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The Dreams Of Johnny Mercer

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The album, Dreams Of Johnny Mercer, finds Mancini uniquely interpreting a dozen songs that have lyrics by the immortal Johnny Mercer. However this is not a typical songbook recital. Johnny Mercer (1909-76) was a poet with his pen, one of the wittiest and most insightful of all American song lyricists. After his death, his wife Ginger Mercer discovered some of his unpublished lyrics and gave a dozen sets to singer and composer Barry Manilow, for which Manilow wrote new music. Seven of these songs are featured on The Dreams Of Johnny Mercer, along with five of Mercer's classic pieces. The Dreams of Johnny Mercer sets the standard for a songbook album and with her beautiful voice, impeccable taste, swinging style and unique interpretations; Monica Mancini is simply one of the finest singers around today.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 10, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: October 10, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Concord Records
  • ASIN: B00004ZDL7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,407 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
One problem with singers attempting to cover material that is as well covered as that of American songsmith Johnny Mercer is that the songs have usually been done many times before. The only way to circumvent that is to bring such a fresh and unique approach to the music that the songs take on a new life almost as if they are being performed for the first time. This is exactly what Monica Mancini has done here. What makes it even more interesting however is in addition to the Mercer standards, there are seven newly discovered lyrics of Mercer that have been given music by composer Barry Manilow. One in particular is "When October Goes", a song that Manilow himself recorded. This may be the highlight of the CD. The lyric stands among Mercer's best efforts and Manilows haunting melody is the perfect stage for Mancini's powerful interpreation. Among other noteable moments on the CD are the quirky "The Weekend of a Private Secretary" and the Take 6 arranged accapella "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positve" sung entirely by Mancini and a member of Take 6. This entire CD is so well put together that it certainly raises the bar for all to follow. Mancini is to be congratulated on a superior effort. She establishes herself among the great interpreters of Amercian song. Not to be missed. Five Stars.
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Format: Audio CD
They say that talent runs in the family, and being the daughter of Henry Mancini - "Our Man In Hollywood", and Ginny Mancini who sang with the Mel-Tones (Mel Torme's group), would give one to believe this isn't just a rumor.
For Monica's Concord Record debut, we hear the distinctive vocal stylings to a dream-themed collection of songs from the pen of another in the elite ranks of the greatest of great American songwriters - Johnny Mercer.
Monica's fresh, eclectic approach and insightful interpretations of the songs penned by the man around whom she grew up reconfirms the timeless-ness of Mercer's songs. She could have chosen all well known tunes, but took the road to find the soul of each song, no matter where it might lead. Barry Manilow was given six sets to compose the music and complete the Mercer gems.
Concord Records and Monica Mancini give this CD a warm and tender insight on every track, with one common thread being the genius of Mercer....gorgeous orchestrations blends with Monica's unforgettable voice, makes them instant standards!
Total Time: 44:25 on 12 Tracks...Concord Jazz CCD 4937...(2000)
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By A Customer on November 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Once in a while, a singer comes along that stands out, leaving an indelible impression. That vocalist is Monica Mancini. Her new album, "The Dreams of Johnny Mercer" is a flawless tapestry of vocal artistry. Her interpretations of Mercer's never-before-released lyrics are inspiring and evoke a rare musical ambience that is unique only to true standards. Barry Manilow's music to Mercer's lyrics is reminiscent of the great composers with a contemporary flair. Surprisingly not charted on Billboard's pop or jazz charts, "The Dreams of Johnny Mercer" puts singer Monica Mancini in a class of her own, rivaling the sound of such artists as Sarah Brightman, Diana Krall, and Sarah Vaughan. It sets the perfect mood in the car, while dining by candlelight, for making love, and for classy entertaining.
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Format: Audio CD
"I was very fortunate to have known Johnny Mercer from my earliest childhood. He was a sweet and kind man and it was his laugh and smile that I most recall. While making this record, I discovered just how valuable these memories would be." ~ Monica Mancini ~

"I like a guy who writes his way and his way is so high that it starts where the other guys leave off. I've written a few like that." ~ Johnny Mercer ~

Monica Mancini's name is not new to the music world as she is the daughter of Henry Mancini, an Award-winning composer and a dear friend and collaborator of Johnny Mercer as well. The New York Times once described her voice as "the glamorous vocal equivalent to diamonds flashing." Indeed, she sings these Johnny Mercer gems effortlessly with new style, class and elegance so uniquely her own.

This recording is a tribute to Johnny Mercer and a testament that Ms. Mancini can sing even the most obscure songs penned by one of the greatest lyricists of all-time and give justice to the songs as well. This CD features not only some of the best songs by Johnny Mercer but also seven sets of lyrics that Ginger Mercer discovered after the death of the songwriter and handed them over to Barry Manilow who composed the beautiful music and finished the job that Mr. Mercer started.

To me, "Skylark," a collaboration with Hoagy Carmichael, is the créme de la créme from this collection of a dozen of wonderful songs. Her interpretation is simply superb and Michael Lang's piano accompaniment is so beautiful.

One of my favorites is a remarkable song and its music was composed by Barry Manilow, "Something Tells Me," its arrangement by Randy Waldman has a samba-ish flavor with the back-up of an orchestra conducted by Terry Woodson.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Monica Mancini, the daughter of Henry Mancini, is one of my favorite singers. Her voice is incredibly beautiful. I have all the albums she has released and they are all great. This is a collection of songs with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. Many of the songs are standards that Monica brings her on style to, a few are unknown Mercer songs, and though not among the best he composed they are very nice. If you are unfamiliar with Monica Mancini, but are a fan of great music, do yourself a favor and check her out.
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