3-CD Box set, 60-page booklet including comprehensive biography, original liner notes and cover art, rare photos, unseen memorabilia and extensive discography. Shelly Manne (1920-1984) was one of the most important drummers in jazz history. Opening with his first recordings as a leader for Dee Gee Records in 1951 (Chicago) and 1952 (Los Angeles), this collection covers both these septet sessions and the great series of all-star septet and quintet recordings made for Contemporary by Shelly Manne and His Men between 1953 and 1958. Here’s that Manne.
Digitally remastered release that contains, for the first time ever on CD, a complete live performance in Manchester by the legendary Shelly Manne quintet with Joe Gordon and Richie Kamuca. This short lived group had produced the celebrated multi-volume albums at the Blackhawk, in San Francisco, the previous year (with Victor Feldman on piano instead of Russ Freeman), as well as celebrated recordings of Henry Mancini's Peter Gunn music. The Manchester concert, which was only previously released on an extremely rare long out of print LP, showcases the quintet in high spirits, and offers a new opportunity to appreciate the talents of trumpeter Joe Gordon, who would die soon after.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Although drummer Shelly Manne was closely associated with the Contemporary label for many years, he also recorded for other companies after Contemporary slowed down operations. This particular Koch CD reissues a set that was cut for Atlantic. The 1966 version of Shelly Manne's Men (altoist Frank Strozier, trumpeter Conte Candoli, pianist Russ Freeman, and bassist Monty Budwig) played in a similar style to his 1950s groups. Only Strozier hints (and only slightly in spots) at the avant-garde explorations then going on elsewhere. The quintet performs three group originals, an obscurity, "The Breeze and I," and "Margie" (which was arranged by Jimmy Rowles). Fine hard bop music.
Henry Mancini's writing for Peter Gunn was quite significant, for it was the first regular television series to utilize jazz as an integral part of its score. Half a year after the show debuted, drummer Shelly Manne, the members of his quintet (trumpeter Conte Candoli, altoist Herb Geller, pianist Russ Freeman, and bassist Monty Budwig), and guest vibraphonist Victor Feldman (doubling on marimba) interpreted the Peter Gunn theme and nine selections from the show, including "Dreamsville."
Shelly Manne made a countless number of records from the 1940s into the '80s but is best-known as a good-humored bandleader who never hogged the spotlight. Originally a saxophonist, Manne switched to drums when he was 18 and started working almost immediately. He was with Joe Marsala's band (making his recording debut in 1941), played briefly in the big bands of Will Bradley, Raymond Scott, and Les Brown and was on drums for Coleman Hawkins's classic "The Man I Love" session of late 1943. Manne worked on and off with Stan Kenton during 1946-1952, also touring with Jazz at the Philharmonic (1948-1949), and gigging with Woody Herman (1949). After leaving Kenton, Manne moved to Los Angeles where he became the most in-demand of all jazz drummers…
When Shelly Manne and His Friends (a trio starring pianist André Previn) had a surprise hit with their interpretations of melodies from My Fair Lady, it started a trend toward recording jazz versions of scores from plays. For this LP, Manne's trio (with Previn and bassist Red Mitchell) perform nine songs from the play Bells Are Ringing. Although seven of the pieces remained obscure, "The Party's Over" (which is heard twice) and particularly "Just in Time" caught on. As is always the case with this group, Previn's piano is the lead voice and his virtuosity, good taste, melodic improvising, and solid sense of swing are chiefly responsible for the music's success.