After playing alto saxophone, he followed the example of his father and uncles and became a percussionist. Playing drums with bands on cruise ships, Shelly Manne also played New York City clubs and hotels with musicians such as Bobby Byrne, Joe Marsala, Raymond Scott and Les Brown. He recorded at sessions with Coleman Hawkins and Dizzy Gillespie. In 1946, Manne came to national prominence when he joined Stan Kenton’s orchestra. With the band into the early 50s, he meanwhile co-led a band with Bill Harris, and was also briefly with Woody Herman and Jazz At The Philharmonic. From the early 50s, Manne was a leading figure in the west coast jazz movement, working with Shorty Rogers and the Lighthouse All Stars. In this decade he also played with Jimmy Giuffre, Abstract No. 1 (1954), André Previn, My Fair Lady (1956), Sonny Rollins, Way Out West (1957) and Ornette Coleman, Tomorrow Is The Question (1959). He appeared in films, including The Man With The Golden Arm (1955), The Five Pennies (1959) and The Gene Krupa Story (1959); in the latter two films, Manne played the role of Dave Tough, whom he had succeeded in the Marsala band back in the early 40s. In 1960, Manne was co-founder with Laurindo Almeida, Ray Brown and Bud Shank of the long-lasting LA Four. During his career, Manne also composed film music, appeared with studio and symphony orchestras and consistently led high-quality small groups.
Followers: John Von Ohlen
Influenced By: Dave Tough...