The Winter/Spring 2020 edition of The Note published by East Stroudsburg University arrived at the offices of Jazz Research this week. A major portion of this issue is devoted to Johnny Mandel with articles and interviews by Patrick Dorian, Marilyn & Alan Bergman and Marcell Bellinger. Dorian concluded his interview with “New or Re-view reading and listening recommendations:”
•Gene Lees’ Arranging The Score – “Mandelsongs: Johnny Mandel,” Cassel, 2000, pg. 181
•Online: Los Angeles Times: “You’ll Place the Tune If Not the Name: Johnny Mandel…” December 1, 1991.
•Bill Kirchner Interview April 20-21, 1995:
•Marc Myers five-part interview at JazzWax.
•Online: Los Angeles Times: “Johnny Mandel Has Composed Quite a Life in Music,” May 29, 2012.
I would add to the above:
•Steve Cerra’s Jazz Profiles:
“MandelMusic: A Tribute to Johnny Mandel” March 30, 2018:
“Johnny Mandel – The Dr. Larry Fischer Interview,” September 14, 2019:
All of the above sources mention some but not all of the work that Johnny Mandel performed for Dick Bock and Pacific Jazz Records. The Bill Kirchner interview mentions several Pacific Jazz releases in which Kirchner recollected the involvement of Johnny Mandel, the Chet Baker & Art Pepper Playboys album, and the Bill Perkins Just Friends album. A nice compliment to Mandel’s artistry, but Mandel could not recall working on either.
Johnny Mandel had a noteworthy role in the early success of Dick Bock’s Pacific Jazz label. From February of 1954 until August of 1958 Mandel’s composing/arranging hand embellished eleven albums. The first album was a Pacific Jazz production for Columbia Records, Chet Baker & Strings.
In an article published in the November, 1954, issue of Theme magazine, Dick Bock described the genesis of the Columbia album:
“While Chet was rehearsing for the Ensemble date, Columbia Records, through Paul Weston, made Pacific Jazz an offer which was too interesting to dismiss. Because Chet is under exclusive contract to Pacific Jazz, Columbia wondered if we would agree to record a twelve inch Long Playing album featuring Chet. We were to be allowed complete freedom to select the material, arrangers, instrumentation, and even the cover artist. Pacific Jazz could be persuaded and were. Terms were agreed upon. Chet, Russ Freeman and myself had discussed the possibility of recording with just a string section and rhythm section, perhaps with one other solo horn added. Columbia’s offer proved to be the opportunity to try such an album. For arrangements we contacted Shorty Rogers, Johnny Mandel, Jack Montrose and Marty Paich; as soloists we selected Zoot Sims and Bud Shank, in addition to the wonderful solo piano of Russ Freeman. The rhythm section was the same as on the Baker-Montrose Ensemble date — Manne, Freeman and Mondragon. The string section combined the finest studio musicians in Hollywood.”
The first two recording sessions for Chet Baker & Strings were scheduled at Universal Recorders, 6757 Hollywood Boulevard on December 30 and 31, 1953. The last session that included arrangements by Johnny Mandel was held at Radio Recorders, 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard on February 20, 1953.
Kirchner: So you’re in L.A., you did the four string charts for Chet Baker, “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” “I love You,” “The Wind,” which was Russ Freeman’s tune and, “Love.”
Mandel: Yeah, I actually wrote the bridge to that, or finished the bridge for him.
Kirchner: Oh yeah?
Kirchner: It was interesting you used an alto flute on that.
Mandel: I guess I did, yeah.
Kirchner: With Bud Shank, that’s about the first time I can remember hearing an alto flute on a jazz record.
Mandel: I guess I just needed something that went lower than the regular flute.
Kirchner: But that was pretty unusual for that time right?
Mandel: It never occurred to me then I don’t think, and I always liked the way Bud played it.
Kirchner: Oh yeah, I love his flute playing.
Mandel: I do too, I was…
Kirchner: It’s too bad that he stopped.
Mandel: I was very distressed ‘cause I wasn’t able to use him anymore, he just wouldn’t take flute calls and he was my favorite player.
