Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Dreams of Johnny Mercer
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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Mancini Delivers Mercer and Manilow Suprise
Marc Manheim | New York, New York | 11/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One problem with singers attempting to cover material that is as well covered as that of American songsmith Johnny Mercer is that the songs have usually been done many times before. The only way to circumvent that is to bring such a fresh and unique approach to the music that the songs take on a new life almost as if they are being performed for the first time. This is exactly what Monica Mancini has done here. What makes it even more interesting however is in addition to the Mercer standards, there are seven newly discovered lyrics of Mercer that have been given music by composer Barry Manilow. One in particular is "When October Goes", a song that Manilow himself recorded. This may be the highlight of the CD. The lyric stands among Mercer's best efforts and Manilows haunting melody is the perfect stage for Mancini's powerful interpreation. Among other noteable moments on the CD are the quirky "The Weekend of a Private Secretary" and the Take 6 arranged accapella "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positve" sung entirely by Mancini and a member of Take 6. This entire CD is so well put together that it certainly raises the bar for all to follow. Mancini is to be congratulated on a superior effort. She establishes herself among the great interpreters of Amercian song. Not to be missed. Five Stars."
"Monica captures the mood of Mercer tunes"
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 11/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"They say that talent runs in the family, and being the daughter of Henry Mancini - "Our Man In Hollywood", and Ginny Mancini who sang with the Mel-Tones (Mel Torme's group), would give one to believe this isn't just a rumor. For Monica's Concord Record debut, we hear the distinctive vocal stylings to a dream-themed collection of songs from the pen of another in the elite ranks of the greatest of great American songwriters - Johnny Mercer.Monica's fresh, eclectic approach and insightful interpretations of the songs penned by the man around whom she grew up reconfirms the timeless-ness of Mercer's songs. She could have chosen all well known tunes, but took the road to find the soul of each song, no matter where it might lead. Barry Manilow was given six sets to compose the music and complete the Mercer gems.Concord Records and Monica Mancini give this CD a warm and tender insight on every track, with one common thread being the genius of Mercer....gorgeous orchestrations blends with Monica's unforgettable voice, makes them instant standards!Total Time: 44:25 on 12 Tracks...Concord Jazz CCD 4937...(2000)"
This is a winter winner!
J. Lovins | 11/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dreams of Johnny Mercer Monica Mancini has a very good album here. This was the first I had ever heard of her, and her voice reminds me of Dianne Shuur's on her earliest recordings. The stand out songs are the ones that are the "new discoveries" lyrics by Mercer and orchestrated by Manilow. (Actually, every one of those were recorded on Nancy Wilson's CD "With My Lover Beside Me".) The older Mercer songs, standards, are well done, but the newer ones are better. The only weird selection in the bunch is "Weekend of a Private Secretary" which sounds like something Lucy Ricardo would have sung. "It had Better be Tonight" is ok, but Mercer had much better songs than that. I went back and listened to Nancy Wilson's CD just to compare, and thought both interpreted the material originally. If you own Wilson's CD, you should get this one too. Highlights are "When October Goes" (recorded in the past by Manilow, and Wilson), and the last two selections, "At Last" and "Just Remember." "Just Remember" should be a wedding standard. I wonder why it hasn't become one? This CD will not get lots of radio play, and you probably won't see Mancini on "Late Night" or the Tonight Show. That shouldn't stop you from getting this excellent effort. Great voice. Put it in your car CD player on your way home in heavy traffic. It will make the ride through the rush hour much more enjoyable."