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Merry Mancini Christmas Original recording remastered

4.8 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, October 25, 1990
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Product Description

No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Artist: MANCINI,HENRY
Title: MERRY MANCINI CHRISTMAS
Street Release Date: 09/23/1997
Domestic
Genre: XMAS INSTRUMENTAL

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Like his good friend Esquivel, Henry Mancini mixed some mean orchestral Christmas cocktails. But where Esquivel was possessed by wackiness and whimsy, Mancini played things fairly straight and still managed to create a sound that defined his career and an era. Sadly, the selections here are pedestrian, even by the well-trodden holiday boulevard standards. "White Christmas," "The Little Drummer Boy," and "The Christmas Song" all benefit nonetheless from Mancini's genius for timing and dynamics. Even the mundane "Frosty the Snowman" gets some new life breathed into him thanks to Mancini's arrangement, and "Carols for Another Christmas" is a good example of Mancini's hip restraint. Merry Mancini Christmas, while not the maestro at his best, still imparts some of that madcap, martini-era holiday spirit as only Mancini knew. --Steve Gdula
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B000002W4Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,295 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I come from a very large family and since the mid-sixties when my parents bought it we'd play this album during the holidays. We played it until you could hardly hear some of the songs without the crackling and skipping the LP's were notorious for. By the time it was totally inaudible the LP wasn't being made any longer. We were all crushed because our Christmas mainstay album was gone. (Particularly because we lost both parents some years ago within 2 months of each other and we always listened as a family to this album.) When the CD came out we were overjoyed to say the least. I ALWAYS cry as do all of us in my family when "Carol for Another Christmas" plays because it holds such dear memories of my parents listening to us massacre that song on our instruments EVERY SINGLE CHRISTMAS!!! But they always swore we played beautifully.
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Format: Audio CD
You notice the Christmas songs first. Yuletide carols being sung by a choir, blared from mall sound systems and car radios (and hopefully, churches), heard over TV specials and commercials. Regardless of when stores dress for the holidays, the seasonal music signals us to prepare and cheers us while we do. The songs are so beloved and familiar even to casual listeners that any singer or instrumentalist need only keep them anchored to the season's sentiments to render them successfully. In other words, remember what the songs mean and don't get cute.
"A Merry Mancini Christmas" is neither the best Henry Mancini nor traditional Christmas album, but is a tasteful addition for collectors of either style. The legendary composer and arranger plays it straight on the Christmas hymns, delivering tasteful, expansive medleys featuring the beloved "O Holy Night," "O Come All Ye Faithful," and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" (which falls beneath Ray Conniff's version).
Despite vocals straight from traditional easy listening (Anita Kerr, Living Voices, Ray Charles Singers), Mancini is more playful on the holiday songs. He smoothes and quickens the tempo of "Little Drummer Boy" takes time wandering through "Winter Wonderland," and adds some jazzy horns to "Jingle Bells" and "Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer."
Those wanting their Christmas music stringier and schmaltzier are directed to Mantovani and Jackie Gleason's Christmas albums. Their orchestras deliver holiday renditions as over-the-top as a January blizzard. Here, however, a little restraint and a touch of jazz makes a Henry Mancini "Christmas" a brief, merry, and recommended one.
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Format: Audio CD
This 1966 album by HENRY MANCINI - A MERRY MANCINI CHRISTMAS, is an album of beautiful, orchestra music or jazzy/big band music with some great chorus singing.

Being a Henry mancini album, though, the music is sometimes laid back for a great deal of it. The orchestra doesn't jump out at you song after song like PERCY FAITH'S - CHRISTMAS IS orchestra/chorus album FROM 1966 does. Rather, it sometimes seems to provide more of an almost (yet very beautiful) small band/jazz combo backing up a chorus of singers.

Songs like THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY, the medley of JINGLE BELLS and SLEIGHRIDE, and the medley of FROSTY THE SNOWMAN and RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER are typical of this wonderful small band combo style. However, THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY has a real beautiful and lush string instrumental part in it where Mancini really hits his 'A' game and JINGLE BELLS has what many call a classic big band/jazz instrumental part in it. There are also many fabulous christmas styled brass sounds in these songs, especially FROSTY THE SNOWMAN and RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER. And let me add that all these songs are all wonderful versions of each of them and sometimes among my favorite versions. And the chorus, they shine greatly here too, perhaps almost if not as great as any chorus you're likely to hear. The chorus sound like a smaller chorus, very much like the 8 person chorus called the LIVING VOICES. A couple of the songs (both music and chorus) even sound similar to the 1965 album by the LIVING VOICES - THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY (songs such as SLEIGHRIDE).

Some of the album is, however, very much the large orchestra that Mancini is famous for. Songs like WHITE CHRISTMAS, THE CHRISTMAS SONG, and the medley of WINTER WONDERLAND and SILVER BELLS uses the orchestra to the maximum.
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Comment 8 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Tasteful, traditional orchestral Christmas music. More importantly, "Carol for Another Christmas" may be the most beautiful Christmas composition of the 20th Century.
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Format: Audio CD
To me, this album represents one the best part of Christmas - Childhood. Although most of the songs are very familiar, the arrangements, even when I was a young girl, stayed in my mind as special. The track "Carol For Another Christmas" was so beautiful and opened our fresh minds to the idea that the birth of Jesus meant different things to different cultures. I remember we danced a clumsy ballet to it, thinking that we were as good as any professional. My whole family knows every nuance to this album and I'm looking so forward to seeing their faces when they unwrap this present from us.
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