Dick Bock recorded Chet Baker beyond the confine of Chet’s original quartet. The second venture beyond the quartet was captured in two sessions at Radio Recorders Annex on September 9 & 15, 1954. The previous ensemble album recorded in 1953 featured the arranging talent of Jack Montrose. The Chet Baker Sextet album featured an original tune composed and arranged by Johnny Mandel, “Tommyhawk” and he arranged “Stella by Starlight” on the album. The balance of the album showcased original compositions and arrangements by Jack Montrose and Bill Holman.
The last 10″ LP produced by Dick Bock before Pacific Jazz transitioned to the 12″ LP format featured Bud Shank and Bob Brookmeyer plus rhythm section (piano, bass, drums) and five strings. The album was recorded in one session at Radio Recorders Annex on January 7, 1955. Bob Brookmeyer and Russ Garcia handled composing and arranging for all but one of tunes on the album, “Low Life,” that was composed and arranged by Johnny Mandel.
Johnny Mandel’s arranging talent was enlisted by Bock again in March of 1955 for a Chet Baker album that showcased Chet’s singing and trumpet artistry. Chet Baker Sings and Plays, PJ-1202, also employed the arranging expertise of Marty Paich and Frank Campo, who also composed one of the tunes on the album that would become indelibly linked to Chet Baker, “Grey December.” The Chet vocals with strings were recorded at Western Recorders on March 1, 1955. The liner notes on the album do not distinguish credits between Paich, Campo, and Mandel. Russ Freeman arranged the instrumental quartet sides. The album jacket featured William Claxton’s “push pin” cover and liner notes, a collage of photos and memorabilia affixed to a surface with push pins and then photographed by Claxton.
Details supplied by Michael Cuscuna – August 20, 2003
BAKER (tp, vcl-1), Bud Shank (fl), Freeman (p), Red Mitchell (b), Bob Neel (d), Corky Hale (harp), Ed Lustgarten, Ray Kramer, Eleanor
Slatkin & Kurt Reher,cellos. Arranged by Frank Campo, Marty Paich and Johnny Mandel.
Western Recorders, LA, February 28, 1955
Grey December -1 (arr Campo)
I Wish I Knew -1 (arr Paich)
Someone To Watch Over Me -1 (arr Mandel)
This Is Always -1 (arr Paich)
Woody Woodward’s liner notes for Cy Touff, His Octet & Quintet place Johnny Mandel’s involvement with Pacific Jazz projects back to September of 1953.
“It all began in September 1953, when Richard Bock, John Mandel and I found ourselves engaged in a conversation regarding four arrangements Mandel had done for Terry Gibbs. To Bock and me they were like a breath of fresh air.”
When Dick Bock asked Mandel if he would be interested in writing some arrangements with the same Basie flavor for a Pacific Jazz album, Mandel readily accepted. Woodward’s notes continue to detail the twists and turns over the next two years as pieces of the project took shape. Bock and Woody had pegged Harry Edison as a key member of the album to play the jazz trumpet parts as he has filled that role for Basie for over ten years. The project continued to take shape in the summer of 1954 when Woody Herman brought his new band to Hollywood. One member of Woody’s Third Herd impressed Bock and Woodward, Cy Touff. Bock met with Touff and discussed the planned album with Johnny Mandel charts. Touff was on board. Another year passed before the project gained momentum. Woody Herman’s reduced “Las Vegas Herd” was in Hollywood in September of 1955 to rehearse a new album for Capitol Records. Woodward and Bock attended rehearsals and added two more names to the project, Richie Kamuca and Chuck Flores. Woody’s liner notes continued:
“On Thursday night October 13, I flew to Las Vegas to confer with Cy Touff. Cy and Richie played me some things they had worked out for the two horns—the idea was born to record half the album utilizing these head arrangements. I also learned that the band would be in Hollywood the last week in November.
“Now, for the first time we had something concrete to go by and a tentative deadline. Mandel was contacted and informed of what to expect in the way of time. He was writing for five horns and three rhythm: Two trumpets, a bass trumpet, a tenor, an alto or baritone, and piano, bass and drums. He decided to use the additional two horns (a trumpet and alto or baritone) purely for ensemble voicing, thereby leaving the jazz choruses to the rest of the band and having two instruments available at all times for the written passages. The arrangements were under way, Touff, Kamuca, Edison, Flores, Jolly and Mitchell were set—six down and two to go.
