Skip Martin (arr), Conrad Gozzo, Pete Candoli, Don Fagerquist, Cappy Lewis (tp), Frank Rosolino, Dick Noel, Tommy Pederson (tb), Bud Shank, Paul Horn, Ted Nash (as, fl), Jimmy Rowles, Pete Jolly (p), Barney Kessel (g), Red Mitchell (b), Irv Cottler (d)
Reference: 74321 42124
Bar code: 743214212424
"Officially titled Music From Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, this album was one of the jewels of television's brief flirtation with jazz, in the wake of Peter Gunn. In this case, the arranger/conductor is Skip Martin, and the composers are Dave Kahn and Melvyn Lenard; the players include Ted Nash (alto sax, flute), Cappy Lewis (trumpet), Don Fagerquist (trumpet), Frank Rosolino (trombone), Richie Kamuca (tenor sax), Bud Shank (alto), Pete Jolly (piano), Joe Howard (trombone), and Alvin Stoller (drums). The music stands on its own separate from the series, with lots of striking flourishes and solos that normally wouldn't be allowed in soundtrack music (the basic purpose of soundtrack music being to support the action without calling attention to itself). The fact was that the television series was so "hot" visually, amid Darren McGavin's over-the-top portrayal of Hammer, that the composers not only knew they could get away with writing stuff this out in front, but had to in order to fit the action on the screen. The beauty of Pete Candoli's trumpet playing on "Coffee House," Ted Nash's hot flute solo on the same track, Joe Howard's moody, mournful trombone solo on "Black Night," Richie Kamuca's jaunty tenor sax solo on "Back Home," or the overall jauntiness of "Lenox Avenue Strut" all come through amid a wealth of rewarding moments and passages throughout this disc. Originally issued as part of RCA's Living Stereo series, the reissue captures the same vivid, detailed sound textures. "
—Bruce Eder (All Music Guide)