Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

131

Gap Mangione: Stolen Moments

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
There’s an expanse of jazz midway between smooth and straight-ahead, blending elements of both, and that’s roughly the territory that pianist Gap Mangione and his big band most often stake out on Stolen Moments. The playlist consists mainly of contemporary pop/rock themes, some of which lend themselves to big-band interpretations better than others. While Mangione’s ensemble does the best it can with them, the most rewarding tracks by far are those that were written with jazz in mind—Oliver Nelson’s “Stolen Moments,” Jimmy Heath’s “Big P,” Mangione’s “The Gap” and rockin’ “Gap Theme.”

Five of the songs are by Lennon/McCartney, another by fellow Beatle George Harrison, and none is especially cozy in this framework; certainly nowhere near as persuasive as “Norwegian Wood,” which was so successfully renovated by the Buddy Rich big band in the late ‘60s. Guitarist Grant Geissman is featured on Henry Mancini/Johnny Mercer’s “Moon River,” and again (with Mangione) on Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair.” There are three vocals, two by Cindy Miller—“The Need to Be” and a lively version of the old Vaughan Monroe/Nat King Cole hit from the ‘40s, “Dance Ballerina Dance”—the other by Dan Schmitt (“Knock on Wood”). The album opens with the shopworn “Happy Together,” which sets the mood for too much of what is to follow.

Mangione has a number of capable soloists in the band, most notably Geissman, trumpeter Jeff Jarvis and saxophonist Gerry Niewood, and they acquit themselves well, especially on the jazz-related numbers, as does Mangione himself. For too much of the time, however, the ensemble is held in check by the garden-variety material and charts that do little to enhance it. One must presume that Mangione had a useful purpose in mind, but it’s a risky plan at best, as pop fans may find the music too hip, whereas big-band enthusiasts may find it too bland.


Track Listing: Happy Together; The Fool on the Hill; And I Love Her; Knock on Wood; Big P; Stolen Moments; With a Little Help from My Friends; The Gap (1960); Moon River; The Need to Be; Dance Ballerina Dance; Something; Scarborough Fair; The Gap Theme; Golden Slumbers; The End (72:11).

Personnel: Gap Mangione, leader, piano, keyboards; Dennis Tribuzzi, Jeff Jarvis, Herb Smith, trumpet, flugelhorn; Gerry Niewood, Andy Weinzler, soprano, alto, tenor sax; Joe Romano, alto, tenor sax; John Viavatine, alto sax; Glenn Cashman, tenor sax; Nancy Boone, baritone sax; Mark Kellogg, John Hasselback, trombone; Bob Kalwas, bass trombone; Grant Geissman, guitars, synthesizer, percussion; Dan Schmitt, guitar, vocals; Tony Levin, Chip Jackson (5), Scott Alexander (6), Mike Downs (8), Grant Geissman (11), bass; Steve Gadd, drums; Cindy Miller, vocals; Wayne Naylor, backup vocals.

Title: Stolen Moments | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Josh Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Solo a Genova CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell" CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Live at the Blue Whale" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Blue Whale
by Phillip Woolever
Published: May 9, 2017
Read "Right Up On" CD/LP/Track Review Right Up On
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "No Mundo Dos Sons" CD/LP/Track Review No Mundo Dos Sons
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: October 12, 2017
Read "Playing the 60s" CD/LP/Track Review Playing the 60s
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Journey To The Mountain Of Forever" CD/LP/Track Review Journey To The Mountain Of Forever
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 17, 2017