NOW, A JAZZ MOMENT...
MUSIC: Here's To Life (Shirley Horn)
George Avakian: John is amazing. He is a superb melodist. And he's also a rather brilliant arranger.
PRODUCER GEORGE AVAKIAN ON NEA JAZZ MASTER JOHNNY MANDEL...
George Avakian: He puts down a blanket of sound, which supports the song, in all respects, including the emotion of the lyric.
MUSIC: up for punctuation on lyric
Many arrangers just overdress the accompaniment to the point where you're forced to think, "Oh gosh, he's showing off. Doesn't he realize that the singer's the important thing?" And that's one thing that John can really do. He is a master of a tonal cushion, which supports the performer and never, never takes away from the attention to the song itself.
MUSIC: up for punctuation, then fades under and out
THAT'S JOHNNY MANDEL'S LUSH ARRANGEMENT FOR SHIRLEY HORN -- HERE'S TO LIFE ...
THIS JAZZ MOMENT WITH GEORGE AVAKIAN ON COMPOSER AND ARRANGER JOHNNY MANDEL WAS CREATED BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS. I'M CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE.
George Avakian on Mandel's attributes