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.
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.