Using Henry Mancini's themes and harmonies as points of departure, Manne and his men created fresh performances that stood - and stand - on their own. Mancini encouraged their free interpretations and was delighted with them. Originally recorded May, 1959.
Shelly Manne: Shelly Manne; Victor Feldman (vibraharp); Monty Budwig (bass guitar); Joe Gordon, Richie Kamuca, Russ Freeman .
Personnel: Shelly Manne (drums); Richie Kamuca (tenor saxophone); Joe Gordon (trumpet); Russ Freeman (piano); Victor Feldman (vibraphone, marimba).
Audio Remasterer: Joe Tarantino.
Liner Note Author: Lester Koenig.
Recording information: Contemporary's Studio, Los Angeles, CA (05/21/1959/05/26/1959).
While drummer/bandleader Shelly Manne's initial 1959 outing, dedicated to Henry Mancini's Peter Gunn TV scores, was more than just a novelty, this follow-up disc stretches the concept to the absolute limit. Recorded only five months after the release of Shelly Manne & His Men Play Peter Gunn, Son of Gunn!! sounds exactly like what it is: jazz musicians taking ostensibly generic background music for a television show and trying to make something more out of it. Apparently, even Mancini was aware of the challenge these musicians were facing, and encouraged them to apply free interpretations on these ten cuts and not to worry about maintaining a "Mancini feeling." Besides the lack of interesting material, Manne was also working with a brand-new front lineup, as trumpeter Conte Candoli and alto saxophonist Herb Geller were replaced by trumpeter Joe Gordon and tenor man Richie Kamuca. In retrospect, this isn't a horrible set, just one that should have focused less on concept and more on vision. ~ Al Campbell