Royce Campbell

A Tribute to Henry Mancini

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Royce Campbell was Henry Mancini's guitarist for nearly 20 years, so he knows Mancini's music quite well. On this tribute CD, he turns nine of the composer's themes into jazz, which is a bit of an accomplishment because Mancini was a film rather than a jazz composer and only "Days of Wine and Roses" became a jam session standard. "Charade" and "Moon River" are given light Latin rhythms, "Dreameville" and "Letter to Henry" (the latter an original ballad by Campbell) are taken unaccompanied by the guitarist and even "The Pink Panther Theme" comes off well. Campbell's style at times recalls Wes Montgomery with touches of George Benson while the rhythm section (which includes pianist Bruce Barth, bassist Bill Moring and drummer Terry Clarke) is fine in support. This is a melodic and tasteful affair that the composer would have enjoyed.

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