Digitally remastered release that contains, for the first time ever on CD, a complete live performance in Manchester by the legendary Shelly Manne quintet with Joe Gordon and Richie Kamuca. This short lived group had produced the celebrated multi-volume albums at the Blackhawk, in San Francisco, the previous year (with Victor Feldman on piano instead of Russ Freeman), as well as celebrated recordings of Henry Mancini's Peter Gunn music. The Manchester concert, which was only previously released on an extremely rare long out of print LP, showcases the quintet in high spirits, and offers a new opportunity to appreciate the talents of trumpeter Joe Gordon, who would die soon after.
This CD reissue brings back one of the oldest recordings ever issued by the Concord label, a set that was already nine years old when it debuted. Drummer Shelly Manne heads a strong quintet comprised of trumpeter Conte Candoli, altoist Frank Strozier (who doubles on flute), pianist Mike Wofford and bassist Monty Budwig. Although the musicians are all associated with the West Coast hard bop tradition, there are plenty of moments during this stimulating set when they make it obvious that they had been listening with some interest to some of the avant-garde players, allowing the new innovations to open up their styles a bit. The fresh material (two standards and a pair of originals apiece by Strozier, Wofford and pianist Jimmy Rowles) inspire the soloists and the music is not at all predictable. Worth investigating.