“Mandel was called again. Everything was going smoothly with the arrangements; three of the four were nearly completed. The fourth had been delayed because he had been snowed with arranging jobs during the last week of November. Under the conditions he didn’t see how he could do justice to the last arrangement with so little time left. John mentioned that Ernie Wilkins (arranger and saxist with Count Basie) would be staying with him over the weekend and suggested he do it. Wilkins was invited to do the fourth arrangement. ”
Dick Bock featured Bill Perkins an album that was recorded in February of 1956 at the Music Box theater on Hollywood Boulevard. Bock wanted to groom Perkins to become headline artist in the Pacific Jazz stable. On Stage – The Bill Perkins Octet was the vehicle that Bock hoped would launch Perkins’ career. The octet session began on February 9 from 1:00 to 5:00 PM. The next day Perkins was at the Music Box theater again for another session that Bock had organized to feature Perkins’ tenor under the direction of John Lewis. The six and a half hour session produced one of Bock’s finest albums, Grand Encounter – 2º East 3º West. The octet session resumed on February 16 at the Music Box. The album featured arrangements by Perkins, Lennie Niehaus, Bill Holman and one composition and arrangement by Johnny Mandel, “Just A Child.”
Kirchner: So what effect did Basie have on you?
Mandel: Profound. Profound, I liked that band better than any band I’ve ever liked. To this day I still liked – I liked the early sloppy bands, much better than I did the one that was reorganized that I was in. Although I loved that, that was the best experience I ever had playing with anyone, but we’ll get to that later.
Kirchner: Oh yes.
Mandel: No, I love all the Basie bands from the very beginning even when they had very little music. At first when I heard it they were playing all those heads, I got it, and I got the swing and I loved the way the rhythm sections sound but I was so arrangement oriented I wanted to hear more content. And then later on I said, “The hell with that, this is what is happening,” because the music took on a life of its own without being written.
Kirchner: Eddie Finckel made an interesting statement about writing in the mid 40s and he said that, a lot of arrangers were trying, when they wrote for Raeburn, were trying to get what he called orchestrated Lester.
Mandel: Yeah, yeah we tried that. It was impossible of course, you know we’re trying to do things like playing rhythmic one note things on the saxophone [sings an example melody of rhythmic one note playing] that kind of thing and you really couldn’t quite orchestrate that [sings melody again] that kind of thing you could write it out in harmony but it wouldn’t sound, it wouldn’t sound like you pictured it. It was more like an old counterpart of what became Supersax later when they were just voicing out Bird solos.
Kirchner: Although, without getting ahead of ourselves too much that there’s a record that you were involved in with Bill Perkins’ Octet where they took some Lester solo’s and voiced them right? From the mid 50s?
Mandel:Probably, I didn’t have anything to do with that I don’t think. I’d written a couple…
Kirchner: There’s an arrangement of, “Just a Child,” on there.
Mandel: Oh, well that’s an original I wrote, yeah.
Kirchner: Yeah, but on…
Mandel: That was before I knew I could write songs.
Kirchner: [laughs] But there’s a couple of, what were the precursors of Dave Pell’s, Prez Conference, really. There are a couple, I think like, “Song of the Islands,” is on that record, I forget who did the charts, maybe Bill Holman did but…
Mandel: Could have been.
Kirchner: But they’re Lester Young solos written out for a medium sized ensemble.
Mandel: Oh, well that’s probably something Perk [Bill Perkins] wanted to do. Yeah. Probably the closest to Lester Young would have been the things that the heads that Lester laid out like, “Tickle Toe,” and things like that in the early days. [sings melody] You know the whole section playing what Lester had, and it sounded like him.
Richard Sudhalter’s biography of Hoagy Carmichael, Stardust Melody, devotes several pages to discussing Johnny Mandel’s arrangements for the Pacific Jazz album featuring Carmichael’s songs.
“However inauspicious a way it might have been to end so long and fruitful an association, it also formed a prelude to one of Hoagy Carmichael’s finest moments on record. Richard Bock, owner of World Pacific Records, had been a fan for years; now, with Hoagy free of record-company commitment, nothing prevented him from recording the songwriter in a new and challenging setting.
