Manning o' Manning!

Here To Stay (Double Vision)
Erin Manning

By David Lilly

With my limited knowledge of jazz - and given the sheer vastness of the genre - the first artist I thought of when I heard this music was Chet Baker. Does Erin Manning really sound like Baker? Not exactly, but I need references when I hear a singer for the first time, and she's that mellow. Also, the first time I heard Baker was on a radio show. He knocked me out, even though I wasn't sure if that voice was male or female until I heard the name "Chet."

There's no mistaking the feminine Manning for anything but female. There may be jazz fanatics who feel she needs to mature before recording again, but I'd pay to see/hear her now. Actually, I'm of the opinion that an Erin Manning show would be a fine evening. Why? Very simple: I'm very entertained by the music on this disc. Many of the songs here, such as "When You Wish Upon a Star," "The Lady is a Tramp," and "Stormy Weather," are classics or standards. While Billie Holliday is permanently associated with "God Bless the Child" and it's unlikely that anyone can outdo Freddie Mercury and Queen on "Hey Big Spender" (as they played it on stage), Manning does justice to most of the material here. So do the musicians. If you remember the theme from the television show "Taxi," that is what the first few seconds of this disc evokes.

Here to Stay is very good as background music, probably as low-key party music, and I'll bet if you listened to it while driving, other drivers will seem more like people instead of idiots. I really wish I could list an address for a website, but I have found nothing online about Erin Manning. Nevertheless, if I were Johnny Carson, I'd be giving her the "OK" sign.