2 great albums of Latiny tunes from Henry Mancini! The Big Latin Band Of Henry Mancini features a very hip lineup of west coast jazzmen – including Bud Shank and Tom Scott on reeds, Buddy Childers and Pete Candoli on trumpets, Ray Brown
on acoustic bass, Max Bennett on fender bass, Larry Bunker on percussion, and Shelly Manne on drums. The rhythms have a great mix of Latin influences and Mancini magic, the kind of grooves you'd hear on his 60s soundtracks at the time, and the vibe is nice and relaxed. It's a bit more upbeat than bossa, but not as all-out as other RCA Latin sessions – thanks to Mancini's nice sense of warmth and space in the arrangements. Titles include some pretty darn cool takes on "Mission Impossible", "Fistful Of Dollars", "Magnificent Seven", "Touch Of Evil", and "Springtime For Hitler", from the film The Producers. Other titles include "Patricia", "Zacatecas", and "Las Cruces". The Latin Sound record is a gem from a few years earlier – with some great arrangements by Mancini! The album's less a straight Latin date than it is a new approach to the grooves Henry was laying down on his 60s soundtracks – a mix of bossa and cha cha-inspired themes that sparkle wonderfully with warm jazzy touches from a host of LA players who include Dick Nash on trombone, Harry Klee on flute, Ted Nash on alto and tenor, Jimmy Rowles on piano, Laurindo Almeida on guitar, and Gene Garf on organ – all working beautifully under Mancini's direction, with a sound that's both tight and relaxed at the same time! Lots of tracks have some nice groovy organ, which gives the arrangements a cool lively sound – and titles include "Preciosa", "Baia", "Carnavalito", "Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars", "Tico Tico", and the nice "Senor Peter Gunn", a Latin remake of Mancini's big hit!