Johnny Mandel in 20 Tracks

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Yesterday, I posted my complete 2008 interview with Johnny Mandel. But what did his music sound like over the decades and what made him so special?

Here are my 20 favorite arrangements by Johnny, starting in 1944:

Here's Johnny's arrangement of Magic Is the Moonlight for Boyd Raeburn in 1944...



Here's Johnny's arrangement of his Krazy Kat for Artie Shaw in 1949...



Here's Johnny's arrangement of his Innuendo for Shaw in '49...



Here's Johnny's arrangement of Not Really the Blues for Woody Herman in 1949...



Here's Johnny's arrangement of Love Is the Sweetest Thing for Shaw in '50...



Here's Johnny's arrangement of The Song Is You for Joe Timer and the Orchestra in 1953 (a special thanks to Bill Kirchner)...

The Song Is You

Here's Johnny's arrangement of You Better Go Now for Chet Baker and Strings in 1953...



Here's Johnny's arrangement of Tenderly for Elliot Lawrence in 1956, with Nick Travis taking the trumpet solo...



Here's Johnny's arrangement of Low Life for Count Basie in 1956...



Here's Johnny's arrangement of New Orleans for Hoagy Carmichael in 1956 on Hoagy Sings Carmichael, with an alto saxophone solo by Art Pepper...



Here's Johnny's magnificent string arrangement for David Allyn's Sure Thing...



Here's Johnny's arrangement of Black Nightgown from the score to the film I Want to Live in 1958, with solos by alto saxophonist Bud Shank, baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan and trombonist Frank Rosolino...



Here's Johnny's arrangement of Missing You for Sarah Vaughan in 1958...



Here's Johnny's arrangment of It's a Most Unusual Day for Ralph Marterie's Big Band Man in 1959 (the first track only)...



Here's Johnny arrangement of Midnight Sun for Jo Stafford in 1960, with Jimmy Rowles on piano...



Here's Johnny's arrangement of In the Still of the Night for Frank Sinatra on his 1961 album Ring-a-Ding Ding. Dig how Johnny moves from strings to a swinging band, with the inclusion of a celeste...



Here's Johnny's arrangement of his Shadow of Your Smile from The Sandpiper with Tony Bennett on The Movie Song Album in 1966 with Jimmy Rowles on piano...



Here's Johnny's brilliant arrangement of his own The Shining Sea from The Russians Are Coming for Tony Bennett on A Time for Tony in 1966, with Peggy Lee's lyrics and Bobby Hackett on cornet...



Here's Johnny's arrangement of Down With Love for singer David Allyn in 1978, with Chuck Gentry on bass clarinet...



And here's Johnny's terrific string arrangement of Here's to Life for the title track of vocalist Shirley Horn's album in 1991...



Bonus 1: Here's a run-down of Frank Sinatra and Ring-a-Ding Ding with Johnny conducting in 1961...

Ring-a-Ding Ding (run down)

Bonus 2: Here's Johnny'sThe Shadow of Your Smile, for The Sandpiper in 1965, with Jack Sheldon on the trumpet solo...



Bonus 3: Here's Johnny's composition and score for Suicide Is Painless, opening the film M*A*S*H in 1970...

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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
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