Artist of the day (unabridged version): Jim Morey
-- His love of New Orleans, and his departure from the city right before Hurricane Katrina
-- His affinity for men's hats and jewelry
-- The time his car was shot with 30 bullets
-- Films that he has scored
-- And more.
Click here to listen to the JMB's Nuthin' But Love. And after the jump, get Julie's full interview...
The band: Jim Morey, vocals, trumpet, keys and guitar; Ann Van Atta, bass and backup vocals; Billy Carr, drums; and Eddie Rosicky, guitar.
The man: Band leader Morey wears a lot of hats, both literally and figuratively. Along with making music, the chapeau collector takes photos and designs jewelry. He’s lived throughout the U.S. and in the past decade returned to his hometown St. Pete, where he’s been busy playing two bands, Jim Morey Band and Lounge Cat — and scoring films such as Loren Cass and How to Be a Loan Shark.
CD: Nuthin’ But Love
The sound: A heady brew made up of spicy ingredients from years past — jazzy swing, New Orleans stomp and darkly rhapsodic serenades.
Early start: Morey began playing the trumpet at age 8. When was that defining moment? “On a road trip with my family,” he responds, “when I was about 10, I listened to a tape called Greatest Jazz Trumpet Players for like 1,000 hours. I kinda thought it was classical music. I already played the trumpet, but when I heard jazz, I knew I wanted to really play music.”
Youthful spunk: Morey is quite the showman and says he still has a little bit of that 8-year-old inside him. What’s his fountain of youth? “I keep up the excitement and energy with espresso, travel, love, good food, music, sleep, and rum. Not necessarily in that order.”
The Big Easy: “I have always had an affinity to soulful music,” he says. “New Orleans music and culture has always made me want to dance. I have spent past lives there, I imagine. Maybe I was that guy who always wanted to play the trumpet.”
Near misses: He took the last bus out of New Orleans before Katrina (and later wrote a song about it). In New York once, his car was shot with 30 bullets while he wasn’t in it.
Stage tricks: Morey performs stunts such as playing two trumpets at once. Does he have any new tricks up his sleeve? “I’m working on this amazing, death defying feat of utter amazement! You should definitely come see it!”
Other gig: Morey and his bandmates also play in Lounge Cat, led by Rosicky, but helps out on vocals. “I sing in Lounge Cat as well. As a matter of fact, that’s where I started singing 'professionally.’”
Between writing songs: “I like daydreaming, watching movies and nerdy TV, jewelry making and listening to music.”
Hear Morey and his band: 9 p.m. Saturday with Poetry 'N Lotion and Infinite Groove Orchestra, New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Ybor City. $6. jimmorey.com.
-- Julie Garisto, tbt*