Jim Manley has just released a new CD, Short Stories & Tall Tales, don't look for him to play any of the music from it when he headlines next week at Jazz at the Bistro.
That's because this latest offering, following up on 2011's Brass Poison Too, represents a significant musical departure for Manley. The trumpeter's recent releases have included rock and funk backbeats and electronic instruments, but mostly have remained rooted in traditional recording methods, live jazz instrumentation and song forms, with a mix of standards, contemporary covers and occasional originals.
Manley's gig at the Bistro, meanwhile, is with Mad Brass and Rhythm, a horns-plus-rhythm-section grouping certainly capable of reproducing some of those recorded arrangements, but, if live clips on YouTube are any indication, arguably leaning a bit more toward a straight-ahead sound.
Short Stories & Tall Tales, however, is something different entirely - a true solo effort, created by Manley alone, with a major assist from technology. "I did the CD using all professional loops," he explained in an email to StLJN, "like a building block of compositions and then added my trumpet, valve bone and various keyboard parts to the mixes - then mixed and mastered the whole thing." The project took four months "and way too many hours," said Manley, "but I love doing it."
Given the rather radical departure from his previous working methods, "We won't be playing any of the music from the CD, as it is a total different vibe then Mad Brass & Rhythm," said Manley.
You can hear some audio excerpts from Short Stories & Tall Tales (pictured) in the embedded video window below. And although Manley won't be playing any music from the CD at the Bistro, he will have copies on sale there. Online buyers can get a physical CD from Manley's website, and it will be available to download from iTunes in about a week.