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Shelly Manne

Shelly Manne - drums (1920 - 1984)

As a jazz drummer, studio musician, bandleader and businessman, Shelly Manne was one of the mostprolific instrumentalists of modern times. “I’ve really had the best of both worlds,” he said in 1983. “I’vekept busy playing jazz, and between engagements I’ve had the studios to fall back on.”

The New York City-born musician was the son of Max Manne, a percussionist who pioneered thesynchronization of sound with motion pictures and cartoons, and nephew of Morris Manne, who didsound effects for Popeye cartoons. Shelly was introduced to jazz as a youth and was greatly influencedby Jo Jones and Dave Tough. During the early 1940s, he subbed for Tough, who suffered fromalcoholism and epilepsy, in both the Benny Goodman and Joe Marsala bands. In the ’50s, Manne playedthe role of Tough in two motion pictures: The Five Pennies and The Gene Krupa Story.

A first-generation bebopper who played on Dizzy Gillespie’s earliest recordings as leader, Mannedeveloped a national reputation for his 1946-1952 membership in Stan Kenton’s hugely popular“progressive jazz” orchestra. In 1954, two years after relocating to Southern California, he launched alucrative Hollywood studio career, beginning with Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. For the next two anda half decades, Manne was the percussionist of choice for such composers as Elmer Bernstein, JerryGoldsmith, Henry Mancini, and John Williams, contributing to countless motion picture and televisionsoundtracks.

Manne would always cancel a studio date when there was a chance to play jazz with his combo, ShellyManne & His Men, which featured such players as pianist Russ Freeman, trumpeter Conte Candoli, andsaxophonists Charlie Mariano, Richie Kamuca, and Frank Strozier over the years. Manne & His Menrecorded extensively for Contemporary between 1953 and 1970 and also cut albums for Atlantic andCapitol.

Manne, pianist André Previn, and bassists Leroy Vinnegar or Red Mitchell made a series of trio albumsfor Contemporary-billed alternately as Shelly Manne & His Friends or André Previn & His Pals-includingthe best-selling Modern Jazz Performances of Songs from “My Fair Lady” in 1956. A consistent winnerof Down Beat’s Readers Poll, the drummer also cut a series of LPs for the label with guitarist BarneyKessel and bassist Ray Brown, billed collectively as the Poll Winners. And Manne appeared as a sidemanon numerous Contemporary dates, including albums by Benny Carter, Ornette Coleman, HamptonHawes, Helen Humes, Red Norvo, Art Pepper, and Sonny Rollins.

The busy musician also managed to operate a nightclub, Shelly’s Manne-Hole, which rivaled the BlackHawk and Jazz Workshop (both in San Francisco) as the West Coast’s top spot for touring jazz groups.He ran the club at its original Hollywood location from 1960 to ’72, booking Miles Davis, Bill Evans,Thelonious Monk, and other major artists. Manne & His Men regularly performed at the club and cuttwo live albums there for Contemporary in 1961. Shelly’s Manne-Hole relocated to the Wilshire area ofLos Angeles in 1973 but closed the following year.

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Radio & Podcasts

It's a Manne's, Manne's, Manne's World

Read "It's a Manne's, Manne's, Manne's World" reviewed by Patrick Burnette


Where jazz drumming's concerned, sometimes Blakey makes ya shaky and Buddy's too thud-y. Where to turn? Go West, young man, and samples the wares of one Shelly Manne. Manne, a transplanted Easterner, made a career in California logging studio work, appearing on countless sessions, and leading his own group with varying personnel that was always known as Shelly Manne's men. Now, just in time for Record Store Day , Reel to Real is issuing live days by the Manne and, ...

9
Album Review

Shelly Manne & His Men: Jazz From The Pacific Northwest

Read "Jazz From The Pacific Northwest" reviewed by Pierre Giroux


Shelly Manne & His Men are presented in two iterations in never-before-released live recordings from the 1958 Monterey Jazz Festival and from a 1966 date at The Penthouse in Seattle entitled Jazz From The Pacific Northwest. In this deluxe limited edition 180-gram 2LP set, co-produced for release by the estimable Zev Feldman and Cory Weeds, the band captivated the audience with intricate melodies and vibrant improvisations driven by Manne's virtuosic drumming. The band on LP1 from ...

