A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame.
The Super Hot Stamper Sound found on side two of this original Living Stereo pressing will show you just how LIVELY and FUN this music can be! The sound is really JUMPIN’, much more than the other copies we played (and this side one as well). You also get a healthy dose of Tubey Magic on both sides as befits Mancini recordings on RCA.
Mancini is lucky to have had the RCA engineers from the era on his team. Six of his albums are in our Hall of Fame and this one will make seven. We love to do these Hot Stamper Mancini shootouts but finding clean Living Stereo copies of his albums is getting harder every day. Fans may want to jump on this one while the jumpin’ is good.
With a grade of A+ to A++ this side had much to offer, mostly Tubey Magic. It’s a bit dark and smeary compared to side two but quite musical and enjoyable.
Super Hot Stamper A++ sound. It’s clear and has very low distortion, even a pretty extended top, something you rarely hear on the old Living Stereo pressings. There’s bass but what it really lacks is Whomp Factor down low. It just needs more weight down there, something that would have put it right up there with the best we’ve heard by Mr. Mancini.
My Manne Shelly
Goofin’ at the Coffee House
The Little Man Theme
A Quiet Gass
Blues for Mother’s
Though it doesn’t have its classic opening theme, this second installment of Mancini’s breakthrough work for the TV series contains 12 selections that positively emanate “private eye,” and solidified the connection between jazz and detective stories that continues to this day in film and television. Mancini calls on a small jazz combo for a majority of the tracks here, swinging bop tunes like “Walkin’ Bass,” “Goofin’ at the Coffee House” (with Vic Feldman on vibes), and “My Manne Shelly” (with, of course, Shelly Manne on drum solo). For the love themes such as “Joanna,” the lush side of Mancini takes over, with a sultry bed of strings making their case. This is effortless, light jazz of the top order.
Wikipedia’s Entry for Peter Gunn
Here’s a key excerpt:
The show’s use of modern jazz music, at a time when most television shows used a generic orchestra for the background, was another distinctive touch that set the standard for many years to come. Innovative jazz themes seemed to accompany every move Gunn made, ably rendered by Henry Mancini and his orchestra (which at that time included John Williams), lending the character even more of an air of suave sophistication. Famous jazz musicians occasionally made guest appearances, such as trumpeter Shorty Rogers in an early episode.
Most memorable of all was the show’s opening (and closing) “Peter Gunn Theme”, composed and performed by Mancini. A hip, bluesy, brassy number with an insistent piano-and-bass line, the song became an instant hit for Mancini, earning him an Emmy Award and two Grammys, and became as associated with crime fiction as Monty Norman’s theme to the James Bond films is associated with espionage. The harmonies fit the mood of the show, which was a key to success.
The soundtrack album by Henry Mancini was a smash, reaching #1 in Billboard’s Pop LP Charts. Ray Anthony won the singles war, reaching #8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 with his 45 of the title theme.