The Private Eye Who Made Cool Jazz His Calling Card

In the late 1950s, detective shows were all the rage. Today, the series Peter Gunn, starring Craig Stevens as the titular gumshoe, has faded a bit from popular memory. Its theme music, however, remains unforgettable.

Henry Mancini's classic score for the show has been covered over the years by everyone from guitar-slinger Duane Eddy to jazz singer Sarah Vaughn to progressive rockers Emerson Lake & Palmer. Now, there's a new album with a big brassy arrangement for a symphonic jazz orchestra, played by the Harmonie Ensemble/New York.

Steven Richman, the group's conductor and music director, told NPR's Linda Wertheimer why he thinks the show's cool, jazzy theme is so indelible. Hear their conversation, and selections from the album Henry Mancini: Music for Peter Gunn, at the audio link.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.