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Trumpeter Manuel Mengis Interviewed at AAJ

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Manuel Mengis
Jazz is insurmountable. Hundreds of CDs are reviewed by All About Jazz every year, but how many names are recognized? It is endlessly fascinating, yet frustrating--while reveling in the evidence that such a high quantity of music exists, the realization dawns that there aren't enough hours in the day to hear it all. Each artist represents a vision, a creative statement, a person or group with something to say, communicating with and through jazz. It's impossible for anyone to do justice to the inspiration, thought and effort that has gone into each record, but together we ought to try.

One man who epitomizes the above is Manuel Mengis. A likely unknown to many readers, the Swiss trumpeter is happy to talk in detail about his modus operandi. “It takes me a long time to write music; it's hard work," he says, speaking from his home in Valais, southern Switzerland. “I have a lot of ideas in my mind. In the first few days, I need to find out what I really want--which notes I want to use. I write a lot of stuff, throw some away, edit, and then after a few days I'm really into it--I can get a clearer picture. And sometimes I'm quite fast. But there's no system when I can just sit down and pull the triggers."

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