2. Sidewalks of Cuba
3. Dream of You
4. Swing Lightly
5. Castle Rock
6. A Powdered Wig
7. Playboy’s Theme
9. Far East Blues
10. Charleston Alley
11. Scandinavian Shuffle
12. Everybody Blow!
Art Pepper – Alto sax, clarinet
Pete Candoli - Trumpet
Dick Nash – Trombone
Ted Nash - Flute, alto sax
Ronnie Lang – Alto flute, baritone sax
Larry Bunker – Vibes, marimba.
John Williams – Piano, harpsichord
Bob Bain – Guitar, bass guitar
Rollie Bundock – Bass
Shelly Manne – Drums
Ramon “Sonny” Rivera – Percussion
The Blues and the Beat
13. The Blues
14. Smoke Rings
16. Blue Flame
17. After Hours
18. Mood Indigo
19. The Beat
20. Big Noise from Winnetka
21. Alright, Okay, You Win
22. Tippin’ In
23. How Could You Do a Thing Like That to Me?
24. Sing, Sing, Sing
Conrad Gozzo, Pete Candoli, Frank Beach, Graham Young – Trumpets
Vince DeRosa, Sinclair Lott, John Graas, Richard Perissi, Herman Lebow, George Price – French horns
Dick Nash, Jimmy Priddy, John Halliburton, Karl DeKarske – Trombones
Ted Nash, Ronnie Lang, Gene Cipriano, Wilbur Schwartz, Harry Klee – Woodwinds, reeds
Victor Feldman – Vibes, maracas
Larry Bunker – Vibes
John Williams – Piano
Bob Bain – Guitar
Rollie Bundock – Bass
Jack Sperling - Drums
Henry Mancini was never exactly a jazzman but he often included elements of jazz in his orchestrations – and he employed plenty of jazz musicians to bring
those orchestrations to life. This CD illustrates Mancini’s jazz leanings. It consists of two original LPs from 1960: Combo! and The Blues and the Beat.
employs an 11-piece group (or combo) to perform a mixture of jazz standards, pop tunes and Mancini originals. The personnel includes such notable jazzers
as Art Pepper, Pete Candoli and Shelly Manne. Henry Mancini shows what a first-class arranger he is, giving new slants to familiar (and unfamiliar) songs.
For instance, the melody of Moanin’ is stated on the vibraphone, with a new riff in the background. John Williams (yes, the well-known film
composer) solos on the harpsichord, and Art Pepper contributes a lucid clarinet solo.
In Castle Rock and Tequila, Mancini manages to make the five-piece frontline sound like a big band. And he uses the harpsichord to good
effect in A Powdered Wig, a pastiche of classical gentility which turns into a right little swinger. Far East Blues is a typically
atmospheric Mancini composition, with the oriental aura accentuated by Larry Bunker’s vibes.
The Blues and the Beat features a big band - a very
big band (25 musicians, including six French-horn players). Again,
much of the album’s attraction lies in Mancini’s inventive arrangements.
The first six tracks have a bluesy feel, while the last six emphasise
the beat. The Blues and Blue Flame use one of his
favourite devices: massed flutes fluttering and descending into the
depths. Misty is a feature for an emotive trombone solo.
Big Noise from Winnetka
uses the flutes again – both in high and low registers. John Williams shows that he’s a fair jazz pianist on Tippin’ In. And the album ends with
an interpretation of Sing, Sing, Sing which builds to a fiery climax. The sound quality on all tracks is exemplary.
As Henry Mancini says in the sleeve-notes to The Blues and the Beat: “Above all, we were striving for fresh, new and appealing musical sounds”. He
achieved this goal.