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

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Saints and Sinners" CD/LP/Track Review Saints and Sinners
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 30, 2016
Read "Process And Reality" CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio" CD/LP/Track Review One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 7, 2016
Read "Still" CD/LP/Track Review Still
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations" CD/LP/Track Review Nearness And You, Duets and Improvisations
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 13, 2016
Read "Oscar, with Love" CD/LP/Track Review Oscar, with Love
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!