I first heard Shelly Manne when I was eleven. My parents took me to see the film " West Side Story" and I was hooked. Shelly's playing on the soundtrack was intense and an inspiration to a music crazy kid. Shelly was always a swinger and I believe that was the key to his success.
He was also in the jargon of the day a "street" player. A New York kid who had very little training but who picked up stuff as he heard it. His technical ability was limited, what was unlimited were his ears, heart and mind.
Shelly, for all his accomplishments, is respected but not highly regarded among musicians today. One reason may be the endlessly stupid East Coast-West Coast Jazz argument. What many fail to realize is that Shelly and many of his colleagues had "East Coast" roots.
One of his best recordings was a Sonny Rollins date called "Way Out West" along with Ray Brown. The recording, done in the early morning hours with no rehearsal is now a classic. The track "Come, Gone" is totally improvised and inspired. Check it out.
Studio work at that time was not only profitable, but interesting. Much of the music being recorded was challenging and required a fearlessness that Shelly had in abundance. If you happen to see films like "The Wild One", "The Man With The Golden Arm" and "I Want To Live". You'll not only see great movies but hear great music.
These are just a small sample of his immense output. His talent aside, he was a funny, generous and happy man who left a huge mark on Music.
The groove continues...