Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

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


Title: Splendor In The Brass | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Telarc


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets" CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Nocturno" CD/LP/Track Review Nocturno
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "Trane 90" CD/LP/Track Review Trane 90
by Jim Trageser
Published: December 1, 2016
Read "Il sistema periodico" CD/LP/Track Review Il sistema periodico
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Gateway" CD/LP/Track Review Gateway
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 25, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor