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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Jazz > Chuck Mangione - Jazz Legends

Chuck Mangione – Jazz Legends


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Concert: B-



In the 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.


The performances are as follows:


Land Of Make Believe

Chase The Clouds Away

Hide & Seek

She’s Gone

Hot Consuela

Feels So Good

Once Upon A Love Time


The 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.


The full 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.


By the 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


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