This groundbreaking soundtrack to a show that defined what "cool" was changed the face of television forever. There have been some great TV themes over the past few decades, but this evocative Mancini score set the bar before the bar even existed.
Some excellent liner notes relate the story all Peter Gunn and Mancini fans know well. Henry Mancini had been kicking around Universal for six years. Most of his years there were a study in obscurity, the one exception being his scoring of "Touch of Evil" for Orson Welles. So the studio gave him his two week walking papers. Mancini, being Mancini, decided on one of his last days there to get a free haircut at the studio barber shop. He and the guy next to him got to chatting and hit it off. They had a lot in common. So that newly promoted director, Blake Edwards, says to Mancini, "Hey, how would you like to do this television show for me? It's called "Peter Gunn."
What followed was decades of film magic, and a collaboration that was the stuff dreams, and great films, were made of. Mancini's West Coast Jazz score for Peter Gunn was his defining moment. It is a masterpiece of mood and atmosphere and its orchestral jazz score would have an impact for decades to come. When listening to this, you feel like Peter Gunn. From the famous opening salvo of music, Peter Gunn, both the show and Mancini's score, were, and still are, the essence of cool.
You get sixteen wonderful tracks on this double Grammy winner as you cruise along with the hip detective, the sounds of the most innovative score ever written for television in the background.
Sometimes we're walking in a room and smell the cordite still fresh and lingering, and we better be careful (Fallout).
Other times we're just hanging out with an old pal, trying to figure a way out of this jam (Session at Pete's Pad).
Sometimes we're headed to our favorite jazz club, "Mother's," for a night out with our girlfriend Edie (The Brothers Go to Mother's).
There are also those times, late at night, when things are all wrapped up, and Mother herself hands us the keys so we and Edie can make a little time for romance (Dreamsville).
Mancini would make a career out of ambiance, and Peter Gunn was the impetus for all that was to come. This is an absolute must have for any serious collector. The best thing about picking this one up, aside from the great music, is that somehow, just by owning it, we are just a little bit cooler.