Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

161

Shelly Manne & His Men: Yesterdays

By

Sign in to view read count
Shelly Manne took his Men on a European tour with Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic organization in the winter of 1960. Along the way, Granz recorded the quintet's February 22 (Zurich) and March 2 (Copenhagen) gigs. Manne was a Contemporary Records artist at the time; however, Fantasy Records has acquired the rights to both Granz's recordings and the Contemporary catalogue, so these dates can today be issued without record company conflict.

Fantasy has released five songs from the two dates on the all-new Yesterdays. The music is neither fancy nor adventurous – nor even particularly remarkable – merely very solid and very swinging. Yesterdays would be an excellent first bite for a youngster starting out with jazz, automatically making him the hippest kid in his homeroom... yet the music won't drive Mom and Dad to distraction.

The recordings have a bootleg sound found so often in live recordings of yesteryear. Russ Freeman's piano is undermic'd in both locations, as is the bass in Zurich. But that doesn't interfere with enjoyment of the music. For a band leader, Manne eschews the spotlight here: every track follows the formula of a sax solo followed by trumpet, then piano, then bass. The solos are relatively brief. Richie Kamuca on tenor sax is given the lead role, supported by Joe Gordon on trumpet. Gordon's tone is marvelously smooth – it's a shame he didn't record more.

The disc opens with "Cabu", which offers an exotic image. "Bags' Groove" includes the album's only lengthy solo, Monty Budwig on bass. "Poinciana" is mildly up-tempo. "Straight, No Chaser" begins with a Manne solo on drums. All songs are played in a straightforward manner without gimmicks or showmanship.

The title track is the most interesting. Kamuca plays the melody as an intro before the piano and sax solos, followed by Budwig and Manne trading fours. It is only then that Gordon joins in, this time with the trumpet providing the melody.

This music is very mainstream, owing much to Miles Davis's first quintet. Both Kamuca and Gordon have the smooth tones which earned them their reputations as being among the best West Coast jazz practitioners. Russ Freeman's touch on the piano keyboard is a little more heavy handed than other West Coast pianists, and provides balance to the group. Budwig and Manne are first rate in propelling the group forward. The group is tight, very much an ensemble. Well done.


Track Listing: 1. Cabu 2. Bags' Groove 3. Poinciana 4. Straight, No Chaser 5. Yesterdays

Personnel: Shelly Manne & His Men: Shelly Manne (drums), Richie Kamuca (tenor sax), Joe Gordon (trumpet), Russ Freeman (piano), Monty Budwig (bass).

Title: Yesterdays | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Fantasy Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Acknowledgement CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Lessons And Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review Lessons And Fairytales
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Child in Me CD/LP/Track Review The Child in Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 23, 2017
Read The Way Home CD/LP/Track Review The Way Home
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read "Tyrant Lizard" CD/LP/Track Review Tyrant Lizard
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "Like, Strange" CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "80 Years" CD/LP/Track Review 80 Years
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 10, 2017
Read "Duo (DCWM) 2013" CD/LP/Track Review Duo (DCWM) 2013
by John Sharpe
Published: July 28, 2017
Read "Two Hands, One Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Two Hands, One Heart
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "The Final Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor