Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
Manhattan, even the merest taste of it on the tongue is to invite the strangely familiar and yet thoughtfully exotic, especially if of a certain generation or perhaps of a disposition towards the love of the city of New York and its boroughs. It is the thought of the busy, of the cool and aloof, of the sounds, smells and sights of a city that sits so comfortably in the thoughts of many, that to be there is only a film or American television programme away. It is to be in the city that never sleeps, it is not just a Frank Sinatra song framed in the mind, it is a destination that is just keeps on at you to be within, Midnight in Manhattan, to bathe in moonlight of a 77th Street Jazz serenade is to be live.
For John Jenkins, Midnight in Manhattan: Travelogue E.P. bathing in the thought of the cultural hub of America, is just a step to passing on that thought of getting a taste of life from every available passing person in the street. The densely populated but exiting fumes of another soul and the sheer overload of the sensory; regardless of whether you have been before and sampled the trade, consumerism and sophisticated ethos that seeps out of every brick and reflects back from every window, or whether it remains a fantasy, an elusive shimmering lamb like figure beckoning you to take it all in. John Jenkins gives it all on a plate, a small bounty in which to sample and the taste is wonderful.
The E.P. is a love letter, sent first class and stringed with admiration, the best type, that that has inspired to be more than you were, to come back changed in your outlook; travel broadens the mind, music has the ability to strengthen the resolve and both aspects have the combination of making peace with the soul.
Throughout the four songs that fill the E.P. to bursting point, that sense of the idol, of seeking to be more than people ever believe you to be, is rife and placed with immense satisfaction in the instrumental musings. From the title track, to Travelogue, the beautiful Promenade and the tranquillity on offer in Evening in Manhattan, all is given room to breathe and feel expansion but seen through the eyes of someone not of its shores. For that is the point, the welcome that the bedraggled, the cold, poor and hungry yearning to escape their own tyranny in 19th and 20th Century, remains a dream for many and if you can’t get there, then the only reasonable thing to do is to live it, with every available sound and reflected thought possible.
Midnight in Manhattan: Travelogue E.P isn’t a passing fancy by a writer of prose setting a scene, it is the genuine appreciation for a sound that nestles in the very heart of desire, a beating confession of admiration that sings with every fibre possible.
Midnight in Manhattan–Travelogue E.P. is available as a free download from www.johnjenkinsmusic.com or for £2.99 as a physical copy (Inc P&P) in the U.K. The E.P is free with any purchase of John Jenkins and That Sure Thing C.D. Intruders.
Ian D. Hall