The Music from Peter Gunn & More Music from Peter Gunn
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||Peter Gunn||Henry Mancini||2:05||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Sorta Blue||Henry Mancini||2:55||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||The Brothers Go to Mothers||Henry Mancini||2:55||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Dreamsville||Henry Mancini||3:53||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Session At Pete's Pad||Henry Mancini||3:58||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Soft Sounds||Henry Mancini||3:33||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Fallout!||Henry Mancini||3:13||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||The Floater||Henry Mancini||3:16||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Slow and Easy||Henry Mancini||3:04||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||A Profound Gass||Henry Mancini||3:18||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Brief and Breezy||Henry Mancini||3:31||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Not from Dixie||Henry Mancini||4:08||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Walkin' Bass||Henry Mancini||4:23||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Timothy||Henry Mancini||2:35||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Joanna||Henry Mancini||2:43||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||My Manne Shelly||Henry Mancini||2:38||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Goofin' At the Coffee House||Henry Mancini||4:13||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Odd Ball||Henry Mancini||3:26||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Blue Steel||Henry Mancini||3:42||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||The Little Man Theme||Henry Mancini||3:15||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Spook!||Henry Mancini||2:59||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||A Quiet Gass||Henry Mancini||3:05||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Lightly||Henry Mancini||3:26||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Blues for Mother's||Henry Mancini||3:20||$0.99||View in iTunes|
This is not only a great CD but a key piece of jazz and pop music history. Back in 1958, Peter Gunn was one of the unexpected hits of the new television season, capturing the imagination of millions of viewers by mixing private eye action with a jazz setting. Essential to the character of private investigator Peter Gunn (Craig Stevens) was that his base of operations was a jazz roadhouse called Mother's, and the jazz music background figured prominently in the scoring. Composer Henry Mancini, a classically trained pianist/arranger/composer with a big-band background, who'd spent much of the previous decade working in near anonymity at Universal Pictures, was chosen by director/producer Blake Edwards to write the score for Peter Gunn. Although he later became associated with a string of hit movie soundtracks in a pop vein ("Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's, etc.) and easy listening albums, Mancini was more than fluent in jazz, and his music nailed down the popularity of the series. With the main title theme, a driving, ominous, exciting piece of music to lead off the album, the Peter Gunn soundtrack became a huge hit, charting extraordinarily high for a television soundtrack and doing so well that RCA-Victor came back asking for a second LP of music from the series the next year. The music holds up: "Session at Pete's Pad" is a superb workout for the trumpets of Pete Candoli, Uan Rasey, Conrad Gozzo, and Frank Beach, while Victor Feldman's vibraphone and John Williams' (yes, the future film music giant) piano are the dominant instruments on "Soft Sounds"; Barney Kessel's electric guitar gets the spotlight during "Dreamsville," which is also a great showcase for Williams' fluid piano; guitarist Bob Bain gets to show off his bluesy solo technique on "The Floater"; and "Sorta Blue" and "Fallout" are full ensemble pieces that constitute quintessential "cool" West Coast jazz of the period. In other words, it's all virtuoso orchestral jazz, presented in its optimum form. The Peter Gunn soundtrack was previously available on an RCA CD, but in 1999 the reactivated Buddha Records label gave it a new and sharper digital transfer and added the four best tracks off of More Music From Peter Gunn to bring it up to nearly an hour's running time and restoring the rich "Living Stereo" ambience off the original LP to the CD. The tracks off the second LP, "Walkin' Bass," "Blue Steel," "Spook!," and "Blues for Mother's" are all worth the inclusion, some of the coolest jazz ever written and recorded for television, with superb solo passages. "Blue Steel," in particular, is a killer guitar showcase on which Bob Bain's electric chording shares the spotlight with the saxes and trumpets. The improved sound and the extra tracks definitely justify the upgrade for those who own the old CD and make this a doubly valuable addition to any jazz or soundtrack collection of the era.
Great to see both of these albums in one pacakage; the second LP was out of print for decades. The theme song is only the tip of the iceberg. If you've only heard Mancini's middle-of-the-road stuff, you're in for a treat. There's plenty of jazzy ensemble work, some tasty solos and a few surprises, like the tremolo guitar on "Spook". Highly recommended.
A menacing neo-noir treasure
Mancini went on to do high-end schmaltz (much of it quite good for its purpose), but this is bracing, with many of the best West Coast studio musicians playing their hearts out over classic arrangements. Mancini may have been influenced by Benny Carter's music for the similarly noirish M-Squad a few years before (selections on Carter's All of Me album). The Theme from Peter Gunn is a model of compression: a disguised (and menacing) blues synthesizing Ellington's C-Jam Blues, Ravel's Bolero, Horace Silver's proto-funk vamps, and probably Carter's The Mugger (another noirish blues) from M-Squad. It's seemingly simple and incredibly unstable from chorus to chorus. You can see why it made the show a hit.
One of the best TV theme songs
This has been a favorite since I first heard it as an 8 year old. Great stuff.
Born: April 16, 1924 in Cleveland, OH
Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s