CD Review: WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE? soundtrack (limited edition)

WHO IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE? soundtrack | ©2014 Varese Sarabande Records

All the dining metaphors in the world can’t do justice to Henry Mancini’s delicious mystery-comedy score for Ted Kotcheff’s equally delectable 1978 film that took cinematic food porn to new, mouth-watering heights. A composer who knew how to blend suspense, romance and humor with an escapist touch, Mancini starts the ovens rolling with a rollicking, Baroque theme that captures the pomp of haute culture. Eschewing “Pink Panther”-esque jazz in favor of a classical, continental approach, Mancini ooh’s-and-aah’s over the highly edible creations with perky brass and lush strings, while providing an unexpected melancholy bite in his love theme for Jacqueline […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE WHITE DAWN soundtrack

THE WHITE DAWN soundtrack | ©2013 Intrada Records

When given the opportunity to write non-comedic scores, Henry Mancini would run with the opportunity with some of his most beautiful and adventurous work, trekking from Italy to Russia in SUNFLOWER, venturing to outer space in LIFEFORCE  or digging into the Irish-worked coalmines of THE MOLLY MAGUIRES. It’s that score’s spirit that has the most in common with one of the composer’s most haunting works as he treks across Alaska in 1974’s THE WHITE DAWN. With a rousing (though unused) orchestral theme promising high adventure, Mancini follows a trio of seriously misplaced whalers into the company of Eskimos. At first, […]Read On »

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CD Review: DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES soundtrack

DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES soundtrack | ©2013 Intrada Records

While their cinematic relationship became popular through the slapstick destruction of the PINK PANTHER series, the collaboration between composer Henry Mancini and filmmaker Blake Edwards could yield far more serious stuff, complete with a memorable theme song and champagne jazziness. While 1961s BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S put a shot of bittersweetness into its party girl antics, 1962s DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES was anything but a happy look at the lush life. Though not exactly hitting the rat-in-the-wall DT’s of THE LOST WEEKEND, Edward’s look at two alkis’ self-destructive relationship was fairly groundbreaking in a developing era of hard-hitting “message” pictures. […]Read On »

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CD Review: CONDORMAN soundtrack

CONDORMAN soundtrack | ©2012 Intrada Records

For a studio who’s goofier late 70s / early 80s live action efforts involved a cat from outer space, an astronaut in King Arthur’s court and a midnight treasure hunt that tried to rope audiences in by offering a real prize, perhaps no oddball old regime premise was as face-palming as a cartoonist jumping off the Eiffel Tower in a bird suit. But if there was one composer who could turn this kind of Clouseau-esque bumbling into a class act, then it was Henry Mancini, whose score for 1981s CONDORMAN had a feeling of swooping, bold comedic adventure that’s made […]Read On »

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CD Review: MOMMIE DEAREST soundtrack (2,000 edition)

MOMMIE DEAREST soundtrack | ©2012 La La Land Records

As a composer whose beautifully lush music is the equivalent of gauzy cinematography from Hollywood’s romantic era, few musicians were better suited than Henry Mancini to contrast the sound of the picture perfect studio system with the unwholesome activities of one of its biggest starlets. But then, perhaps the scream of “No more wire hangers- EVER!” sums up the disconnect between an 8 x 10 glossy of Joanne Crawford and the alleged dragon lady behind it, let alone the camp appeal that her biopic MOMMIE DEAREST has gotten since its 1981 release. But if there’s one person who helped bring […]Read On »

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