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Phil Woods and Carl Saunders Play Henry Mancini

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Audio CD, February 13, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

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About the Artist

"Even more than nine years after his death, Henry Mancini is the most famous of all film composers. His film writing was jazz-oriented without being jazz, and his arrangements were both subservient to a movie’s story (as all scores must be) and strong enough to stand on their own apart from the picture." "One of the all-time great alto-saxophonists and a major force in the jazz scene since at least 1954, Phil Woods is not only one of the masters of bebop but a musician who through the years has extended the idiom through his personal voice, inventive repertoire and inspired settings." "Carl Saunders is not as world famous yet due to his valuable but underrated work as a lead trumpeter in big bands and being based in Los Angeles. But his playing on his three solo albums and the Jazzed Media CD "Phil Urso and Carl Saunders Salute Chet Baker" show just how tremendous a trumpeter he is, ranking near the top of his field." "Listeners will have no difficulty having fun listening to the infectious performances on one of the finest jazz tributes to the music of Henry Mancini." Scott Yanow, Author of eight jazz books including Trumpet Kings, Jazz On Record 1917-76, Bebop, Swing and Afro-Cuban Jazz
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 13, 2004)
  • Original Release Date: February 13, 2004
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Jazzed Media
  • ASIN: B0001I9W5U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,065 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John Tapscott on February 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Having enjoyed Phil Woods' recent CD, "Here's to Quincy" on Jazzed Media, I made haste to buy Phil's earlier release "Phil Woods and Carl Saunders Play Henry Mancini" on the same label.

This is a matter of personal taste, but I think I enjoy this CD even more (and that's not to say anything negative about "Here's to Quincy"). From beginning to end, this CD bubbles over with a sense of playfulness and joyful adventure which is most appealing. The rapport between altoist Woods and trumpeter Saunders is so close you'd swear they'd been playing together for years, though this was their first studio meeting. These guys are the essence of jazz maturity, both in ensemble playing and in making personal solo statements at every tempo. Their ballad solos on this CD are especially deep and moving.

Mancini's compositions have appealed to jazz improvisors for a long time and no one should think that they are too lightweight to carry a 75 minute program. On this CD we are treated to familiar fare such as "The Pink Panther," "Dreamsville", and "Mr. Lucky", plus some lesser-known Mancini tunes.

It is perhaps rather unusual for a quintet session, but here the arrangers for each selection are listed. There are six different arrangers and this, combined with Mancini's strong compositions and the personal interpretations by the band, result in a great deal of musical variety. In the first six tracks, we get a highly original version of "Panther"; the latin groove of "Lightly"; the bluesy "Walkin' Bass"; the lovely ballad, "Soldier in the Rain"; the medium tempo, stop and go "Free and Easy" and the uptempo and hard driving "Fallout."

"Free and Easy" is one of the tracks which includes a nice passage of interplay between Woods and Saunders.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By simonjp on February 9, 2014
Format: Audio CD
Recorded in 2003, this marvelous quintet album joined together for the first time the well known talents of alto saxophone giant Phil Woods with a brilliant trumpeter who deserves to be much better known, and whose longstanding accomplishments may finally be getting the attention that they have long deserved. Carl Saunders at the time of this recording had had over four decades of outstanding lead trumpet and solo work in a wide range of first-rate big bands and small group settings, but had only made his debut as a leader, the marvelous recording “Out of the Blue”, in 1996. On this recording, Woods and Saunders pay tribute to composer Henry Mancini, in twelve small group arrangements by Saunders, pianist Jeff Jenkins and several other underappreciated arrangers (veterans Jackson Stock, Gordon Brisker and the emerging younger talent of Scott Tibbs). They tackle a small handful from well-known Mancini fare like Mr Lucky, Dreamsville and Pink Panther, but evidently the original intent was to feature some of the less-played themes from the Peter Gunn series, and thus the majority of tunes featured here are exactly that – a variety of less familiar, and therefore, fresh-sounding melodies that evoke a range of moods and genres, but mostly swinging – and provide fine vehicles for these two highly accomplished hornmen and their fine rhythm section of Jeff Jenkins, Ken Walker and Paul Romaine. The section playing is very tight, and the brilliant soloing from Woods and Saunders is no surprise – each operates at a high level, has the chops to do whatever their imagination asks of them, and both excel in each other’s company. Well worth hearing for Mancini’s compositions also. Definitely worth having this one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Biff the Buff on September 10, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I first became acquainted with Carl Saunders when I purchased the Phil Urso collaboration and again am extremely pleased with this music. It is genuine swinging jazz. The Mancini selections are all choice and treated with obvious respect by Saunders and Woods. The rhythm section of Jeff Jenkins, Ken Walker and Paul Romaine keep the whole thing tied together in a neat package. But, Carl Saunders is the star on this CD. He obviously is an exceptional musician and can flat out play the trumpet as well as anyone I've ever heard including Clifford Brown. Phil Woods as usual is solid. Ken Walker's bass lines pay homage to Rolly Bundock and I thank him for that. Excellent CD.
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Phil Woods and Carl Saunders Play Henry Mancini
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