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Henry Mancini: Lola Albright

Tuesday, 07 February 2017 16:42

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Henry Mancini didn't arrange too many albums for non movie-soundtrack singers. Doing so wasn't his bag, since he felt his music was enchanting enough to stand on its own. He also didn't have the time, given his TV and movie scoring schedule. But he made a handful of exceptions in the late 1950s, when he had a spare few hours to do singers a favor. There were two Mancini-arranged 45s produced by Verve in 1957 for singer Linda Lawson (Somehow, More Than Ever, Salty Salty Is The Sea and Never Like This). There also were two painful novelty albums—Edie Adams' Music to Listen to Records By (1959) and Terribly Sophisticated Songs: A Collection of Unpopular Songs for Popular People (1958), featuring a batch of unremarkable tunes and singers with music arranged by Mancini without a credit.

Home-gallery-images-1The only vocal album arranged by Mancini during this period that remains truly remarkable is Lola Albright's Dreamsville (1959). Albright, of course, starred on the TV detective series Peter Gunn as the Gunn character's girlfriend. Albright has a husky, relaxed vocal timbre on the album, and Mancini's arrangements and piano are sterling and beautiful. Mancini's music has long been likened to a dry martini. If that description is apropos, the songs on this album are the olives. [Photo above of Henry Mancini courtesy of]

JazzWax tracks: Lola Albright's Dreamsville (Columbia) can be found here paired with her Lola Wants You, arranged by Dean Elliott.

JazzWax clips: Here's Dreamsville—first the Mancini instrumental and then Albright's vocal version with Mancini's orchestration and piano...

Here's It's Always You from the album...

And here's Ablright in 1958 on Peter Gunn singing How High the Moon, arranged by Mancini and featuring Shorty Rogers on flugelhorn and Victor Feldman on vibes...

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