“New Yorker Johnny Mandel had done his band business apprenticeship playing trombone with, and arranging for, Jimmy Dorsey, Boyd Raeburn, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, Artie Shaw’s short-lived 1949 bebop band, and—perhaps most telling of all—Count Basie. He’d worked as a radio staff arranger in New York, studied at Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard, contributed scores to NBC television’s Your Show of Shows, arranged an album for singer Dick Haymes.
“Bock’s idea was simple: feature Carmichael singing his own songs, backed not by slick studio bands, tack-in-hammer pianos, or warbling vocal trios, but by a tightly knit group of ranking modern jazzmen, playing carefully textured and swinging arrangements.
“We went out to visit him,” said Mandel. “Forget now whether it was in Hollywood or Palm Springs. Found him there behind the bar, mixing drinks; really hospitable and gracious. We just got right to talking. He had pretty clear ideas of what he wanted to do, and what he didn’t want to do. He realized he wasn’t a straight ballad singer, didn’t want to do things like “One Morning in May,” that had all sorts of sustained notes and big intervals. He didn’t try to sing “I Get Along Without You Very Well,” for instance. But he could always do the character-type ballads, like “Baltimore Oriole,” “Georgia on My Mind,” and the rest.”
“Mandel, in the process of winning respect as a master songwriter in his own right, chuckled at the memory of those first “brainstorming” sessions. “Hoagy hated bebop … I remember he came to hear Woody’s band when it was really hot, and said something like, ‘Aw, give me an old bass horn any time.’ He meant it, too.”
“When I was with Basie, around 1953 or so, we came to town and Hoagy was there—he was doing this TV show, Saturday Night Revue. He just kinda walked around thinking, with his tongue in his cheek, looking kinda glum, and I took him for just a kind of moody guy. Also, some of the guys on the band had told me he was a real far-right Hoosier-type Republican, kind of an Indiana cracker. Johnny [Mercer] was a bit like that too, I guess— though I never saw it in either of them.”
“Hoagy Sings Carmichael was recorded at three sessions, September 10,11, and 13, 1956—with a band full of outstanding jazzmen: trumpeter Don Fagerquist had been in Les Brown’s brass section for the 1955 “Hong Kong Blues” date; Harry “Sweets” Edison was an honored Basie veteran, then enjoying a career renaissance through his muted obbligato work on the arrangements Nelson Riddle was using to showcase Frank Sinatra; Jimmy Zito, another Brown alumnus, had ghosted the “Art Hazard” solos for Young Man With a Horn.
“Alto saxophonist Art Pepper was new to Hoagy, as were pianist Jimmy Rowles and drummer Irv Cottler. An old Carmichael friend, Nick Fatool, replaced Cottler on drums for the third session. Said Mandel: “I spotted his vocals wherever I thought they’d be most effective, stuck ’em in the middles, usually. Remember, I didn’t have a big band there—rather, a small band trying to sound big. So voicings were important.
“As a singer? He was a natural. Knew what to keep and what to throw away. Didn’t try to be a capital-S singer: more often he approached the songs conversationally, like an actor, like Walter Huston doing “September Song.” And you know, those are really the most effective readings for those sorts of things, rather than somebody doing something with a straight baritone. You never knew beforehand how he was gonna sing something: when he was going to talk it, where he was gonna leave spaces.”
“He not only leaves spaces, but on several songs confines his vocals to a decidedly secondary role, giving the major melody expositions to the band. Again and again, his vocals strike the ear as measured, thoughtful, Carmichael taking his time, never pushing his vocal resources beyond their limits. He opens “Two Sleepy People” with only Al Hendrickson’s unamplified guitar; carries “Rockin’ Chair” away from its familiar role as a piece of quasi-vaudeville material and returns it to its origins as an end-of-life valedictory, with Rowles, on celeste, underscoring its reflective, pastoral quality.
“Art Pepper gets most of the solo space and is particularly distinctive on “Ballad in Blue”—incredibly, the song’s first vocal treatment on record since its publication twenty-two years before. “Two Sleepy People” teams him with a cup-muted Fagerquist for a closely intertwined duet, distantly echoing the long-ago “chase” choruses of Bix and Frank Trumbauer.
