Daktari is an original music score that is performed and conducted by Shelly Manne. He accomplishes this with the help of assorted musicians including,four woodwinds players and five percussionist. Keep percussion in mind when considering this album. Because there is “Lots of It”.Daktari sounds like an experiment in ethnic African percussion music with the sounds of traditional jazz style melodies and solos mixed in.Some of the more notable songs are,”Out on a Limb”- a somewhat softer Bossa Nova feel going on.Lots of percussion! Nice flute and vibraphone harmonys.”Clarence”-makes me think of an out of control chimpanzee.A busy mischevious sounding tune.Interesting chord structures on the part of the woodwinds.”Africa”-is a dark deep slow paced theme.A feel of the Outback!”Elephantime”-Up tempo jungle theme in 6/8 time.Shelly cuts loose a little.Also some strong bass guitar.”Wameru”-A mix in oriental and african melodies.Keyboards are predominant throughout.Picture a Kung Fu Master practicing in total solitude.”Toto”-more of the vibraphone/xylophone and flute harmonys being played together.A quick paced song.”Galloping Giraffes”-Excellent Bass Drum foot work by Shelly.Saxes double up with the bass guitar on the melody which gives the song a driving stacatto effect.Great flutes and Great Sax.”Judy Judy”-A happy carefree feel to this tune.Great Drums,including nice hi-hat and bass drum syncopation. Flutes carry the melody.Acoustic flamenco style guitar adds to a solid rythym pattern.”Rhino Trot”-up tempo 6/8 time again.Flute and xylophone harmonys.Zulu warrior vocals throughout.Other pionts of interest: This album was recorded from the original mono tapes. Which means that it is not recorded in stereo.But,it is an Atlantic Masters recording and they do it right!!Daktari is a hard album to rate. From an African percussion woodwind perspective its a five. But, from a traditional jazz style Shelly Manne album it rates about a three. If my descriptive efforts have caught your attention, then you may want to give this one a try.
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Shelly Manne delivers an amazing film/tv score that is perfect for the setting. He uses some of the finest jazz musicians in the business with, Bud Shank, Frank Strozier, Art Smith and Justin Gordon on woodwinds, Bob Bain on guitar, Mike Wofford on tack piano, Bill Pitman on bass guitar, Shelly Manne ofcourse on drums and Emil Richards, Larry Bunker, Frank Carlson and Victor Feldman on many various percussion instruments. The heavy use of the marimba with various percussion instruments serves the score well and makes it a huge success. Shelly was not only an incredible jazz drummer/composer but proved that he could handle the creative commercial strains of TV and film with ease also. This project was created by Shelly for the purpose of accompanying the show and it does that perfectly. True, this is not straight up jazz that one has come to expect from Shelly and the gang however it is heavily influenced by and demostrates the great jazz flavor perfectly. I remember watching the show in the late 60′s and loved the music then. It is still great today. You won’t be dissapointed in this recording, just understand that it was created for the sole purpose of supporting the TV/film score and does that wonderfully. I highly recommend this recording and give it a solid 5 stars. Manne proves to be The Man once again. See my other reviews.
John W. Shearer