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Complete Live at the Black Hawk Import

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, December 29, 2009
$317.13

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Editorial Reviews

2009 four CD set containing all known recordings by Shelly Manne & His Men at the Black Hawk in San Francisco, circa 1959. Originally released over a series of installments, the recordings appear here complete and in chronological order for the first time ever in one package. Includes 20 page booklet. 26 tracks. American Jazz Classics.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Summertime 12:01
  2. Our Delight 11:58
  3. Poinciana 13:06
  4. Step Lightly (1) 14:15
  5. Black Hawk Blues 19:18
  6. Cabu (I) 11:47
  7. Theme: A Gem From Tiffany (I) 10:11

Disc: 2

  1. Blue Daniel (I) 8:11
  2. Whisper Not (I) 9:58
  3. How Deep Are The Roots 11:12
  4. This Is Always 10:13
  5. Wonder Why (Trio) 8:55
  6. Eclipse Of Spain 10:45
  7. Blue Daniel (II) 8:41
  8. Step Lightly (II) 12:59
  9. What's New? 13:23
  10. Theme: A Gem From Tiffany (II) 0:50

Disc: 3

  1. Vamp's Blues 20:10
  2. Theme: A Gem From Tiffany (III) 0:38

Disc: 4

  1. I Am In Love 12:20
  2. Whisper Not (II) 12:30
  3. Cabu (II) 10:59
  4. Just Squeeze Me 12:59
  5. Nightingale 12:08
  6. Pullin' Strings 4:43
  7. Theme: A Gem From Tiffany (IV) 5:48


Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 29, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Import
  • Label: 101 DISTRIBUTION
  • ASIN: B002XVZ1MQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,078 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 7, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Four discs-70,70,67,71 minutes each approximately. The sound is as good as the latest individual releases. The bass is where it should be,the piano isn't shrill sounding,the horns have presence,and the drums are clean and crisp without being overstated. This set contains ALL the known music recorded at this time/venue by this group,and is presented in chronological order of playing. The booklet is very informative-reproducing the four individual liner notes from the original releases (except the portion from Vol. 3,which has the "origin of jazz" paragraphs,not pertaining to this band,deleted),and the original "DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE" review,along with several photographs of the band members. Don't go by the AMAZON track listing as to what is on what disc-its INCORRECT.

These recordings,arguably,represent the epitome of the "West Coast sound" of jazz in the 50's,and perhaps beyond. For anyone wishing to hear some of the finest jazz from this,or any era,no matter what the locale,this will fit the bill nicely. Why this set isn't listed as a perennial jazz favorite/purchase on Amazon,much like some of Miles Davis' and Coltrane's recordings is a mystery to me. This music transcends enjoyable listening,and enters the realm of essential listening. This group-Shelly Manne-drums,Joe Gordon-trumpet,Victor Feldman-piano,Richie Kamuca-tenor sax,and Monty Budwig-bass,together have recorded some of the finest,most swinging,straight-ahead jazz in history.

By now most jazz listeners are familiar with these recordings,so pointing out highlights is useless. Suffice to say that this music,even the (at the time) previously unissued tracks,are all of equal worth.
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This was the first set I bought following my completion of the acquiring all of the recordings on the Core Collection from the The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings: Ninth Edition. Although it appeared on the core collection in earlier editions and is still considered part of the "crown" collection, I skipped over it because of it not appearing on the core collection. Simple fact of the matter is, as an occasional player in small ensembles, I'd heard plenty of people comment how great the music is in this complete set, and I was dying to hear it. So, when it came time to broaden my collection, I picked this up right away. Honestly, the first CD was so good, it took me four nights of basically continuous listening to it before I was ready to hear one of the other CD's. I just didn't want to get away from the haunting, bluesy version of "Summertime", or the single most upbeat version of "Poinciana" every recorded. Great, great stuff. Even with alternate takes from alternate nights over a three-day period, close to five hours of music, and the live environment, there is not a single wasted track on any of the four CD's. Everything sounds clear, crisp, and swinging, just like you're in the club, sitting at a second row table, smoking the same Pall Mall's as Manne, sipping your extra dry martini, and tapping your toes. And, you smile. Seriously, every time I put one of these CD's in, I smile. I would say I listen to this four nights a week, and I'm nowhere near tired of it. Even my wife has yet to ask why I keep listening to the same thing (Manne and men have moods and nuances for everything that makes the music sound fresh every time - trust me). I'm so glad I finally bought this set. It may be time to think about pursuing the crown collection. There may be more gems like this one just waiting to be discovered.
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The original recordings of this music have long been considered one of the best live jazz recordings ever made, as far as the sound quality is concerned (and of course, the music). This set not only retains that quality, it actually improves on it - if that's possible. Don't be worried, as I was when I was ordering this item, that this box set wouldn't be as good as the originals; it is, plus the tunes are now in chronological order. An excellent set.
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The Complete live at the Blackhawk is worth every second of it. Magnificient music, excellent sound, you can feel the magic of the live event through the 4 cds. It is totally complete (the 5 original cd's are comprised in 4 Cd's) and comes with a nice booklet. It is in the top 20 in my 750 cd's jazz collection. To me it is essential music, and I was glad when I saw that the Penguin Guide gives it the maximum rating.
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This recording captures an exceptional working combo at the peak of its powers. The group is made up of four highly competent journeymen and one standout musician, the drummer-leader Shelley Manne. That Manne is great is easy to determine, but he's devilishly hard to categorize. He doesn't sound like anyone else, unless one can imagine an amalgam of the stylish ballbearing (and steadily propulsive drumming) of Jo Jones allied to the pyrotechnics of the great bop drummers. (Of the bop drummers, probably the one who most resembles Manne is Roy Haynes.) Manne was a modest drummer, who stayed behind his group: he backed them with a dazzling variety of light touches on the cymbals and traps rather than maintaining a heavy beat, dropping bombs and heavy rim clacks a la Art Blakey. But when you listen to him -and he is the greatest pleasure and most unique thing on these records--you are amazed at how inventive he was -propulsive always, always attuned to the beat, but imaginative.

This is not to slight the rest of the players on these fine CDs. Richie Kamuca was a boppish disciple of Lester Young, a slightly less propulsive version of someone like Zoot Sims. He obviously felt he had been set free on this session where the lengthy of the cuts wasn't determined by exigencies of recording but by the players' willingness to stretch out. And stretch out they did! Cuts range from ten to almost twenty minutes in length, with no apparent feeling of flab ion most of them. Joe Gordon is not one of my favorite trumpeters but he plays more than competently on these recordings.
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