“But the saxophonist’s—and perhaps the album’s—most stirring moment belongs to “Winter Moon,” newly published at the time, with one of Harold Adamson’s most affecting lyrics. Pepper establishes the melody, a heartfelt cry in icy emptiness:
Where is love’s magic?
Where did it go?
Is it gone like the summertime
That we used to know?
“(The song remained in his mind. Twenty-two years later, his life shattered by heroin addiction and a decade in prison, Pepper recorded it again. Though cushioned by strings and rhythm, it is a performance of almost unbearable intensity, glowing in a clear, glacial light, hypnotic, agonized.)
“The line of descent from “Ballad in Blue” to “Winter Moon” is clear. The desolation of love lost shadows both lyrics, casting both melodies in minor-mode darkness. But unlike its predecessor, “Winter Moon” allows no ray of light to penetrate its interior. Melodically and harmonically sophisticated, emotionally complex, it is a work of its composer’s maturity, a regretful backward look at a brighter past, “a kind of art song,” in singer Barbara Lea’s words. “Not at all what you’d think of as ‘typical’ Hoagy Carmichael except in its air of longing, something once had and now lost.”
“Mandel concluded Hoagy Sings Carmichael with a swinger, a Basie-inflected recasting of “Lazy River” with a sassy, strutting trumpet solo by Sweets Edison. Again, Hoagy rises to the task. “You could tell from that, especially, that he would have been a great jazz musician,” the arranger said. “In singing “Lazy River,” he … didn’t try to sing the line exactly, [because] he realized what would fit his range and vocal quality, especially at that tempo. He was very smart about that, [and] his approach was very jazzy.”
George Frazier’s sleeve essay spoke for all concerned in declaring that
“it strikes me as enormously reassuring that an individual who in bygone years made music with men of approximately his own age, background and attitude should be sufficiently uninstitutional to record with a group of musicians (with one exception) so lately undiapered that some of them had not yet been born when “Star Dust” was becoming the theme song of a whole era. To me, the results of this collaboration sound absolutely marvelous.”
Joe Napoli’s “Jazz West Coast” tour of Europe spent several weeks in Germany in the spring of 1957. Napoli visited the offices of the American Forces Network in Frankfurt-am-Main where the Program Director, Johnny Vrotsos, introduced Napoli to Gary Crosby whose AFN show, “Crosby’s Corner,” was very popular with the troops. Napoli and Crosby hit it off and visited many of Frankfurt’s jazz clubs. When Crosby learned that Napoli’s tour included Bud Shank he asked to be part of it.
Crosby and Shank met at studios in Baden-Baden in March. During April Crosby attended Napoli’s “Jazz West Coast” concerts and spent time with Shank at jazz clubs. One night Crosby was asked to sing at the Jazz-Keller in Frankfort where Shank was playing in a jam-session. The concept of an album featuring Gary Crosby was pitched to Dick Bock at World Pacific Records. Bock approved and made arrangements to fly to Germany to be present for the session. He contacted Bill Holman and Johnny Mandel to write arrangements of the tunes that Crosby and Shank had selected for the album. Unfortunately the liner notes do not credit Holman or Mandel and which tunes they arranged. The original cover photo by Dick Bock included Bud Shank on Crosby’s right. When Vogue Records (UK) licensed the album for reissue the original photo with Shank and Crosby was used.
Dick Bock appointed Bud Shank as leader for the two sessions to record the theme music from George W. George and Robert Altman’s documentary, The James Dean Story, with a score by Leith Stevens. Both sessions at Radio Recorders on August 13 & 14, 1957 were scheduled from 2:00 to 6:30 PM. Bill Holman and Johnny Mandel consulted with Leith Stevens who shared his approach to developing the emotional tenor of each of the ten tunes. Johnny Mandel arranged “The Search,” “Jimmy’s Theme” and “Success.” Bill Holman arranged the other tracks and played tenor saxophone on both recording sessions. Additional background on this album is discussed in depth under the Jazz Label Explorations tab, BUD SHANK / CHET BAKER THEME MUSIC FROM “THE JAMES DEAN STORY.”
Kirchner: Before we… I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves chronologically…I wanted to talk about some of the vocal albums you did in the late 50s with people like David Allyn…
Kirchner: The David Allyn…
Mandel: Yep, go ahead.
