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Backgrounder: Jazz Sounds From Peter Gunn


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One could argue that Henry Mancini picked up where Bill Holman left off. As noted earlier this week, Bill's arrangements for recordings captured the sound of 1950s Los Angeles' jazzy cool, with his charts clutch-shifting like brand-new cars cruising the region's many freeways. Mancini's music, by contrast, was for TV and the movies, and captured the city's jazzy, sleek elegance as well as the cool of stardom and wealth. In effect, Mancini widened out Holman's sound of catchy melodies using finger-snapping orchestral twists and turns, and instrumental quirks and collages.

For this week's Backgrounder, I'm featuring Jazz Sounds From Peter Gunn, Mancini's soundtrack for the TV detective series that ran from 1958-1961. It was first released by Fresh Sound in 1994.

The reason I'm featuring this week is because on Monday, you're in for a treat. I'll have a Q&A interview with Jon Burlingame, the author of the new book Dreamsville: Henry Mancini, Peter Gunn, and Music for TV Noir. You won't want to miss it.

To warm you up, here's Jazz Sounds From Peter Gunn without ad interruptions...

Bonus Backgrounder: Here's Jazz From Peter Gunn by the Joe Wilder Quartet (1959), without ad interruptions...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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