The Best of Mancini

by: Henry Mancini

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. ~ Stephen Cook

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