MANFRED MANN CHAPTER THREE

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Manfred Mann Chapter Three was a British experimental jazz rock band founded by South African keyboard player Manfred Mann and long-time partner Mike Hugg. The line-up for its debut at Newcastle's Mayfair Ballroom on October 24, 1969 was; Mike Hugg (vocals/electric piano), Mann (organ), Bernie Living (alto sax), Steve York (bass) and Craig Collinge (drums), augmented by a five-piece brass section of Clive Stevens (tenor sax), Carl Griffiths (tenor sax), Dave Coxhill (baritone sax), Gerald Drewett (trombone) and Sonny Corbett (trumpet). The band's approach centred around the "time, no changes" approach of Miles Davis and John Coltrane applied to slow, funky grooves with voodoo lyrics inspired by Dr John alternating with blaring big-band horn riffs and improvised free-jazz solos reminiscent of Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler. Although intelligible at a time when artists like Davis himself were crossing over into the rock/funk field and American "jazz-rock" ensembles such as Blood, Sweat read more...
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MANFRED MANN CHAPTER THREE Manfred Mann Chapter Three album cover 3.17 | 4 ratings
Manfred Mann Chapter Three
Jazz Related Rock 1969
MANFRED MANN CHAPTER THREE Volume Two album cover 3.55 | 2 ratings
Volume Two
Jazz Related Rock 1970
MANFRED MANN CHAPTER THREE Radio Days Vol. 3 : Live Sessions & Studio Rarities album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Radio Days Vol. 3 : Live Sessions & Studio Rarities
Exotica 2019

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MANFRED MANN CHAPTER THREE Manfred Mann Chapter Three

Album · 1969 · Jazz Related Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Manfred Mann is well known by his great keyboard based progressive rock from seventies. But not everyone knows that he was a pop musician and then jazz- rock musician before that. Manfred Mann Chapter III is first step made by Manfred towards progressive music. Using some musicians from his previous pop band, MM recorded debut album of new project towards jazzy direction. It was 1969, and only a few bands all around tried to add some jazz elements in their rock sound. MM was one between a few very beginners!

The album contains r'n'b and blues rock based songs, but with some brass and some jazzy arrangements. Manfred's regular collaborator (on his later projects)Mike Hugg is there on vocals yet (and playing second keyboards as well).MM demonstrates his excellent ability to write melodic songs, band plays them nice with freshness and enthusiasm.

It is important to note, that this work should be placed beside Chicago Transit Authority and Blood Sweat and Tears debut albums as proto jazz-rock cornerstones. Differently from both other American bands, mentioned above, UK-based MMCIII never received such popularity.

Album's sound is still heavily rooted in blues-rock , being mostly similar to BST debut album. Music here has lot of jazzy elements, but bigger accent was made not on jazzy techniques and mastership, but more on some unusual brass arrangements used in classic rock compositions. Recording sound is clear, you can really enjoy all instruments' sounds when listening.

The same line-up will record one more album in similar key (and of similar level), then will turn to series of classic progressive rock albums. This album is really attractive listening for everyone interested in jazz-rock roots, and in late 60-s rock music in general.

MANFRED MANN CHAPTER THREE Volume Two

Album · 1970 · Jazz Related Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
Second album from this band, and still delving further in experimentation – these things being relative, of course, but remember that these guys were pop writers just a year before this release. With an unchanged line-up and a strange artwork, this second albums takes off just where the previous had quit. The most logical step forward was the extension/lengthening of the tracks allowing for more instrumental interplay.

8-min opening track Lady Ace could’ve easily fitted on their previous album, with the difference that the brass section does get wilder than anything they had done on the first volume. Poor Sad Sue easily tops that with a free-jazz brass section solo before bringing things back to more conventional rock. Jump Before You with its African percussions and York improvising wildly on his bass, then the brass (first with a Moroccan feel) take over and a dissonant sax soloing away, is yet another perfect example of this unit still breaking new grounds. Good To Be Alive is more reminiscent of their debut album, but it is a creeper. The extended 16-min track Happy Being Me is full of great soloing (including Mann on piano) and some outstanding wind-works from Harold Becket and Nick Evans (of Keith Tippett fame)

Legend has it that a third album was recorded but the tapes lost, but one thing is certain, that record would’ve been another step towards nirvana. Instead the Chapter Three will break up and Manfred will take Hugg with him to found another superb group , the Earth Band which will make plenty of excellent records (but the first two albums were a clear step backwards) but in a rockier direction than here.

MANFRED MANN CHAPTER THREE Manfred Mann Chapter Three

Album · 1969 · Jazz Related Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
Having definitely left the pop realm, Manfred turned into a Mann (I know but I could not resist ;-) and opened a new chapter, this time not being afraid to take heavy risks. And venturing into jazzy territories and this for our greater pleasure, he became one of the earliest rock musicians to fuse rock with jazz in the UK along with Colosseum (who had jazz musos in their line-up) as opposed to jazz musos who decided to expand towards rock music. MMCT is definitely a rock group, but can these guys play jazz!!

Still with his buddy Mike Hugg (a drummer in the RnB outfits, but strangely here only on vocals and KB) and sharing the songwriting credits evenly among them, Steve York on bass and guitars, and Collinge on drums, they were augmented with a brass section for their studio sessions. And there are some real superb tracks such as the opener, Snakeskin Garter and Devil Woman have plenty of great ambiances set-up on a mid-paced tempo.

Second side opens on rather lenghty Time starting as a slow blues with harmonica, but the heavy brass section quickly expand the horizons, but with the same tempo dominating the first side. Highlights on this vinyl side include You’re A Better Man Than I and Accuracy.

BTW, this album is incredibly long for the era it was released in clocking in at 50 minutes, and the immense majority of them very enjoying, but a little too tempered f the full spread of the album. But to think that this album was written by the two pop stars that did Doo-Wah-Diddy is flabbergasting indeed.

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