15
Reassessing

Shelly Manne and His Men at the Black Hawk 1

Read "Shelly Manne and His Men at the Black Hawk 1" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


For many years, but certainly for most of the '50s and '60s, the top jazz drummer--by public opinion--was Shelly Manne. Although he was typically associated with West Coast Jazz, (a term he disliked), Manne had come West from jny:New York City in the '50s and settled in jny:Los Angeles in the halcyon days of the post-war boom. He was a guy of many parts; he raised horses, had married an ex-Rockette, and become part-owner of what was to become the ...

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Album Review

Shelly Manne & His Friends: Modern Jazz Performances Of Songs From My Fair Lady

Read "Modern Jazz Performances Of Songs From My Fair Lady" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


The musical My Fair Lady (1956) is a story from another age. All things considered, it is probably best that a contemporary audience may not know the lyrics to the songs, let alone the tunes. The tale involves the efforts of an insufferable Henry Higgins to teach a Cockney lass, Eliza Doolittle, how to properly pronounce the Queen's English, BBC style. Alas, Higgins succeeds too well, only to render the fey Doolittle attractive to a rival suitor of some means. ...

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Album Review

Sonny Rollins: Go West! The Contemporary Records Albums

Read "Go West! The Contemporary Records Albums" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


Apparently, the median age of a jazz listener is in his or her mid to late 40s. So, perhaps, the representative listener was born in the mid-1970s. Sonny Rollins first recorded in 1949. The recordings reviewed here were made in the late 1950s, well before many contemporary listeners were born. While there have been ample reissues of Rollins' work, most coincided with the still-active phase of his career. Much of his work has appeared since “Skylark" on The Next Album ...

4
Album Review

Andre Previn and his pals Shelly Manne & Red Mitchell: West Side Story

Read "West Side Story" reviewed by Richard J Salvucci


André Previn was always something of a mystery to jazz critics and listeners. By common consent, he had astonishing instrumental technique. On the other hand, a lot of listeners were sure they could hear everyone but Previn in his playing. Along with Shelly Manne, he sold a lot of records and probably made a good deal of money doing so. That alone would have been a problem for some--commercial success and jazz are not supposed to be compatible--but then Previn ...

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Album Review

Ornette Coleman: Genesis of Genius: The Contemporary Albums

Read "Genesis of Genius: The Contemporary Albums" reviewed by Jeff Kaliss


For many an Ornette Coleman devotee, devotion was pledged with the singular saxophonist's The Shape of Jazz to Come (Atlantic). It was recorded in May and released in November of 1959, and it's a matter of when in our life we caught up with it. For some of us, that's when we first felt liberated by jazz. That album, produced by Nesuhi Ertegun, remains a hard act to follow, even for Coleman himself. Or to precede. But “Hollywood ...

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Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Shelly Manne

Jazz Musician of the Day: Shelly Manne

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Shelly Manne's birthday today!

Shelly Manne- drums (1920- 1984) As a jazz drummer, studio musician, bandleader and businessman, Shelly Manne was one of the most prolific instrumentalists of modern times. “I’ve really had the best of both worlds,” he said in 1983. “I’ve kept busy playing jazz, and between engagements I’ve had the studios to fall back on.” The New York City-born musician was the son of Max Manne, a percussionist who pioneered the synchronization ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Shelly Manne

Jazz Musician of the Day: Shelly Manne

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Shelly Manne's birthday today!

Shelly Manne- drums (1920- 1984) As a jazz drummer, studio musician, bandleader and businessman, Shelly Manne was one of the most prolific instrumentalists of modern times. “I’ve really had the best of both worlds,” he said in 1983. “I’ve kept busy playing jazz, and between engagements I’ve had the studios to fall back on.” The New York City-born musician was the son of Max Manne, a percussionist who pioneered the synchronization ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Shelly Manne

Jazz Musician of the Day: Shelly Manne

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Shelly Manne's birthday today!

