Shelly Manne

Shelly Manne 



Impulse!, 1962

This unusual  reissue has five selections from a date featuring the great tenor Coleman Hawkins, pianist Hank Jones, bassist George Duvivier and drummer Shelly Manne. Both “Take the ‘A’ Train” and “Cherokee” find the group at times playing two tempos at once (Manne sticks to doubletime throughout “Cherokee”) and showing that they had heard some of the avant-garde players.




Shelly’s Manne Hole 1608 North Cahuenga, Hollywood 

Drummer Shelly Manne was Contemporary Records’ go-to drummer. He had a long running series with the label entitled “Shelly Manne & His Men,” featuring a rotating cast of local talent. From 1960 to 1972, he ran a Hollywood jazz venue called Shelly’s Manne Hole. Pianist Bill Evans recorded an immortal live session there in 1963 while Jazz Bakery impresario and vocalist Ruth Price recorded a live album with Manne and his men, while she was still in her early twenties. 

The small manhole plaque is embedded off-center on the once-again happening sidewalk of Cahuenga Boulevard, commemorating the spot where so many great heroes once stubbed their cigarettes.

William Reagh     Shelly’s Manne-Hole, Cahuenga Blvd. Between Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, Hollywood CA     1968

I know with a name like that, Shelly’s sounds like a gay bar, but in fact it was a jazz club run by the great drummer Shelly Manne.  Shelly’s was also the site of my first serious job.  I worked in the kitchen there when I was 15 years old, and got to hear lots of stunningly great music (and even to get high with a few tremendous musicians, but I’m not naming any names) while I was washing dishes and stacking plates.


On this day in music history: May 24, 1994 - “The Sun Rises In The East”, the debut album by Jeru The Damaja is released. Produced by DJ Premier and Jeru The Damaja, it is recorded at D&D Recording Studios in New York City from Mid - Late 1993. Born Kendrick Jeru Davis, Jeru The Damaja becomes part of the Gang Starr Foundation in the early 90’s, signing a recording contract with Patrick Moxey’s Polygram/London distributed label PayDay Records in 1993. Jeru works with Gang Starr dj DJ Premier on the album throughout the latter half of 1993. The first taste of the forthcoming album emerges in October of 1993 with the rapper’s first single “Come Clean” (#10 Rap, #53 R&B, #88 Pop). Anchored by Jeru’s authoritative voice, imaginative lyrical metaphors, and built around a skeletal framework of samples which include an eerie percussion break from jazz drummer Shelly Manne’s “Infinity”, Funk Inc’s “Kool Is Back”, and accented by Premier dropping in a line from Onyx’s “Throw Ya Guns”, the track becomes an immediate underground sensation and an instant classic. It spins off two further singles including “D. Original” (#22 Rap, #74 R&B), and “You Can’t Stop The Prophet” (#45 Rap). The album is widely praised by fans and critics alike for its powerful, minimalist tracks and for Jeru’s distinctive and unique rhyme style and talent as a lyricist. “The Sun Rises In The East” peaks at number five on the Billboard R&B album chart and number thirty six on the Top 200.

Tom Traubert's Blues
Tom Waits
Tom Traubert's Blues

Tom Traubert’s Blues by Tom Waits from Small Change (Elektra/Asylum, 1976)

track #1 

(Four Sheets to the Wind in Copenhagen)

Tom Waits: vocals and piano

Shelly Manne: drums

Jim Hughart: bass

Lew Tabackin: tenor sax

Recorded complete on July, 1976

Tom Waits - Tom Traubert’s Blues

Wasted and wounded, it ain’t what the moon did, I’ve got what I paid for now
See you tomorrow, hey Frank, can I borrow a couple of bucks from you
To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda,
You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me

I’m an innocent victim of a blinded alley
And I’m tired of all these soldiers here
No one speaks English, and everything’s broken, and my Stacys are soaking wet
To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda,
You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me

Now the dogs are barking and the taxi cab’s parking
A lot they can do for me
I begged you to stab me, you tore my shirt open,
And I’m down on my knees tonight
Old Bushmill’s I staggered, you’d bury the dagger
In your silhouette window light go
To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda,
You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me

Now I lost my Saint Christopher now that I’ve kissed her
And the one-armed bandit knows
And the maverick Chinamen, and the cold-blooded signs,
And the girls down by the strip-tease shows, go
Waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda,
You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me

No, I don’t want your sympathy, the fugitives say
That the streets aren’t for dreaming now
And manslaughter dragnets and the ghosts that sell memories,
They want a piece of the action anyhow
Go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda,
You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me

And you can ask any sailor, and the keys from the jailor,
And the old men in wheelchairs know
And Mathilda’s the defendant, she killed about a hundred,
And she follows wherever you may go
Waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda,
You’ll go waltzing Mathilda with me

And it’s a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace,
And a wound that will never heal
No prima donna, the perfume is on an
Old shirt that is stained with blood and whiskey
And goodnight to the street sweepers, the night watchmen flame keepers
And goodnight to Mathilda, too


Four Drummers & a Dancer

1964 Louie Bellson, Philly Jo Jones, Shelly Manne, Irv Cottler and Caterina Valente together at the Hollywood Palace Show hosted by Victor Borge.


Saturday morning kitchen romance.

Shelly Manne - Just Squeeze Me