The Great Race is a 1965 American Technicolor slapstick comedy film starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Natalie Wood, directed by Blake Edwards, written by Blake Edwards and Arthur A. Ross, and with music by Henry Mancini and cinematography by Russell Harlan. The movie cost US$12 million ($79,431,238.10 in 2016 dollars), making it the most expensive comedy film at the time. Before the film was released, the soundtrack was re-recorded in Hollywood by RCA Victor Records for release on vinyl LP. Henry Mancini spent six weeks composing the score, and the recording involved some 80 musicians. Mancini collaborated with lyricist Johnny Mercer on several songs including "The Sweetheart Tree", a waltz released as a single.
As modern big-band leaders go, Quincy Jones in the '60s would be first choice for many composers who wrote for a television series or the cinema. Though not the original themes, Jones was quite able to produce a full album featuring Henry Mancini's famous songs from movies and the small screen. This collection of the familiar and obscure Mancini done in 1964, preceded famed epic scores written by Jones from films The Pawnbroker and The Deadly Affair. It comprises several well-known hit tunes and a smattering of cuts not easily identifiable as the hummable and memorable Mancini classics…
This set contains eight Henry Manicini albums, all from his jazz period. Six of these albums were soundtracks written for either television series or for movies. All of the albums, except Hatari, contain twelve tracks. The album identifications and track listings for each CD appear below. The sound quality of this set is fantastic. Mancini recorded over 90 albums, in styles including big band, jazz, light classical and pop. Eight of these albums were certified gold by The Recording Industry Association of America. He had a 20-year contract with RCA Records, resulting in 60 commercial record albums that made him a household name among artists of easy-listening music. Mancini's earliest recordings in the 1950s and early 1960s were of the jazz idiom; with the success of Peter Gunn, Mr. Lucky, and Breakfast at Tiffany's, (all included here)Mancini shifted to primarily recording his own music in record albums and film soundtracks.
Oliver Nelson was one of the more distinctive arrangers to be active in jazz, the studios, and popular music of the '60s. While most Nelson reissues focus on his always-excellent saxophone playing (whether on tenor or alto), this six-CD set, Argo, Verve and Impulse Big Band Studio Sessions, focuses on Oliver Nelson the arranger-composer-bandleader. He does take solos on some of these dates on tenor, alto,and soprano (his only recorded solos on that instrument), but it his writing that takes center stage.