Sings the Mancini Songbook
Mercury, 61009, stereo LP, recorded 1965.
This very fine album, a bringing together of one of the finest singers and composers in American music history, was a collaboration that never got the attention it truly deserved. Singer Sarah Vaughan (1924-1990) brought thorough professionalism, exquisite taste, and vibrant heart and soul to her vocal art; if she made a bad record, I don’t know of it. Her early jazz sides during the mid-forties, some Columbia singles with arranger Percy Faith released after 1950, the mid-’50s Roulette LPs and ten years of Mercury vinyl beginning in 1957 that had duets with Billy Eckstine, and other entries too numerous to mention add up to a priceless legacy. After 1980, two personal favorites were the South Pacific CBS CD with Kiri Te Kanawa and Mandy Patinkin and the extraordinary Mystery of Man, a song cycle recorded in Germany and based on the poetry of a young man who later became Pope John Paul II.
Henry Mancini produced a large, largely superb body of work noted for its own special beauties – soundtracks for Peter Gunn, Mr. Lucky, the Pink Panther, Romeo and Juliet, Charades, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, etc. forever; jazz and mood music arrangements; and the songs – Moon River, Dear Heart, Days of Wine and Roses, just three of the dozen songs on this week’s album, one most highly recommended.
Several selections can be heard on YouTube!
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