Henry Mancini: Pink Guitar
On Sunday 13th February at The Staples Centre in Los Angeles, the 47th
Grammy Awards Show proved to be a rewarding evening out for the people behind Henry Mancini: Pink Guitar, an album of instrumental renditions of
Henry Mancini's greatest work - all played on acoustic guitars.
The album was given the award for 'Pop Instrumental Album Of The
Year'. One of the contributors, Amrit Sond, said of the award: "Winning
the Grammy is just amazing. The solo guitar approach can be a long and
unforgiving, hard road for us fingerstyle instrumental musicians. The
music that we play does not necessarily fit into a commercial market place and
the rewards may not be as appreciative as we'd all hope for. The Grammy
makes it all the more worthwhile and recognises our contribution to quality and
our undying dedication to our art. It's also a celebration for the
acoustic guitar to win in a major category".
The album itself features all of Mancini's better known compositions, from
Laurence Juber's run through the much loved 'Pink Panther Theme' to Ed Gerhard's
touching take on 'Moon River', the song that Andy Williams made his own, of
which Gerhard says in the sleeve notes: "When I was asked to contribute an
arrangement of 'Moon River' to this compilation, I groaned a little, but
curiosity got the best of me and after a few attempts in various tunings, wound
up with a skeleton arrangement".
Elsewhere, Al Petteway adds a faithful version of 'The Thorn Birds' while
Mike Dowling's rendition of 'What's Happening!!', the theme from the 70's sitcom
of the same name, is as familiar as it is warming. Sond himself
contributes 'Two For The Road' to the record, of which he says: "the beautifully
written and emotionally moving melody lent itself very nicely to my nocturnal
nature. This version reflects that peaceful time where everything just is
(it was recorded around 4:00am - and in FADGBE tuning)".
James Jensen, owner of Solid Air Records and one of the men responsible for
putting the compilation together (along with his colleague Aaron Stang) said of the compilation on the sleeve:" At this
10th anniversary of the passing of the legendary composer Henry Mancini there
are many products in the stores honouring his memory; everything from repackages
of older recordings to new and exciting versions of his tunes from jazz
ensembles to pop stars. Our collection marks the first time a group of
guitarists has tackled his compositions; it's a tribute to the strength of his
melodies that even played with no other accompaniment they retain all their
power, beauty and playfulness".
On its way to winning the Grammy, the album beat off stiff competition from
a tribute album dedicated to the work of soul singer Luther Vandross, which
featured contributions from artists as respected as George Benson. Also in
the category were albums by Boney James and Dave Koz.
Everyone at Acoustic sends our congratulations to all of the
contributors on the album, and everyone involved in putting it together.
Brett Callwood/Acoustic Magazine UK