Monica Mancini – Cinema Paradiso
(Concord – 2002)
by Matt Robinson
As the daughter of the legendary Henry Mancini, Monica Mancini grew up with an affinity for themes and scores. On her sophomore Concord release, she tries to build on a theme while settling the score regarding her own place in the Jazz vocalist pantheon. Opening with the English translation of Ennio Morricone’s lovely theme from the titular film, Mancini goes on to feature old favorites and new selections, including the love theme from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: and “Senza Fine” from the recently released “Ghost Ship.”
Among the more familiar fare are Michelle Legrand’s haunting theme from “Summer of ’42,” Burt Bacharach’s musical question to “Alfie,” Johnny Mandel’s “Shadow of Your Smile,” Harold Arlen’s “Over the Rainbow” and even “Baby Mine” from the children’s classic “Dumbo.” In an effort to face and promote her legacy, Mancini takes a drizzly pour through Dad’s lesser-known title song for “Soldier in the Rain.” As most of these themes are related to romance, it is fitting that Mancini treats them all with the same husky and occasionally tremulous whisper. Unfortunately, some points of emotion are lost in her translations.
© 2002 M. S. Robinson, ARR