Shelly Manne

Shelly Manne

American jazz drummer
Date of Birth: 11.06.1920
Country: USA

Biography of Shelly Mann

Sheldon Mann, better known as Shelly Mann, was born on June 11, 1920, in New York City. Coming from a family of drummers, he developed a passion for music from a young age. Inspired by influential swing drummers like Jo Jones and Dave Tough, Mann began his career as a drummer in the Bobby Byrne Orchestra in 1940.

Shelly Manne

Mann quickly gained recognition for his versatile playing style and began recording with jazz legends such as Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Shavers, and Don Byas. In 1943, he married Florence Butterfield, a dancer from the Rockettes, and they remained married for 41 years until Mann's passing.

Shelly Manne

As bebop gained popularity in the 1940s, Mann embraced the new style and played with renowned musicians like Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. He became a star in the jazz world, performing with Woody Herman's big band and particularly with Stan Kenton, earning awards and gaining a large fan base during the jazz's heyday in the United States.

Shelly Manne

In the early 1950s, Mann moved to Los Angeles and settled on a ranch with his wife, where they raised horses. He played a significant role in the development of West Coast jazz, performing with Shorty Rogers, Red Mitchell, Art Pepper, Russ Freeman, Frank Rosolino, Chet Baker, and many others. Mann recorded many influential albums during this period under the Contemporary Records label.

Shelly Manne

Mann's contributions extended beyond the West Coast jazz scene, as he collaborated with musicians from various jazz styles and genres, including swing and hard bop. He also worked extensively as a session musician, recording soundtracks for hundreds of films and television programs, making it impossible to track all of his recordings.

In the 1960s and 1970s, as jazz began to decline in popularity, Mann continued to support the genre by hosting performances at his Los Angeles club, "Shelly's Manne-Hole," where he invited esteemed musicians from across the country. However, financial struggles forced the club to close in 1973, and Mann refocused on his drumming career.

Critics praised Mann for his tasteful, refined, and emotionally-driven drumming style during the 1970s. He continued to work until his sudden death from a heart attack on September 26, 1984. Unfortunately, his passing occurred just before a resurgence of interest in jazz and the beginning of a new era in its development.

In recognition of Mann's immense contributions to jazz, the city of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Arts Council declared September 9, 1984, as Shelly Mann Day, two weeks before his death.

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