Various Artists

April 19, 2005

The challenge on this disc is that Henry Mancini was a genius, and any performance of his work is often overshadowed by the awesome majesty of his melodies. The cool thing about the solo-acoustic Pink Guitar is all the guitarists know that, and every one of their performances is respectful and nuanced. Tone, dynamics, and phrasing are tremendously good throughout the album, and each player interprets the master with a confidence and technical precision that enhances the material, while never detracting from its inherent beauty. None of the acoustic soloists here—Laurence Juber, Ed Gerhard, David Cullen, Doug Smith, Pat Donahue, Al Petteway, Mark Hanson, Mike Dowling, Aaron Stang, Wayne Johnson, William Coulter, and Amrit Sond—go ballistic, so the album is more of a Sunday morning meditation than a Friday night party record. But that’s just fine. Close your eyes and drift away.

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