Chuck Mangione – Jazz Legends
C+ Sound: C+ Extras: D Concert: B-
heyday of A&M Records when it was a stand-alone label, it was a laid-back
home to many talented and respected music artists. That included music becoming a hit in the
mainstream in a way that likely would not have happened without the legendary
company founded by Herb Alpert. Like
Alpert, Chuck Mangione was a Jazz musician and his commercial success there was
an interesting highlight of American Pop chart music in the 1970s. While A&M has been folded into other
companies and is pretty much a name-brand Alpert sold years ago, Mangione has
continued his winning ways, and this 1989 Cannes concert performance from the Jazz Legends series demonstrates why he
continues to be a great performer who has remarkably lost none of his edge.
performances are as follows:
Land Of Make Believe
Chase The Clouds Away
Hide & Seek
Feels So Good
Once Upon A Love Time
program runs just over an hour and that is its #1 problem, i.e. it should have
gone on much longer. Mangione is joined
by Gordon Johnson (Bass), Mark Manetta (Guitars), Joe Bonadio (Drums), Rob
Mathes (Guitar, Keyboard, Vocals), and Billy Martin (Percussion). It turns out to be a great mix, offering one
of the most entertaining Jazz concerts we have seen on DVD yet. It is increasingly rare we see this, but
there is so much joy and energy in this show that it makes you realize what we
have been losing about music in the video era.
Even persons not big on Jazz will be surprised at how good this is.
frame image was shot on analog videotape (probably PAL) and is not bad for its
time, with some softness, yet color consistency on the level of video. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is not bad, but
does not really offer any kind of Pro Logic surrounds. Perhaps the recording was not remixable into
5.1 sound either, so the presentation is above average by today’s standards. The only extras are five bio/discographies of
Mangione and four of his fellow musicians, plus 26 previews for other
interesting DVDs form Quantum Leap.
way, making the statement I made about Mangione having not lost his edge in the
beginning based on a concert form 1989 might seem like a misnomer, but he has very
recently continued to be on the cutting edge of presentation. When DVD came out, he was one of the first to
do one with high-fidelity 96/24 PCM CD sound accompanied by 16 X 9 widescreen
video. He continues to make albums on
various Jazz labels and obviously cares about his fans and knows that they
enjoy high-fidelity, music rich experiences.
This is a man whose showmanship is up there with his talent. That is why his installment of Jazz Legends is such a joy to watch.
- Nicholas Sheffo