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Posted on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 : 8:48 a.m.

Who's in charge? It doesn't matter when jazz quintet Manner Effect is in the House

By Roger LeLievre

It’s hard to follow the leader when there is none, but that doesn’t seem to bother the members of the jazz quintet Manner Effect. The members play beautifully together anyway.

Manner Effect - Sarah Elizabeth Charles (vocals), Caleb Curtis (sax), Logan Thomas (piano) PJ Roberts (bass) and Josh Davis (drums) - are at the Kerrytown Concert House Sunday.

“We do not have a leader,” says Davis, in regards to their collaborative nature. “We have five leaders.”

Their debut CD, “Abundance,” includes covers of artists as diverse as Michael Jackson, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Chick Corea, however each band member also contributed at least one original piece to the disc.

Even though Charles is the only woman, only non-Michigander, and only vocalist in the group, she is an essential part of Manner Effect’s sound. Roberts believes that she allows the band to take on many personalities because she can “sing in ways reminiscent of pop music (or) in an equal capacity with the saxophone.”

In an age where jazz groups, from the Bad Plus to Kneebody to Robert Glasper and Esperanza Spalding, habitually expand the repertoire and aesthetics of the genre, no group is doing it quite like Manner Effect.

Manner Effect plays Sunday, Aug. 25 at 7 p.m. at Kerrytown Concert House, 415 N. Fourth Ave. Tickets are $25-$5. Details at or 734-769-2999.