Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Jim Manley releases new CD

Trumpet player Jim Manley has released a new CD on the St. Louis based Victoria Records label. Titled Brass Poison, the disc evokes memories of the mid-1970s, before "jazz-rock" officially became "fusion."

In the liner notes, Manley says, "I grew up listening to all the MF and Don Ellis Columbia stuff along with Blood,Sweat & Tears, Chicago, Tom Scott, the Brecker Brothers and so many others. I still love that era and it brings back many great memories when music seemed more creative and exciting."

The CD features Manley and an 11-piece band performing jazz standards and new arrangements of popular tunes associated with Elton John, Carole King, Sting and The Isley Brothers and others, plus the title track, written by Manley.
The cover of the Isley's "It's Your Thing" features a guitar solo from special guest Ernie Isley, while other tracks include "Go Back Home," "Rocket Man," "Soul Makossa," "Seven Days," "Santa Cruzin'," "Well You Needn't," "Spooky," "Brass Poison," "Rocket," "Blues for Miles," "I Feel the Earth Move," "Grazin' in the Grass," and "Last Night."

Look for a more detailed review later, but on first listen, Brass Poison (pictured) is a well-produced, slickly arranged outing that should have considerable appeal to fans of the influences Manley cites. In particular, the title track would have fit right into one of Maynard Ferguson's MF Horn volumes, and several other arrangements recall Ferguson's approach to remaking pop hits of the day. Manley's playing is characteristically bright, nimble and energetic, and there also are nice solo contributions from saxophonists Jason Swagler and Larry Johnson, keyboardists Jim Owens and Arthur Toney, and others.

Brass Poison is available now online at www.jimmanley.net and downloadable via iTunes and Amazon MP3.

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