Jim Manley Scream Trumpet Player based in St. Louis, Missouri
Scream Trumpet Player Jim Manley
Jim Manley's latest recording entitled "62 Summers."
Jim Manley works with Brian MacDonald explaining his approach to air support
Jim Manley works with Brian MacDonald and Kevin Burns explaining his approach to air support
Scream Trumpet Player Jim Manley of St Louis, Missouri has some of the most amazing high chops on the planet ! Jim Manley started playing trumpet in the 7th grade after the band director at school came around to each class asking if anyone wanted to sign up for band. No one in Jim Manley's family played any instruments and Jim found out at a young age he couldn't hit a whiffle ball with even the large red bat ... so, it seemed natural at the time for Jim to try a cornet. That was in 1967 and Herb Alpert was the real deal. Jim fell in love with music that very first year and was so into it he formed his first band by 1968 and played at several libraries and school concerts. Jim had a great band director in Ed Levinsky in high school and he really turned Jim on to the jazz trumpet greats. Jim continued playing in groups through high school and college. Jim was always putting groups together and trying out things he had written. Early on in Jim's trumpet experience he was self taught. Jim took a few lessons with Gordon Alt in the early 70's and then a few lessons with the great Bobby Shew.
Jim Manley attend college at Southeast Missouri State. Jim played in bar bands all through college and then after Jim left school he played in a few bands and started putting more groups together for fun. Jim worked odd jobs and the longest one Jim had was running printing presses at a brokerage firm for about four years. Jim's boss use to crack up because Jim would bring in his trumpet and practice during his lunch hour in the storerooms. In the summer of 1983, Jim's girlfriend's parents had a pool at their house and he decided to quit his day job ... hang out by the pool and join a local musical group called Fantasy that played pop/dance/funk music in the bars in Jim's native St. Louis, Missouri. Jim still performs in Fantasy and the band averaged twenty nights a month from around 1985 to 1995. Fantasy now does private parties, wedding receptions and a few club dates. Jim was always recording groups and learning something. Jim now has several different groups in St. Louis, Missouri and they keep Jim fairly busy. Jim might be playing lead trumpet on one night and then doing a trio gig the next night, it just depends on what is needed. The only thing Jim does not attempt is the classical stuff. Jim leaves that for the classical guys in the area.
When Jim was younger all he wanted to do was play as high as possible - ("Some Assembly Required") and then when Scott and Jim did "Lip Trip" they really wanted to try and put out the ultimate modern high note trumpet recording. Jim relates, "We had a blast writing the tunes and recording that stuff. I was in Los Angeles in 1994 right after the big earthquake and we would be recording and there would be these huge aftershocks that would shake the whole studio up in Laurel Canyon! It was really something to see us all running between takes every time the building shook! I wish I had some videos of that! I still love the upper register stuff; however, I can also dig TRYING TO playing a chorus like Freddie Hubbard (I wish I could swing that hard!) My latest CD called "Eight" is a little different then my two previous recording for that label as we only used an eight piece band. It sounds much fuller because of the great arrangers I had on that recording date. As a musician you have to do a lot to make ends meet. Producing a recording is an expensive venture and you are usually lucky to break even. I feel committed to keeping trumpet music alive and well ... and I'll probably continue to put out recordings until it is just not possible anymore. I support jazz by going out and buying CD's, going to as many concerts as I can. I feel very lucky to have been able to hear some of the greatest trumpet players live."
Trumpet Player Jim Manley relates, "I was lucky enough along the way to get some trumpet playing advice from Lin Biviano, Cat Anderson, Roger Ingram and the teacher that really put a light on things for me, Bobby Shew. If you ever get a chance to hear him play make the trip. If you ever get a chance to take a lesson with him by all means ... do it! Some players have a natural ability to play the trumpet easily - they are few and far between. The rest of us fall into the category of having to learn to play. The best advice I can give is to play as relaxed as you can and don't fight the resistance of your horn (or the notes). Open up and let the air do the work. Of the players I have seen who come through St. Louis to take a private trumpet lesson there is usually way too much tension in their playing and they over blow the horn. There is a fine balance between the air you use and the resistance of any given note. I warm up very quietly and use bending note exercises daily. The more efficient I become, the easier everything comes ... like lip slurs, tonguing exercises etc. When you are over blowing the trumpet, all of these playing aspects become a fight. I've been there and don't ever want to go back!
Jim continues, "You'd be very hard pressed to name a trumpet player I don't have something by. I am crazy when it comes to hearing trumpet players. My collection is huge and keeps growing everyday. I was an avid Don Ellis fan and of course Doc Severinsen; but, then I started getting into the straight ahead jazz guys like Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Clifford Brown, Chet Baker and I love all that stuff to. I have really been digging all the stuff Randy Brecker has recorded. Randy's concept is so modern and has really been hip since the 70's! As a matter of fact, I love all the trumpet stuff I can get my hands on. My list of favorites would take up an entire website! Maynard Ferguson has been a great influence on me as I know he has been to many, many trumpet players. I heard "Ole" from the album Maynard 61 when I was a junior in high school. I had never heard Maynard and could not believe what I was hearing! I can vividly remember walking out of the band room in a daze. I started collecting everything I could by this guy named Maynard Ferguson from that day on.
Trumpet Player Jim Manley plays the VR2 Raptor Professional Model Bb trumpet made by Stomvi USA. Jim is currently playing the new JimFLEX Mouthpiece designed for him by K.O. Skinsnes. Jim loves the VR2 Raptor Professional Model Bb Trumpet because it plays even in all registers; plays perfectly in tune and produces a lot of color in the sound with less work than other horns he has used (which is a lot of them). Jim states that he is a "horn junkie" as he is always buying and selling horns just to try them out. Jim also has a 1959 Conn 38B (looks showroom new), a bass trumpet, a Yamaha Z Professional Model Fluglehorn and a Maynard Ferguson Holton Firebird.
Check out Jim's CD's on his website and MP3's on Amazon and iTunes!
To contact Jim Manley for private SKYPE trumpet lessons or to purchase his recordings ... you can visit Jim's website at JimManleyMusic.com