Shelly Manne's second Contemporary album, out of print since the 10-inch LP era, is one of the definitive statements of West Coast jazz aesthetics. It highlights adventurous musical structures and an unusual septet featuring four brass and rhythm, glows with sonorities no less bold for their intimacy, and is suffused with outstanding musicianship and subtle swing. The compact drive this music often achieved is particularly evident in the contributions of Bob Cooper and Marty Paich, while the beauty of Bill Holman's "Lullaby" captures a similar capacity for tenderness. Pieces by Jimmy Giuffre, Jack Montrose, and Shorty Rogers reveal the more complex notions cultivated in Los Angeles during the Fifties. Each track contains notable contributions from the talented cast, with Manne demonstrating how he helped to redefine the possibilities for jazz drummers in this period. Bill Smith's "Concerto," featuring the composer on clarinet and recorded three years after the brass pieces, is a fitting addition to the program.
with Monty Budwig, Vincent De Rosa, Bob Enevoldsen, Don Fagerquist, Russ Freeman, Bill Holman, Ollie Mitchell, Joe Mondragon, Marty Paich, Charlie Mariano, Jack Montrose, Shorty Rogers, Paul Sarmento, Bill Smith, Stu Williamson