Harmonie Ensemble: Music for Peter Gunn

Album review
Harmonie Ensemble: Music for Peter Gunn

Harmonie Ensemble

Music for Peter Gunn

Label: Harmonia Mundi
Media: CD
Genre: Jazz

While Richard Mohr and Lewis Layton were mesmerizing audiophiles, RCA also released a series of spectacular sounding Henry Mancini “soundtracks.” It started with his 1958 jazz score for Peter Gunn and evolved into his famous pop-jazz style in scores like Hatari, Charade, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. These scores weren’t revolutionary (Elmer Bernstein and Alex North had already used jazz in films), but Mancini’s orchestrations and melodies were unique, resulting in his instantly recognizable personal style. This record is the first release of extensive music from Peter Gunn since 1958 because Mancini’s music with RCA’s sound is a hard act to follow. However, Peter Gunn is a classic, and this version is very welcome. The design is to recreate Mancini’s orchestrations, and the Harmonie Ensemble is clearly on the same level as Mancini’s crack musicians, even if the overall temperature may be just a little lower. The sound is excellent and not at all gimmicky, a thoroughly natural and musical presentation of a very polished ensemble. The close miking isn’t harsh or overdone, and there’s plenty of air and inner detail. The end result may not sound quite as flamboyant as Mancini on RCA, but that may be close to impossible.

More Info

  • primary artist, Harmonie Ensemble

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