|Concord´s Mancini Tribute|
REVIEW by Willard Manus
has done us all a huge favor with its new release, ULTIMATE MANCINI, a
complilation of some of the famed Hollywood composer's most memorable
pieces, ranging from The Pink Panther Theme (featuring Plas Johnson, tenor
sax; Joey DeFrancesco (Hammon B-3); and Gary Burton, vibraphone) to the
Peter Gunn Suite: Dreamsville to Days of Wine and Roses, from the movie
of the same name, sung by Monica Mancini, the maestro's daughter.
On "Moon River" (which Mancini co-wrote with Mercer), the vocals are handled by Take 6 backed up by Stevie Wonder's classic harmonica solo. On Dreamsville Monica is joined in a vocal duet by Kenny Rankin.
Mancini was a master of the romantic ballad, but it's good to be also reminded of his jazz-textured, jaunty treatments of Crazy World (from "Victor/Victoria") and It's Easy to Say (from "10").
All seventeen cuts on the CD were produced with triple-A musical values, especially those backed up by the 65-piece Mancini orchestra, conducted by Patrick Williams.