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Two for the Road: The Music of Henry Mancini

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Album Review

Dave Grusin's tribute to Henry Mancini starts out quite strong, with a few fine examples of Grusin's piano playing (particularly "Peter Gunn" and "Mr. Lucky"). Unfortunately, as the set progresses, the music gets more and more routine and closer to easy listening. Grusin is joined by bassist John Patitucci and drummer Harvey Mason, singer Diana Krall does fine on two lazy ballads, a horn section (including trombonist Andy Martin) is heard on two songs, and the obscure harmonica player Tollak Ollestad (sounding like Toots Thielemans) has a pair of appearances. The use of overdubbed strings on some numbers weighs down the set, and what could have been something special ends up being pleasing but predictable.

Biography

Born: June 26, 1934 in Denver, CO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Dave Grusin has been a highly successful performer, producer, composer, record label executive, arranger, and bandleader. As a pianist, Grusin tends toward the fusion and smooth end of jazz, but he's primarily an accomplished film and television soundtrack composer. Grusin played with Terry Gibbs and Johnny Smith while studying at the University of Colorado. He was the assistant music director and pianist for Andy Williams from 1959 to 1966, and then started his television composing career. Grusin...
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Two for the Road: The Music of Henry Mancini, Dave Grusin
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