Desert Island Jazz
Sarah Manning (2005)

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Originally from New England, Manning immersed herself in jazz at a young age, playing in the combo at Hartford’s Artist Collective as a high school junior, a school founded by the great saxophonist Jackie McLean. McLean covered his ears in mock horror at her purposely dissonant arranging debut, but encouraged the teen and she kept writing. A full scholarship at Interlochen Arts Academy for her senior year in high school led to her acceptance into the Jazz Studies Program at William Paterson College, directed by bassist Rufus Reid. In search of an interdisciplinary education, she left William Paterson after two years and got her degree in Women’s Studies from Smith College in Massachusetts. It was in Massachusetts that she was able to study with Dr. Yusef Lateef, whose emphasis on searching for one’s own voice in music gave her the courage to pursue her own path.

That path took her to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2002. Since her arrival on the West Coast, Manning has produced two albums as a composer and bandleader and performed at top venues from Yoshi’s in Oakland to the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz. Her first release, “House on Eddy Street (2004)”, is a critically acclaimed album of her compositions with Randy Porter (piano), John Wiitala (bass), and Akira Tana (drums). In April 2005's JazzTimes, David Franklin observed, "Sounding like no one but herself, she possesses a well-focused, slightly edgy tone that suits equally her firmly swinging, uptempo postbop excursions and her highly melodic slow-tempo explorations.” KCSM DJ Michael Burman named it number five in his list of the top ten new releases of 2004. Her second album, “Live at Yoshi’s: Two Rooms Same Door”, which features seven new compositions performed by the same quartet, was recently released on ArtistShare.

Manning’s move to the innovative web label ArtistShare fits well with her approach as a player and composer. By documenting her creative process on her ArtistShare website through photo galleries, essays, news items, sheet music, audio clips, interviews and more, Sarah Manning is continually evaluating and expanding her music, deepening her relationship with fans. Free to create music without ceding artistic control to the usual industry suspects, she is able to surrender to the pursuit of what she hears.
Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Andrew Hill Point of Departure Dedication (Blue Note)
# 2 Yusef Lateef Eastern Sounds Love Theme from "Spartacus" (OJC)
# 3 Bill Frisell Bill Frisell Quartet Tales from the Far Side (Nonesuch)
# 4 Bernard Herrman Vertigo Scène d'Amour (Varese Sarabande)
# 5 John Coltrane At Birdland I Wanna Talk About You (Impulse)
# 6 Gillian Welch Time (The Revelator) The Revelator (Acony)
# 7 Henry Threadgill and Make a Move Where's Your Cup? 100-Year-Old Game (Columbia)
         
Book Banana Yoshimoto, "Kitchen"
         
Luxury Item A small fire-breathing dragon
Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
Alt 1 Larry Young Unity Zoltan (Blue Note)
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