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For these historic sessions, Mancini recruited the renowned Brazilian guitarist Laurindo Almeida, to bring a distinctly tropical feel that would have been beyond the reach of even the most seasoned American player and to add a crucial touch of the other-worldly, the soprano Loulie “Lulu” Jean Norman, whose wordless vocals would later achieve global recognition on the theme from Star Trek.
Donald Fagen called Henry Mancini the “High Priest of Hollywood Cool”, and this masterful album is full of stylish Mancini motifs that anticipate such future triumphs as Moon River, Baby Elephant Walk, The Days of Wine and Roses, The Pink Panther and The Party.
High quality bonus material includes The Four Freshmen’s exquisite recording Mancini’s What’s It Gonna Be, written for the film Rock, Pretty Baby, the rare Mancini single of instrumental material from the same movie, Hot Rod and Big Band Rock and Roll, and another Hank composition Cha Cha Cha for Gia from Four Girls in Town.
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