "I'm going to bowl you over with special effects, as Hollywood loves to do, thus diverting your mind and attention from the substance of the music itself. That's certainly the case here, as Manley uses overdubbing, echo chamber effects, and all manner of synthetic components to help create whatever mood he and his colleagues are seeking. They do it well, but that's beside the point. What is important is the amount and quality of jazz on offer, and while there a sprinkling, even that is largely submerged beneath an unremitting wave of electronic contrivances.

Manley wrote every number save Herbie Mann's "Memphis Underground, and everything seems inflexibly bound by a monotonous thread of sameness. Even "Memphis doesn't fare well in Manley's cutesy arrangement. This is clearly not an album for the hard-core jazz enthusiast. If, on the other hand, the enterprise is aimed toward the smooth jazz market, as it seems to be, Manley may well strike gold (or platinum) with one or more of these tunes. I wish him well, but would caution those who favor bona fide jazz to stay well clear of Manley's Alter Ego.

Visit Jim Manley on the web.


Track Listing: Alter Ego; Spanish Moon; Get Smarty; Oceanside Morning; Orwell Was Right; Long Ago; Get on with It; First Flight; Memphis Underground; Time Will Tell; Mr. Slick (55:18).

Personnel: Jim Manley, trumpets, keyboards, programming; Larry Johnson, saxophone; J. Hayes, Randy Bahr, Dave Fowler, guitar; Jim Owens, keyboards, organ, trombone.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Music Masters | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Funk Factory
Funk Factory
Self Produced
2014
buy
Chilled Brass
Chilled Brass
Self Produced
2014
buy
Short Stories & Tall Tales
Short Stories & Tall...
Self Produced
2013
buy
Brass Poison Too
Brass Poison Too
Victoria
2012
buy
Brass Poison
Brass Poison
Victoria
2010
buy
Eight
Eight
Victoria
2008
buy

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.