87

Jim Manley: Brass Poison Too

Nicholas F. Mondello By

Sign in to view read count
Jim Manley: Brass Poison Too Trumpet players who dwell in the altissimo range of the instrument face multiple dilemmas: they must maneuver the purely physical demands of playing in that extreme register (challenging), perform impeccably (difficult) and display musical grace and ease in doing so (incredibly difficult). Complicating matters, there are always the ghosts of Maynard Ferguson, Bill Chase and others lurking to offer the opportunity for fair or unfair comparisons.

With Brass Poison Too, Jim Manley again demonstrates that he is an incredible talent—a marvelously gifted player and shrewd producer. Unlike some other screamers, Manley realizes that the timbre of the instrument in the high register will easily bore if overplayed. And, as on his prior releases—Brass Poison (Victoria, 2010) and Eight (Victoria, 2008)—Manley the producer wisely incorporates eclectic musical selections, and sources interesting arrangements which showcase his awesome talents and those of his fine-playing cohorts.

The general tone of this session is smooth rock-jazz rather than straight-ahead jazz ("In Style and Rhythm"). There's no shortage of Manley's fireworks, however. He screams with the best and knows his own limitations and those of the horn's upper register. He's not a "valve wiggler"—a player who does not have the creative improv skills, but, who relies on the flurries and flips of their fingers. His solos throughout are well-developed and maturely restrained.

Manley's choice of selections is incredibly savvy and the arrangements are excellent ("Night in Tunisia," presented with a unique triple-time treatment). Manley tips his historical hat to Maynard Ferguson by yanking out Ferguson's "L-Dopa," and to King Crimson with "In the Court of the Crimson King." There's a pervasive sense that Manley channels the innovative trumpeter Don Ellis ("Beirut"—a highlight). While Ellis took time signatures, four-valved trumpets and electronic effects to the forefront, Manley uses subtler textures—different instrumentation mixes and grooves—to achieve fascinating results. Jazz standards such as Eddie Harris's "Listen Here," Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and Tom Scott's "King Cobra" are given fresh facelifts. An odd, but, effective stop is Manley's cover of The Beatles' "Michelle."

Brass Poison Too is an honest, entertaining musical effort that, while not disingenuously attempting a musical breakthrough, validates Jim Manley's reputation as a outstanding musician and a producer extraordinaire. It's a fun, tasty potion.

Track Listing: In Style and Rhythm; Night in Tunisia; L-Dopa; Michelle; Coloring Outside the Lines; Beirut; Semi-Sweet; Court of the Crimson King; King Cobra; Gotta Be One Like This; Listen Here; Blue Rondo a la Turk; Libertango.

Personnel: Jim Manley: trumpet, flugelhorn, valve trombone; Frank Goessler: trumpet; Dan Smith: trumpet; Chris Miller: trumpet; Greg Grooms: trumpet; Jim Owens: trombone; Larry Johnson: tenor saxophone; Joe Bayer: tenor saxophone; Jason Swagler: alto saxophone, flute; Aaron Lehde: baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone; Brett Voelker: drums; Marc Torlina: bass; Jim Owens: piano, organ; Tony Esterly: guitars; Alex Trampe: percussion; Carol Beth True: keyboard; Greg Trampe: strings.

Title: Brass Poison Too | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Victoria


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987" CD/LP/Track Review Paco and John - Live at Montreux 1987
by John Kelman
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Straight Ahead From Havana" CD/LP/Track Review Straight Ahead From Havana
by James Nadal
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Red Nation "1"" CD/LP/Track Review Red Nation "1"
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "My Iris" CD/LP/Track Review My Iris
by Fiona Ord-Shrimpton
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Meditations on Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Meditations on Freedom
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Goin' Your Way" CD/LP/Track Review Goin' Your Way
by Doug Collette
Published: November 6, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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