Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quincy Jones - Explores the Music of Henry Mancini (1968)


Quincy Jones is best known for his production work with Michael Jackson, but he made his mark as a composer/arranger. For this release, he arranges 12 Mancini works for big band. What a great combination: Mancini is an outstanding composer, Jones is a fantastic arranger. Jones transforms many of the pieces, making them funkier and jazzier. The overall sound of the release is indicative of what was going on in the world of big band arranging in the late '60s/early '70s. It's a fun listen.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks: I love how Jones takes a couple of ballads and makes them get uptempo tunes, like Charade. Jones even turns Moon River into a groovin' jazz waltz. Bird Brain gets your attention not only because of its style and an arrangement of the melody that doubles flute with either bass clarinet or vibraphone, but you also get a bass clarinet solo! The only weak arrangement on this CD is of The Pink Panther. Maybe the original is so good it can't be improved upon. The CD ends strong with the ever-popular Peter Gunn theme.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I remember playing the Mancini chart Mr. Lucky in high school jazz band, but the arrangement wasn't nearly as good or as swinging as the one included on this release.

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