Royce Campbell: Playing Pretty - JazzWax

« Interview: Mose Allison (Part 2) | Main | Joe Diorio and Sonny Stitt »

September 14, 2010


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Andre Previn used to say that he took up conducting because he realized that he'd never amount to anything as a jazz pianist. Mancini played at least well enough to duet with Marian McPartland on "Piano Jazz." He only accompanies her on two tunes, but does so with sensitivity. He also tells her that he started out as a pianist and recorded a piano album. His scores reveal thorough grasp of various jazz idioms and had he gone in that direction he would likely have become a fine jazz pianist.
Mancini also tells Marian that he first used Plas Johnson on "The Pink Panther." However Johnson is listed on the credits of "Touch of Evil" from five years earlier (which has some tenor work that does sound like it could be Plas.) Curiously, British jazz fans often claim that Tony Coe played the Panther theme. Maybe he did some of the sequels, or the tv cartoons?
When Marian comments on how "cute" the Panther theme is, Mancini replies "Well, what else would you write for a pink panther?" When she asks "How did you learn to write so beautifully? I know you went to Julliard," he replies "That didn't help!"

Stuart Anello

I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all the time you invest into I spend always love a great nook on jazz and the musicians who play it, and because of your work, we have access to so much insight, on a daily basis. Beyond this, your work has provided me with something I will not soon forget.
On August 17th, this past summer, I left the comfort of home, friends and family to begin basic training for the United States Navy. I am a graduate of Berklee College of Music, and was accepted into the United States Navy Music Program as a guitarist this past may. It is required that all Navy musicians are sailors, so a few months after being accepted, I found myself bald, cut off from civilization and without music in any form. It was challenging to stat motivated in boot camp, and I would always question how I ended up on such a place. Thankfuly my thoughtful girlfriend (now wife) came up with the idea to send me printouts of your blog. Through you writing I was able to connect again to the reasons I joined the service, and the motivation that you provided made boot camp a vastly easier place to handle. I would reread each article almost every day, and would be filled with joy and spend days dreaming about my future with the Navy Band. I survived boot camp and am now at the Navy School of Music, and am very happy practicing and Navy issued custom gibson and a brand new Paul Reed Smith electric guitar! Life is good as a Navy Musician, and getting here was not challenging because of your help, thank you so much.

MUSN Anello

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • 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.
Marc Myers2 2021 (c)by Alyse Myers

Contact me


Click the covers to order...

Subscribe Free

Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries

Search JazzWax

  • JazzWax

JazzWax Interviewed

JazzWax Interviews

Audio Note

  • Audio clips that appear below JazzWax posts support editorial content that links readers directly to Amazon and other third-party music retailers.

Marc Myers on Video

JATP Programs