Shelly Manne- drums (1920- 1984) As a jazz drummer, studio musician, bandleader and businessman, Shelly Manne was one of the most prolific instrumentalists of modern times. “I’ve really had the best of both worlds,” he said in 1983. “I’ve kept busy playing jazz, and between engagements I’ve had the studios to fall back on.” The New York City-born musician was the son of Max Manne, a percussionist who pioneered the synchronization ...

1

Interview

Mrs. Shelly Manne Turns 100

Mrs. Shelly Manne Turns 100

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Flip Manne, Shelly Manne's wife, was born May 3, 1921 in Vermont, rode horses and took dance lessons from an early age. To celebrate her 100th birthday today, I decided to reprise an interview I did with her in 2015 on her career and her drummer husband's. I've also added followup material that Flip provided several years ago. As background, Flip moved from Vermont to New York in 1939 and eventually took a job dancing at the Roxy Theatre. She ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Shelly Manne

Jazz Musician of the Day: Shelly Manne

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Shelly Manne's birthday today!

Shelly Manne- drums (1920- 1984) As a jazz drummer, studio musician, bandleader and businessman, Shelly Manne was one of the most prolific instrumentalists of modern times. “I’ve really had the best of both worlds,” he said in 1983. “I’ve kept busy playing jazz, and between engagements I’ve had the studios to fall back on.” The New York City-born musician was the son of Max Manne, a percussionist who pioneered the synchronization ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Shelly Manne

Jazz Musician of the Day: Shelly Manne

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Shelly Manne's birthday today!

Shelly Manne- drums (1920- 1984) As a jazz drummer, studio musician, bandleader and businessman, Shelly Manne was one of the most prolific instrumentalists of modern times. “I’ve really had the best of both worlds,” he said in 1983. “I’ve kept busy playing jazz, and between engagements I’ve had the studios to fall back on.” The New York City- born musician was the son of Max Manne... Read more.

Place our Musician ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Shelly Manne

Jazz Musician of the Day: Shelly Manne

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Shelly Manne's birthday today!

Shelly Manne- drums (1920- 1984) As a jazz drummer, studio musician, bandleader and businessman, Shelly Manne was one of the most prolific instrumentalists of modern times. “I’ve really had the best of both worlds,” he said in 1983. “I’ve kept busy playing jazz, and between engagements I’ve had the studios to fall back on.” The New York City-born musician was the son of Max Manne... Read more.

Place our Musician of ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Shelly Manne

Jazz Musician of the Day: Shelly Manne

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Shelly Manne's birthday today!

Shelly Manne- drums (1920- 1984) As a jazz drummer, studio musician, bandleader and businessman, Shelly Manne was one of the most prolific instrumentalists of modern times. “I’ve really had the best of both worlds,” he said in 1983. “I’ve kept busy playing jazz, and between engagements I’ve had the studios to fall back on.” The New York City-born musician was the son of Max Manne... Read more.

Place our Musician of ...

1

Video / DVD

Shelly Manne: Speak Low, 1962

Shelly Manne: Speak Low, 1962

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers


2

Interview

Interview: Mrs. Shelly Manne

Interview: Mrs. Shelly Manne

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Flip Manne, Shelly Manne's wife, was born in 1921 in Vermont, rode horses and took dance lessons from an early age. In 1939, she moved to New York and eventually took a job dancing at the Roxy Theatre. She soon auditioned at Radio City Music Hall and won a position in the fabled Rockettes, who back then danced in four shows daily. She met her husband in the early 1940s. Today, at 95, Flip is president of the Los Angeles ...

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Shelly Manne and His...

Craft Recordings
2024

buy

West Side Story

Craft Recordings
2023

buy

Go West! The...

Craft Recordings
2023

buy

Modern Jazz...

Craft Recordings
2023

buy

Genesis of Genius:...

Contemporary Records
2022

buy

Videos

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