Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck|
4 stars out of 4
Chuck Mangione crossed the line from contemporary jazz to pop and
easy listening in a big way. On his smash hit "Feels So Good," his
most successful song, he proved that he could enjoy victory on either
side of the musical fence. With elements of jazz as a foundation,
Mangione combined sweetly toned pop into many songs, allowing a much
larger and more accepting audience into his musical sphere of influence.
This tact also gave his music more diversity and balance. What made
Chuck unique is that he featured the flugelhorn as the main instrument
in lieu of the more standard trumpet or saxophone. He also conducted
all the orchestrations and played electric piano.
The remastered tracks on "20th Century Masters-The Best of Chuck Mangione"
packages 10 of his best pieces to highlight his long and successful
solo career. No doubt, there could be much more material included
in such a tribute, this compilation chooses to focus on the most productive
time of his career, the 70's. Although 10 tracks may not seem enough,
keep in mind the running times of each one. There are tracks that
run over nine, 12, and 14 minutes. Therefore, price of admission is well worth it.
I particularly enjoyed some of the guitar breaks in some of the songs,
which reminded me of George Benson's work in that timeframe, and the
vocals were a welcome change. The strongest factor that comes into
play is that you get a taste of each aspect of a multi-faceted approach
that Magione employed so successfully in every track. It really did
feel so good listening to all of this music again.
1. Land of Make Believe (Mangione) - 12:07
2. Bellavia (Mangione) - 6:29
3. Main Squeeze (Bassini/Gadd/Grolnick/Levin/MacDonald/Mangione/Mann/Tee/Tropea)
4. Chase the Clouds Away (Mangione) - 4:52
5. Feels So Good (Mangione) - 9:38
6. Hide and Seek (Ready or Not Here I Come) (Mangione) - 6:25
7. Children of the Sanchez (Overture) (Mangione) - 14:07
8. Hill Where the Lord Hides (Mangione) - 5:22
9. Fun and Games (Mangione) - 7:12
10. Give It All You Got (Mangione) - 6:11