153

Jim Manley: Splendor in the Brass

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
When Jim Manley was in high school his band director and fellow trumpeter, Ed Levinsky, introduced him via records to many of the Jazz world's leading players including one who made an indelible impression that hasn't yet been erased. Manley was blown away by high""note maestro Maynard Ferguson and decided that was the road he wanted to travel. Now, some thirty years later, Manley has assembled a semi""big band (five trumpets, two trombones and rhythm but only two saxophones) to convey a posthumous thank you to Levinsky for prompting his interest in Jazz in general and trumpeters in particular.

To plan the program, Manley revisited many of the LPs he and Levinsky had listened to those many years ago and chose a dozen of his personal favorites for the ensemble to perform. The only exception is his own composition/arrangement, "Weekend in Paris. Manley wrote three other charts, Steve Hoover four, trumpeter Frank Goessler three, trombonist Jim Owens two. Most of the songs are familiar but there are a couple of pleasant surprises including Henry Mancini's bustling bossa "It Had Better Be Tonight (from the film The Pink Panther ) and Gene Austin/Nat Schilkret's chestnut from the '20s, "Lonesome Road, splendidly scored by Hoover.

Manley's St. Louis""based ensemble is first""class and everything swings nicely along without a hitch; if there's substantial criticism to be leveled, it must be directed at the recording itself, in which the rhythm section (especially piano and drums) is too conspicuously recorded while brass and reeds are often thwarted by excessive reverb. Perhaps engineer Greg Trampe was trying to make the group sound more like a fully""stocked big band (which it does anyway).

Although he continues to draw his inspiration from Ferguson, Manley is less the exhibitionist and more the plainspoken jazzman, nailing the high notes when needed (as, for example, on "There Will Never Be Another You ) but as a rule keeping them to a minimum. He's a prudently efficient soloist, as are trombonists Owens and Brett Stamps, reedmen Larry Johnson and Larry Smith, guitarist Bob Borgstrede and pianist Rick Zelle. There's plenty of splendor in this brass, and it could've been even brighter with more support from the control room.

Contact: The Victoria Company, P.O. Box 39465, St. Louis, MO 63139""8465. Fax 314""773""0073; e""mail ddi@inlink.com

Track Listing: St. Louis Blues; If I Only Had a Brain; Too Close for Comfort; Teach Me Tonight; Bernie

Personnel: Jim Manley, leader, solo trumpet; Frank Goessler, Dan Smith, Bob Ceccarini, Marc Garcia, Joe Owens, trumpet; Greg Grooms, piccolo trumpet (

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Victoria | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Out On The Coast" CD/LP/Track Review Out On The Coast
by Joe Gatto
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "Light Shines In" CD/LP/Track Review Light Shines In
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Groovin'" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin'
by Jeff Winbush
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley" CD/LP/Track Review And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Once & Future" CD/LP/Track Review Once & Future
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 10, 2016
Read "Around The Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Around The Horn
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 16, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.