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The Best of Mancini

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Album Review

While some might see this skimpy 12-track set as ludicrous, newcomers looking for a budget entrée to Mancini's work will be thrilled. Taking in his prime late-'50s and early-'60s TV and film work, the collection samples such stellar soundtracks as Peter Gunn, Breakfast at Tiffany's ("Moon River"), and Charade. From noirish crime jazz to supreme lounge-jazz statements, Mancini is heard in top form throughout — none of those later pops orchestra treatments here. Yes, crucial sides like "The Pink Panther Theme" are missing, but that classic and many other gems will be waiting for listeners who inevitably will next pick up such essential and extensive roundups as RCA's The Days of Wine and Roses.

Biography

Born: 16 April 1924 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

If the recognition of one's peers is the true measure of success, then few men are as successful as composer, arranger, and conductor Henry Mancini. In a career that spanned 40 years, writing for film and television, Mancini won four Oscars and twenty Grammys, the all-time record for a pop artist. For 1961's Breakfast at Tiffany's alone, Mancini won five Grammys and two Oscars. Breakfast at Tiffany's includes the classic "Moon River" (lyrics by Johnny Mercer), arguably one of the finest pop songs...
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