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One On One by Russ Freeman / Shelly Manne

With liner notes written by Russ Freeman a one time member of Shelly Manne and His Men, Russ talks about when he first met Shelly Manne back in the fifties, how they played at a club called The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach, CA and how the entire group went to the owner to ask for a raise which they were turned down for subsequently the entire group quitting then the owner having to pay more to hire a new group and having to pay more than the original group was asking for (proves to owners not to be pigs), and how Shelly Manne started the Manne Hole on Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood. Russ Freeman Quotes Shelly Manne on the opening of the Manne Hole and why he opened it "so the guys would have a place to play."

This re-issue was done a couple of years prior to Manne's death and has been re-mastered for Contemporary Records and we're glad they did re-issue the release.

Listening to the first track I'm Getting Sentimental Over You it sounds like it was recorded yesterday instead of nineteen years ago. Russ Freeman is a real master of the piano while Shelly Manne does his usual fine job on the sticks.

I understand Shelly Manne was one of the nicest gentlemen you would ever want to meet. This is probably why his career was so long and successful in the music business. Nice people do go farther no matter what you've been told.

Track three I'm Old Fashioned is a slow mellow tune that sounds just perfect for that time of the morning when you first wake up and try to dig those cob webs out of your eyes to get the day started.

The way that Contemporary Records put together the piano and drums seems to compliment each other very well as does Russ Freeman and Shelly Manne.

Track five Take The "A" Train I remember as a child being done by the Duke Ellington Orchestra and was one of the first Jazz pieces my dad introduced me to (my father was a Jazz disc jockey in Los Angeles) and Russ and Shelly do make it sound like you've got that old "A" train to catch. The vibes of the piano and the licks of the drums are in perfect harmony of each other.

Loose As A Goose is track seven and a Russ Freeman original is upon its starting a slow and beautiful tune especially for you piano fanatics then picks up the pace, then slows down again. I guess that where the tune gets it's namesake from due to the listener does not know which way it's going to go, Loose As A Goose. Oops, now it picks up its pace again. This is actually fun, which I guess is what music is supposed to be about.

Blue Monk, the Thelonious Monk composition is track nine and Russ freeman and Shelly Manne give this tune a lot of feeling and something I'm sure that even Monk himself would have been proud of. Oh, such perfect harmony you would swear that Monk was somewhere in the background guiding the two along. Who knows maybe Monks' spirit was there somewhere.

Track eleven is a previously unissued tune called Name That Tune, another Russ Freeman original, sounds kind of like kiddie Jazz, but nothing's wrong with that either.

There are other tracks that are interwoven in between the tracks we talked about such as How About That, On Green Dolphin Street, Prime Time, Lullaby Of The Leaves, the title track One On One a piece that I might add Shelly Manne did a great solo on, and four alternate tracks including Blue Monk, Loose As A Goose, On Green Dolphin Street and Lullaby Of The Leaves. If you want a great CD to add to your collection we highly recommend One On One from Russ Freeman and Shelly Manne.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Russ Freeman / Shelly Manne
  • CD Title: One On One
  • Genre: Traditional / New Orleans
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: Contemporary Records
  • Musicians: Russ Freeman (piano), Shelly Manne (drums)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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