Readers of the book West Coast Jazz, in which "The Gambit" was prominently mentioned, will be glad to learn that this classic album has finally been released on CD. The title cut, a kind of third-stream suite that comprised Side One of the original LP, is interesting and historically valuable in that it was one of the first of such efforts, but some of it (especially the through-composed sections) may sound dated and a bit stiff to modern ears. The three cuts that originally made up Side Two of the LP are the real highlight. On "Tom Brown's Buddy," an intricate and delightful blues composed by Jim Hall, and "Hugo Herwhey," written by Freeman and arranged by the superlative Bill Holman, the listener gets a better taste of what a fine group of improvisers Manne had assembled. This quintet, in fact, shows itself to be every bit the equal of some of the more lauded East Coast groups of the same era. And, of course, Manne was one of the great jazz drummers-a fact not often enough acknowledged these days.