By Danny GottliebOriginally Published In DRUM! Magazine's April 2010 Issue
Shelly Manne was one of the greatest jazz drummers of all time, and if you haven’t listened to him very much, please take the time to investigate his innovative drumming. I never had the pleasure of hearing Shelly play live, but he was always a favorite of my teacher, Joe Morello. One of my best friends, pianist Andy LaVerne, played with Shelly just before his passing, and said it was an incredible experience. I am just now discovering how much of an innovator he really was. The exercises in this month’s Practice Pad are three four-bar phrases, taken from different parts of Shelly’s solo on a blues featured in Hudson Music’s Classic Drums Solos, Part 2. In Ex. 1 Shelly uses syncopation, the hi-hat, and triplets. In Ex. 2 he starts on the second beat and uses eighth-notes. In Ex. 3 he goes over the bar line and plays a very obvious ending phrase. Shelly is well represented on recordings and video, and I encourage you to explore and enjoy the drumming of this great master.
Danny Gottlieb has played with Pat Metheney, John McLaughlin, The NDR Big Band, and is currently a member of Gary Sinese’s Lt Dan Band (ltdanband.com). He is an associate professor of jazz studies at the University Of North Florida. Dannygottlieb.org