Shelly Manne & His Men: Yesterdays: Live In Europe (2003)
As befits a concert intended for the masses, the quintet plays a fairly basic club set, sticking to a conventional program of a blues, a ballad, and a handful of standards. Fortunately, the group plays so well that they easily rise above the unadventurous material. Richie Kamuca and Joe Gordon were both talented hornmen capable of infusing “Poinciana” with a little swagger and finding new avenues in “Straight, No Chaser.” Manne sizzles from behind, content to let the rest of his band handle the chores.
Unfortunately the recording, like too many other live efforts, is hindered by poor mike placement; Freeman comes through at barely above a whisper and Budwig is largely inaudible. Nevertheless, Yesterdays is a prime example of jazz as entertainment, played by proficient artists with taste and panache.
Track Listing: 1. Cabu 2. Bag's Groove 3. Poinciana 4. Straight, No Chaser 5. Yesterdays.
Personnel: Shelley Manne-drums; Richie Kamuca-tenor sax; Joe Gordon-trumpet; Russ Freeman-piano; Monty Budwig-bass.
Record Label: Fantasy Jazz