Matt Skelton’s Blackhawk Band

Matt Skelton’s Blackhawk Band

Matt Skelton is a drummer equally at home in modern and vintage Jazz styles enjoying a diverse musical career spanning three decades. Here he brings the 5 piece Blackhawk Band to celebrate in particular the 5 volumes of ‘Shelly Manne & His Men’ “Live At The Blackhawk” recorded in San Francisco in 1959. Matt’s band includes James Davison (tpt), Mark Crooks (ts), Conor Chaplin (b), Leon Greening (p) and of course Matt Skelton on drums.

What makes the Shelly Manne recordings special is simply that the band is inspired and played at such a consistently high level throughout that week that the record company, Contemporary, decided to issue 4 LPs rather than just one and then a 5th later. Shelly Manne, although from NYC, was one of the great drummers on the West Coast in the 50s. This 1959 unit included some new faces, Joe Gordon, Richie Kamuca and Victor Feldman, and these recordings heralded a move to Hard Bop on the West Coast. The recording re-release achieved 5* in the Jazzwise Review https://www.jazzwise.com/review/article/shelly-manne-and-his-men-complete-live-at-the-black-hawk and Matt’s Blackhawk Band bring the best of those sessions to their concerts.

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