Johnny Mandel, the five-time Grammy recipient and Oscar and Emmy Award winner is a composer, arranger, instrumentalist and record producer living a life totally steeped in musical achievement. As a teenager, Mandel was a member of Joe Venuti’s orchestra, followed by employment as a player and/or arranger in bands led by Henry Jerome, Buddy Rich, Jimmy Dorsey, Woody Herman and Artie Shaw. In the late 1940s and early 50s, Mandel was an arranger and composer for radio and the new medium of TV. At the same time, he played trombone and wrote arrangements for the Count Basie Orchestra.
The West Coast recording scene beckoned Johnny in 1954 where he began arranging sessions for stars like Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Mel Tormé, Jo Stafford, Tony Bennett, Chet Baker and Andy Williams. Hollywood film assignments began coming in for Mandel as well, beginning with the all-Jazz score he composed for I Want to Live in 1958. Many Mandel film scores have followed, among them The Americanization of Emily, The Sandpiper, M*A*S*H*, Being There and The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming.
Mandel-composed standards include “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “Emily,” “Where Do You Start?” and “Close Enough for Love.” In recent years, Mandel’s career has continued to flourish as he has remained busy producing and arranging recordings for Natalie Cole, Diana Krall and, most recently, for Barbra Streisand and Willie Nelson, among many others.