Listen To:

Selected MP3s of guitar instrumentals, jazz, big band, and classic easy listening from the original vinyl.

Welcome to Guitars & All That Jazz

Welcome to Guitars & All That Jazz

Guitars & All That Jazz was a radio station that webcast via Live365 for 11 years, ending in June 2011. The playlist consisted of guitar instrumentals, jazz, big band, early rock 'n' roll, lounge music and classic easy listening.

I hope to share some of this music with you via this blog. Most of it will be taken from the original vinyl (LPs and 45s) , cassettes and the occasional commercially unavailable CD.

Here's hoping you'll find something to enjoy. Please note files are available only for a limited time.

I urge you to purchase the digital version of the albums featured, either on CD or via download, wherever possible.

Listen to the Music
There are now two music streams. Click the appropriate player to the right.
1. Guitars & All That Jazz: Five hours of the best in jazz, guitars and other instrumental gems. New songs are added weekly.
2. Tiki Shores: Music to sweep you away to a tropical isle, a South American dance floor or a bossa nova on the beach at Rio. About 4.5 hours of classic exotica music, Latin rhythms and bossa nova.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Shelly Manne & His Men - Checkmate

The TV series Checkmate ran for 70 episodes on CBS from 1960-62, with Anthony George and Doug McClure playing the owners of a San Francisco detective agency, Checkmate Inc. They were aided by a criminologist portrayed by Sebastian Cabot.

The complete series was released on DVD in 2010, but with prices hovering in the $50 range I'd probably think twice about parting with my cash. I suspect it would make pretty tame (boring) viewing today.

Nonetheless Checkmate featured a fine jazz-tinged score by young composer Johnny Williams, who as the more mature-sounding John Williams would go on to write the scores for Star Wars, Superman, the Harry Potter films and other blockbusters.

Among the musicians appearing on the soundtrack of Checkmate was drummer Shelly Manne (1920-1984), a veteran of the West Coast jazz, studio and soundtrack scene. He was already the go-to guy for Henry Mancini and had performed on his classic TV scores for Peter Gunn and Mr. Lucky.

Manne also turned out his own version of the Peter Gunn score for the Contemporary label in 1959. The group was billed as Shelly Manne and His Men, a moniker that was also applied when the drummer turned his attention to the Checkmate score, again for Contemporary, in 1962. The other members of the group were tenor saxophonist Richie Kamuca, trumpeter Conte Condoli, Chuck Berghofer on bass and Russ Freeman on piano. The LP contained a wonderful ballad, Fireside Eyes.

Fireside Eyes

Shelly Manne's Checkmate was available briefly on CD via a 2002 release on Original Jazz Classics. A copy now will set you back $40-50. There is a download available from iTunes in some countries but its origin is highly suspect.

To close, Manne and his men tackle the title theme from Checkmate.

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