Henry Mancini stepped away from his usual light jazz, instrumental pop, and theme music for Sousa's Greatest Marches, on which he leads the Warner Bros. Military Band through a dozen performances of well-known marches, including "Stars and Stripes Forever" and "Washington Post March." The big, brassy ensemble performs the actual arrangements from Sousa's day, which were researched especially for this album. Toward the end of "U.S. Field Artillery March," the bandsmen even deliver the rousing vocal part that has given this piece its common name, "The Caissons Go Rolling Along." Today it is hard to imagine a marching band album reaching the charts, but there was a time when marching band music enjoyed much more of a popular audience than it does today. Sousa's Greatest Marches is an artifact from that era.
AllMusic Review by Greg Adams