Personnel includes: Chuck Mangione (flugelhorn); Chris Valdala (soprano & tenor saxophones, flute, alto flute, piccolo); Grant Geissman (acoustic, electric & classical guitars); Charles Meeks (bass); James Bradley, Jr. (drums).
Recorded live at the Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, California on July 17, 1978. Includes liner notes by Chuck Cassell.
All track have been digitally remastered.
Recorded at the height of Chuck Mangione's fame when "Feels So Good" was still busting up the charts, this double-LP set attempts to recapture the dynamism of his earlier live albums but falls short on a few counts. For one thing, the sound gives the listener no idea of what it was like to be in the audience that evening; there are only fleeting traces of the live presence and electricity of the event in this tightly mic'ed recording. For another, the sense of fresh discovery of a new voice in the Mercury sets is replaced by a mostly self-congratulatory round of reprises from earlier albums, centered in the jazz-funk idiom of Mangione's then-current quintet (the funkified "Hill Where the Lord Hides" in particular lacks the majesty and tension of the original live version). Mangione and his sidemen (Chris Vadala, winds; Grant Geissman, guitars; Charles Meeks, bass; James Bradley, Jr., drums) are sufficiently pumped up and energetic, sometimes outdoing the studio performances of the material, and there is a 70-piece orchestra of L.A. musicians who mostly form part of the scenery. The only "new" stuff (as of July 1978) is a set of excerpts from the film score to Children of Sanchez -- a heavily truncated selection from what was heard that night -- that comes off pretty well. Of the two live Mangione A&M albums, this one is a more accurate career retrospective, but Tarantella is quirkier and thus more fun. ~ Richard S. Ginell