MONICA MANCINI: I’ve Loved These Days (Label: Concord)

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MONICA MANCINI: I've Loved These Days

Monica Mancini is the daughter of the legendary Henry Mancini and she’s made it her role to carry the family’s musical torch – not just by acting as archivist of her father’s heritage but as a recording artist in her own right. Stateside she enjoys a good reputation as a jazz vocalist; indeed she’s twice been nominated for Grammy awards and though her music veers to the smooth – MOR even – she has a strong fan base who’ll be delighted with this new 11 tracker. ‘I’ve Loved These Days’, you see, is an album of classic pop and soul covers that makes few demands … and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. There will always be a place for collections of great songs, performed appropriately and produced impeccably. Here, that is a given – seeing that the producer is Phil Ramone and he and Ms. Mancini have selected songs that truly merit the tag ‘great’. Soul-wise the most interesting cut is a version of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Blame It On The Sun’ … and here the song’s inherent melancholy is retained – heightened, even, with some doleful strings…. and a wonderful harmonica cameo from Stevie himself. As enjoyable is a take on the Beach Boys’ wonderful ‘God Only Knows’. That one features Brian Wilson and Take 6 whose superb harmonies echo the original. Other key guests include Felix Cavaliere who plays B-3 on his Young Rascals’ hit ‘How Can I Be Sure’ and Jackson Browne who adds his vocal to his still relevant ‘These Days’. Other featured songs include the Beatles’ ‘I’ll Follow The Sun’, Paul Simon’s ‘American Tune’ and Nilsson’s ‘Without You’. Not a mould-breaking album this ; it was never intended to be… just a pleasing and pleasant experience and as we’ve said, nothing at all wrong with that.
(BB) 3/5