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BASS artist notes: I initially got some attention while playing bass in my fusion group, The Balance. But I am as much a "rocker" as I am a "jazzer", and definitely more funk... than "legit". I grew up on Cream, Black Sabbath, Grand Funk Railroad, Yes, Deep Purple, Black Oak Arkansas, The J. Geils Band, Jethro Tull, Simon and Garfunkel, Elvis Presley, Beck, Bogert, and Appice-- to name a few influences. I was weaned on Gladys Knight & the Pips, Curtis Mayfield, Smokey Robinson, Joe Tex, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Little Richard, and The Ojays-- to name a few influences. The first live concert I ever attended was a James Brown show when I was 10 years old. But all this while growing up a drummer.

When I was 15, my best friend's older brother, Rusty Heck, gave me two albums as a Christmas present: Stanley Clarke's "Stanley Clarke" and Curtis Mayfield's "Superfly". Things were never the same after that, and the bass became my chosen musical vehicle. You see, you can play drums on the bass. You can play piano on the bass. You can sing on the bass. You can put the guitar back in "bass guitar" and strum chords on it or solo with effects and distortion. From the bass you can speak volumes.... And by virtue of chords generally being named in relation to the lowest note in the chord, what one chooses to play on the bass, controls the composition, as well as the Groove. The bass is the king of all instruments-- in this bass player's admittedly biased opinion.

There's this theory that music, unheard, surrounds us always, and that the musician is somehow able to make these melodies, harmonies, and rhythms audible at any given moment. What you have in front of you is some of the music I have somehow been able to make audible with a bass or two (in the case of the Wal doubleneck) in my hands. The album is called BASS. How could it have been called anything else?


Manley is an American songwriter and musician, novelist and film maker. A nickname, The Wall Of Thunder, underscores the role of the bass in his live performances. Manley is known for fronting the bands: The Balance, Cut To The Chase, Blood, Valve, Manley's Subculture, and The Thunder Group.

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