Kirchner: Like A Sure Thing, and the other one that came out about twenty years after you did it, In the Blue of Evening.
Mandel: Oh yeah, um-hm. Around the same time I did a Dick Hayme’s album, which was good too.
Kirchner: I just think it’d be interesting to talk about how you collaborate with different singers and the similarities and differences of getting together a vocal album in far as say picking tunes, deciding on keys, deciding on orchestration.
Mandel: We sit down and decide those things, that’s what we do.
Kirchner: For example with David you were doing an all Jerome Kern album with A Sure Thing.
Mandel: You know with most of those dates at that time it was what can we afford, how big of an orchestra can I have. We’d mutually agree on the songs and you tried to get the nicest orchestra you could and try and get the best mixer you could and record in the best studios you could. That was really the name of the game.
Kirchner: Yeah, A Sure Thing I think in particular is regarded by a lot of people as the record that is David Allyn’s best and most fondly known for and remembered for.
Mandel: It was a labor of love making it. I think we made it in about 1957, something like that.
The David Allen album was similar in scope to the previous Hoagy Carmichael album, Johnny Mandel was named as leader on the AFM contracts and given free reign to organize the sessions, select musicians, etc. There were two recording sessions in November of 1957, both held at Capitol Records Studios, 1750 North Vine Street in Hollywood.
“Dearly Beloved,” “Lovely to Look At,” “The Way You Look Tonight,” “Long Ago and Far Away,” “I’ve Told Every Little Star” and “All in Fun” were recorded on the 18th with:
Howard Roberts (g); Jimmy Rowles (p, cel); Shelly Manne (d); Red Mitchell (b); Stu Williamson (tp); Herbie Harper, Dave Wells, Marshall Cram (tb); Abe Most, Jules Jacob, Bud Shank, Dale Issenhuth (sax, fl); Stella Castellucci (hp); Johnny Mandel (arr, ldr).
“Sure Thing,” “I’m Old Fashioned,” “The Folks Who Live on the Hill,” and “In Love in Vain” were recorded on the 26th with:
John T. Williams (p, cel); Howard Roberts (g); Shelly Manne (d); Red Mitchell (b); Stella Castellucci (hp); Felix Slatkin, Lou Raderman, Dan Lube, Paul Shure, Israel Baker, Nat Kaproff, Sarah Kreindler (vln); Virginia Majewski (vla); Raphael Kramer (cello); Bud Shank, Julkes Jacob, Abe Most (sax, fl); Vincent DeRosa (fhr); Johnny Mandel (arr, ldr).
David Allen published his autobiography (as David Allyn) in 2005. He mentions Johnny Mandel several times in the book, the following excerpt talks about making the World Pacific album:
The following year I did come into my own to make a mark in the business, with the making of the “Jerome Kern Album.” But, not without the help of Mandel. Now it was time to quit my job at the gas station in Baldwin Park and continue hosting at Ben Pollack’s restaurant.
I was staying very close to Johnny as we chose the songs for the album, meeting in the mornings, afternoons and late P.M. sessions, planning every phrase. John wrote romancing strains around my phrasing and it was a simple, natural marriage of concept. The scores were taking shape and the excitement was building. The recording dates were getting close and I was beginning to feel I was destined for something good.
I started to record my album, one session each week for three weeks.
Two weeks after the last session I got my first preview single of the album and brought it over to Ben Pollack’s restaurant. He put it on the juke box. Ben asked me about the spelling of my name, as when I was with Raeburn, it was Allyn and now on the new record it was ALLEN. I told him I went back to “E” for a change of luck.
There were conflicts at World Pacific offices. George Avakian, who just came over from Columbia Records was making an appeal to get all the possible money together to insure World Pacific of becoming a large record company. George said, “Hock the family jewels if you have to, get all the money you can and put it behind David and then later on you can record all the jazz you want, but David is the guy that can take the company up over the top.” But Woody Woodward, head of sales, was completely satisfied being a West Coast jazz executive and wouldn’t hear of it. He knew Dick Bock recorded me as a labor of love and through friendship. It wouldn’t have made any difference to Woody if I was recorded or not. Whenever my friends or fans talk about the “Kern Album”, you can be sure someone always asks, “Why the Folks Who Live On The Hill” wasn’t a single record” it should have been because it was obviously the best track and performance on the album, musically and commercially.
