Shelly Manne

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Checkmate Review

by Scott Yanow

This LP from Shelly Manne is a bit different than his other recordings of scores. In the past, it was his trio with pianist Andre Previn that performed music from hit plays (most notably My Fair Lady). For this date it is Manne's regular quintet (with trumpeter Conte Candoli, tenor saxophonist Richie Kamuca, pianist Russ Freeman and bassist Chuck Berghofer) that play seven themes from a now-forgotten television series (Checkmate) composed by Johnny Williams. None of the melodies caught on but at least they gave these fine musicians some fresh material to improvise on. However, this album is not essential despite some strong solos.

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