Saturday, October 13, 2007

Shots In The Dark -- Henry Mancini Tribute

Shots in The Dark -- Henry Mancini Tribute

The spys are back with this incredible tribute to the master of movie scores --Henry Mancini. This is one of the best tribute albums ever released. The songs are played in a variety of styles, with 16 instrumentals and four vocals.

Henry Mancini's songs remain theoretically intact but are presented in such a different context, mostly a hard edged, surf rock reverb guitar meets late 50's space-age, bachelor-pad swing sound, that it instantly became one of the most ambitious tribute albums ever contemplated.
There are plenty of musical quirks that would seem absurd but work to perfection: a laughing clown (don't ask) in the midst of "The Pink Panther Theme", a "space phone" (again, don't ask) on "Lonesome", and best of all, actual vintage NASA transmissions floating through the mesmerizing "Dreamsville". Each group went out on a limb with their interpretations and somehow it pulled together to form a cohesive and deviously entertaining whole.

It's hard to pick a favorite, because there are so many good tracks here, but special mention has to go to Nan Vernon, who sings an absolutely mesmerizing version of "Moon River". There is also an unlisted bonus track where she sings the song in Japanese. I highly recommend this CD.


1. Banzai Pipeline - The Boardwalker 2. Baby Elephant Walk - The Jigsaw Seen
3. Peter Gunn Theme - Poison Ivy (Of The Cramps) 4. Charade (Instrumental) - The Blue Hawaiians 5. Something For Cat - Four Piece Suit 6. Mr. Lucky - Elliot Easton's Tiki Gods
7. The Pink Panther Theme - Oranj Symphonette 8. Lonesome - Friends Of Dean Martinez
9. The Party - The Wondermints 10. Monkey Farm - The Tiki Tones
11. A Shot In The Dark - Whiskey Biscuit 12. Touch Of Evil - Man or Astroman?
13. Days Of Wine And Roses - Wonderful World Of Joey
14. Dreamsville - Br. Cleve & His Lush Orchestra
15. Push The Button, Max! - Del Noah & The Mt. Ararat Finks
16. Charade (Vocal) - Farina 17. Mr. Yunioshi - Insect Surfers
18. Arabesque - The Huntington Cads 19. Experiment In Terror - Davie Allan & The Arrows
20. Moon River - Nan Vernon 21. Moon River – Nan Vernon (Japanese)

shtz1

shtz2

5 comments:

brandonio said...

Daboss, this is possibly my favorite tribute to date, with the exception of the awful version of "Days Of Wine And Roses" by Wonderful world of Joey. This is a must own ,as far as I'm concerned. This album has been making me look sophisticated for years.

DaBoss said...

Brandonio:
Classy is as classy does. Look at the source. The originals are creme de la creme for their genre, (folks might debate on this, but time does not lie) and the groups reintrepreting them have the respect to try to do them justice. I love this tribute and it does give the air of sophistication that the source deserves.
People should give it a listen.
I'll post the originals soon. Heck, I'll even post the modern lounge versions too, some are pretty good. Good music stands the test of time.

The most famous piece of Halloween music -- Bach's Toccata and Fuge in D Minor, is over 250 YEARS old. It has been used so much in movies and television to connote scary that it is cliche. But -- everyone -- even kids, when they hear those first couple of notes -- know the monster, or something bad is going to happen.

What's really fascinating is that in Italy, it is commonly used for wedding music. Say what?

A RELATIVELY NICE GUY said...

Thank you for uploading this album, I'm floored by how incredible this is!! (and how I managed to miss this!) I just wanted to express my deepest gratitude.

Thanks again!

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Freddie Jaye said...

I am about a decade late to this party, but "This is one of the best tribute albums ever released" nails it.Mancini's melodies were strong enough to withstand just about any kind of style, rearrangement or instrumentation. And it's so good to hear those familiar tunes in new contexts.

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