Allen continues to describe an effort to create a single version of “The Folks Who Live on the Hill.” It is the longest track on the album at over four minutes, and it tells a story throughout. Editing the track would have eliminated the emotional impact of the song. Bock did create a single from the album, X646.
The fine print below the World Pacific Logo states that the tracks are a musical selection from the “12″ inch High Fidelity Long Play Album P-2007.” That numerical series was used for the Pacifica releases that included vocal albums by Kitty White (P-2002) and Gary Crosby (P-2006). Evidently there was some uncertainty regarding how to market the album. It was placed in the Mark IV series that retailed for $3.98. Another album that was recorded around the same time was placed in the same series, Pat Healy Sings Just Before Dawn.
Johnny Mandel wrote arrangements for another David Allyn album along with Bill Holman and Jimmy Rowles. The album liner notes do not detail arranging credits between the three. Bill Holman was the leader for the session that was recorded at Capitol Records Studios on July 1, 1958. Members of the band included:
Dave Wells (tb); Lee Katzman, Al Porcino, Ed Leddy, Jack Sheldon (tp); Al Hendrickson (g); Joe Mondragon (b); Mel Lewis (d); Jimmy Rowles (p) and Harry Klee, Steve Perlow, Bill Perkins, Med Flory (sax).
Bill Holman was at the podium again on July 3rd to finish recording the album. Ray Linn replaced Al Porcino on trumpet, the balance of the band was the same.
Johnny Mandel was busy in the spring of 1958 with other commitments. He had been commissioned to write the jazz score for a new move, I Want to Live. The following interview excerpt is from The Note (Winter/Spring 2020) © East Stroudsburg University. Marcell Bellinger interviewed Johnny Mandel about writing the score for I Want to Live.
JM: All of a sudden the big bands were out. They discovered that more money could be made with a smaller band. From this point I wanted to keep writing. I was doing radio dramas before radio went out. Then I wrote for TV after that. I never cared about writing for movies until I got the job to do “I Want to Live.” I got hooked on movies after that.
MB: You mentioned “I Want to Live” and I think that is the perfect segue.
JM: That was the first movie I ever did. Then I suddenly realized I really like doing movies. I realized that everything that I had done before [was leading to this]. I wrote for radio before it went out. Things like “The MGM Theater In The Air” Lux Radio Theater-those were scored. I learned how to write music by the clock that way. You had to be right to the second. Then I was on “Your Show Of Shows” featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. That was like writing for vaudeville. There were a lot of comedy shticks and a lot of writing for singers… everything. I discovered when I started doing movies I was petrified, but I realized that I had done all the things and all I had to do was put them together. You know, writing and catching by sight cues… if the dancers kicked or something. Also having to write under dialogue which I was doing for radio dramas. I [said] to myself, “Geez this is fun. Where have I been all my life?” So, I started doing movies for quite a while.
Daughter Marissa and her spouse Lauren held Johnny’s arms and walked him to the front of the stage. Patti was handed the heavy GRAMMY Trustees Award and she very quietly said, “Whoa! This thing’s heavier than shit!” As she presented it to Johnny, he leaned toward the microphone, booming throughout the theatre, “WHOA . . . this thing’s heavier than SHIT!!” Those of us who know Johnny’s ebullient uncensored remarks weren’t surprised. As Lauren would say, “That’s Johnny.” This part of his presentation obviously didn’t make it to the October broadcast, but his next spoken words were left in:
“It’s just an honor to be honored by these people, all of whom I’d love to honor individually. Thank you so much.”
Johnny Mandel composed another tune for Pacific Jazz that never appeared on the label. Dotty Woodward was a vital member of the Pacific Jazz family when the label was founded. Several musicians composed tunes in her honor. Jack Montrose composed “Dot’s Groovy.” Russ Freeman composed “Woody’s Dot” and Johnny Mandel composed “Dot’s What” for Dotty. It was featured on an Ernie Wilkins album for Savoy, Top Brass Featuring Five Trumpets.
Simon Pilbrow says
thank you Jim. Always great reading. I pulled my Hoagy CD off the shelf for a re-listen. Take care.