Henry Mancini: Music for Peter Gunn

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The music on this recording will seem so familiar, at least to U.S. listeners, that it may be difficult to imagine how much of a novelty it was when it first appeared. It was, in the words of annotator John Caps, "the first dramatic jazz to reach a general audience." The qualifiers are necessary, for jazz had certainly appeared in films prior to the television series Peter Gunn in 1958. But it generally connoted the underside of society, as in the jazz-flavored score of The Man with the Golden Arm (1955). The use of jazz to evoke a kind of urbane sophistication began with Henry Mancini's score to Peter Gunn, and the usage remains current in the second decade of the 21st ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - James Manheim
The music on this recording will seem so familiar, at least to U.S. listeners, that it may be difficult to imagine how much of a novelty it was when it first appeared. It was, in the words of annotator John Caps, "the first dramatic jazz to reach a general audience." The qualifiers are necessary, for jazz had certainly appeared in films prior to the television series Peter Gunn in 1958. But it generally connoted the underside of society, as in the jazz-flavored score of The Man with the Golden Arm (1955). The use of jazz to evoke a kind of urbane sophistication began with Henry Mancini's score to Peter Gunn, and the usage remains current in the second decade of the 21st century. What you're hearing here, in other words, is some of the most influential music of the 20th century, and it's good to have the whole score rather than just the ubiquitous walking-bass theme. One thing you get out of it is the ingenious way Mancini and the series' writers made the music both diegetic and extra-diegetic, as the film theorists say: both part of the action and external to it. The music is heard from the band at the roadhouse called Mother's where private detective Gunn meets his clients, but it also serves as conventional background music. One of the ingenious elements of Mancini's score is that, although the cuts are short, he blurs the boundaries between these and produces a cohesive whole; the main theme seems to propel the listener forward into the action of each episode, and it is picked up in parts in individual numbers like the rock & roll-influenced "Spook" (track 15). Mancini's lively and varied orchestration was influenced by that of jazz bandleaders Tex Beneke and Duke Ellington, but much of it, as well as the hooky melodic sense, is pure Mancini. New York's Harmonie Ensemble perform the music essentially as written, but they feel free to interpret it as to emotion and affect as might be done with any classic musical text. The result is an album as intriguing as it is just plain enjoyable.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/12/2014
  • Label: Harmonia Mundi Fr.
  • UPC: 093046762421
  • Catalog Number: 907624
  • Sales rank: 641

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Peter Gunn Theme (2:12)
  2. 2 Sorta Blue (3:00)
  3. 3 The Brothers Go to Mother's (2:43)
  4. 4 Dreamsville (3:51)
  5. 5 Session at Pete's Pad (3:58)
  6. 6 Soft Sounds (3:43)
  7. 7 Fallout (3:10)
  8. 8 The Floater (3:44)
  9. 9 Slow and Easy (3:04)
  10. 10 A Profound Gass (3:32)
  11. 11 Brief and Breezy (3:36)
  12. 12 My Manne Shelly (2:42)
  13. 13 Blue Steel (3:31)
  14. 14 Blues for Mother's (3:14)
  15. 15 Spook (2:54)
  16. 16 Peter Gunn Theme (2:02)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Harmonie Ensemble New York Primary Artist, Ensemble
Steven Richman Conductor
Technical Credits
Henry Mancini Composer
Adam Abeshouse Mastering, Engineering
Robina G. Young Executive Producer
Geneviève Begou Liner Note Translation
Karin Elsener Graphic Design, Cover Illustration
Heidi Fritz Liner Note Translation
Steven Richman Producer, Concept
John Caps Liner Notes
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