JJ 03/59: Andre Previn And His Pals – Gigi

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Continuing in the current vogue for recording jazz versions of popular musical shows, Previn, Manne and Mitchell here turn out what to my mind, is the best one yet. There is far more vigour displayed in this selection than in any of their previous efforts; far more humour; and lastly far more swing. Previn knew this Gigi score backwards, as he arranged most of the music for the film and conducted the studio orchestra.

Some of the tunes (same composers) are rather Fair Ladyish, but the melodies chosen here are entertaining and lend themselves well to this method of expression.

Previn’s playing is much warmer than usual, he crashes and thumps his way through “She Is Not Thinking”, “It’s A Bore” and the very inventive performance of “The Parisians”. Manne and Mitchell fit into the picture excellently, both play with taste. laying down a good beat, and soloing with discretion.

“Gigi”, the title song, is another excellent arrangement, subdued but never sugary; and “Thank Heaven” shows that Previn can play far more jazz than I ever thought. A fine album.
Sinclair Traill

The Parisians; I Remember It Well; A Toujours; It’s A Bore (19 min) – Aunt Alicia’s March; Thank Heaven For Little Girls; Gigi; She Is Not Thinking Of Me (19½ min)
Andre Previn (pno); Shelly Manne (drs); Red Mitchell (bs). 7 and 8 April, 1958.
Vogue LAC 12144. 12in LP. 38s. 3d.