Interview: Johnny Mandel (Part 4) - JazzWax

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October 23, 2008


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Ivan Santiago

What a varied career, what a great arranger. Absolutely loved Johnny's minute recount of Van Alexander's thoughts on arranging, when they first met. Was left wanting to hear more about Johnny's comradeship with David Allyn, as I have noticed their being together in various bands. Good to find out why Bothwell and Claire left Raeburn's band -- that was quite a story: I had merely assumed that they wanted to try on thier own! Curious to learn more about the situation with "The Shadow of your Smile," or the moustache song ...

Michael Steinman

The Johnny Mandel pieces are a rewarding little book in themselves, complete with Alvino Rey on his unicycle, Buddy Rich on bop, Jimmy Rowles (bless him) in his sweater, and YOUR SHOW OF SHOWS. We knew Johnny Mandel was a great musician; who knew his life was so rich? (It might deserve a full-scale biography.) Hail to the Wax!

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of 55 More Songs," "Anatomy of a Song," "Rock Concert: An Oral History" and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax has won three Jazz Journalists Association awards.
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