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Joe Manis: Killin'!

George Colligan By

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Or, sometimes you'll be talking to someone with a jazz degree and you'll mention a player or a certain album, and you can tell that the person is only pretending to know what you're talking about: it's clear that they're not listening to classic albums or familiarizing themselves with important players. Not to that say that jazz musicians have to be neo-classicists, but it's good to know how this music developed. Plus, a lot of that older stuff is really good. It sometimes seems like a lot of people with jazz degrees don't actually want to play jazz, but jazz was their best degree option in order to play in a band. I wish that there was more music education in public schools so that there would be hope for more music appreciators, if nothing else.

GC: What's your next project?

JM: I'm always transcribing tunes to see if I like playing them. I try to look for tunes that aren't overplayed and/or have interesting forms. I like to arrange standards and try them out in performance: some of them stick and develop over time. I'd like to write some new original material, too. Once I compile a set of tunes that I think would make a good album, I'd like to make another recording: I'm already about halfway there.

GC: Any upcoming recordings or performances we should know about?

JM: I have a series of album release gigs with you on organ and Todd Strait or Randy Rollofson on drums. Randy plays on the Salem gig, and Todd plays on the rest.

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Courtesy of Joe Manis
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