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Format: Audio CD
Shelly Manne's "The Gambit" is another one of my Fantasy/OJC warehouse clearance sale finds on the Oldies/Collectables website. The four-part title-track was recorded over three sessions in 1957, while the remaining three selections hail from Frebruary 24, 1958. The players for all dates are Stu Williamson on trumpet, Charlie Mariano on alto sax, Russ Freeman on piano, Monty Budwig on bass, and leader Manne on drums. "The Gambit" suite, penned by Mariano, is surprisingly modern sounding, with the horns setting the stage for the kind of interplay we will hear from Ornette and Don Cherry in a couple of years time. From the later session, Jim Hall's "Tom Brown's Blues" is classic Manne & His Men, with the whole band in a great groove. "The Gambit" is not quite as essential as the Blackhawk albums (see my reviews of Volumes 2-5), but it's well worth the gamble -- no risky moves here!
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