Gap Mangione | Planet Gap

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Planet Gap

by Gap Mangione

Gap Mangione Big Band playing jazz standards and "Mangione" music featuring special guests Steve Gadd, John Patitucci, Gerry Niewood and Pat LaBarbera plus band regulars Andy Weinzler and Jeff Jarvis.
Genre: Jazz: Big Band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Take Me Out To The Ball Game
2:14 album only
2. Groovin' For Nat
5:29 album only
3. Bernie's Tune
5:19 album only
4. Coat Check Cathy
9:32 album only
5. My Favorite Dream
8:34 album only
6. Rochester, My Sweet Home
5:33 album only
7. Calypso For Janet
4:32 album only
8. 'Round Midnight
10:55 album only
9. Au Privave
5:12 album only
10. Orange Colored Sky
2:16 album only
11. Doodlin'
4:15 album only
12. The Gap Theme
4:39 album only


Album Notes
Born in Rochester, New York, Gap (Gaspare) Mangione was raised in a closely-knit, Italian family where music poured from the radio and phonograph. Papa Mangione would regularly invite visiting musicians home to pasta dinners -- gatherings which were often followed by impromptu jazz sessions. By the time Gap was 13, he was playing the blues on the family piano and encouraging his brother, Chuck, to join him in improvisations; at 15, he was writing and arranging for local big bands. Eventually the brothers Mangione decided it was time to form their own band. They called themselves The Jazz Brothers.

Through the efforts of an admiring Cannonball Adderley, they began recording for Riverside Records. Their first album, The Jazz Brothers, was released in 1960. Two more albums, Hey Baby! and Spring Fever were released the following year and all three are now prized collector's items.

Gap earned his degrees from Syracuse University in 1965. Three years later, he released his first solo album, Diana In The Autumn Wind. This album has just been released on CD for the first time. The album also introduced brother Chuck's orchestral arrangements and presented Steve Gadd and Tony Levin in their first recording. Four years later they all performed on Gap's Sing Along Junk album on the Mercury label.

Gap has recorded four albums for A & M, She and I, Gap Mangione!, Suite Lady and Dancin'. The latter two were produced by guitarist/composer, Larry Carlton, who performed on both. In all, Gap has recorded seven solo albums and is heard on ten recordings with Chuck Mangione. From 1972 through 1982, Gap toured the United States with his group, performing in Mexico, Canada and Europe as well. He regularly appeared as featured guest artist on Chuck Mangione's orchestra tours and recordings.

Gap then returned to Rochester to begin a series of long term engagements. A six-part television series, "Gap's Generation," hosted by Gap Mangione was released and syndicated on PBS. Gap and Chuck came together again for the 25th Anniversary Reunion Tour of The Jazz Brothers which traveled coast to coast. Videotaped highlights of the tour were featured on CBS Sunday Morning. Danny DeVito's movie, "The Ratings Game," included Gap's playing of his composition She & I and other recorded performances with his trio.

The Lodge at Woodcliff in Rochester has become the new home base for Gap's solo piano and group performances. Since then, The Boys From Rochester, an album featuring Gap, Chuck and Steve Gadd was released, and Gap formed his Big Band. At Dizzy's request, Gap's jazz quintet opened for, and accompanied Dizzy Gillespie in concert; and the Jazz Brother's Hey Baby! and Spring Fever albums were reissued on CD. There were tours with Chuck Mangione: the small jazz group "Little Giants Reunion Tour" and "The Hat's Back" tour with a 100-member symphony orchestra and the original Jazz Brothers album was reissued on CD completing the set.

Gap has been guest soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and he and the Big Band played at the Blue Note jazz club in New York City with Chuck Mangione as special guest. He regularly appears at New York City's Knickerbocker jazz club with his own trio. He and Chuck often join musical forces on Chuck's tours or with Gap's Big Band. Recently, famed rapper Talib Kweli sampled a section of Gap's Diana in the Autumn Wind and made it part of his hit CD, "Quality." Rapper Guerilla Black has done the same on his CD "Compton."

Gap continues to play solo piano and with his New Blues Band at the Lodge at Woodcliff and his Big Band has great success in concerts and in social settings. Gap's CDs Planet Gap, Ardis, Diana in the Autumn Wind, Stolen Moments and Family Holidays are now in release.

Gap Mangione: The Big Band

Gap Mangione has always loved big bands. From his first experiences as a youngster when his father would take him and his brother to hear the best of them in live performance, to the teenage experience of arranging for and playing semi-professional groups, to his college days at Syracuse University when, as house pianist at the 1200 seat Three Rivers Inn Theater Restaurant, he played in big bands accompanying the likes of Sammy Davis Jr., and Nat King Cole. to his first solo recording [Diana In The Autumn Wind] which introduced the big band writing talents of Gap Mangione and Chuck Mangione to a national audience, to the present day, he has been involved with big bands and has sustained a passion for and a fascination with the sounds and possibilities of this wonderful musical entity.

The most recent edition of this is The Big Band, formed originally to play a 30-week engagement at a dance club. Assembling the best musicians who lived within driving distance of Rochester, Gap set to work writing for the group and gathering musical contributions from others including Dizzy Gillespie and Chuck Mangione. The resulting combination of musicians, arrangements, and variety of material has kept the band in demand from dance clubs and jazz festivals to formal gala social occasions, from concerts to business entertainment functions [this season's highlights: their appearance at Mixed Greens at Monroe Golf Club and in concert at the Chautauqua Institute].

This band with its compliment of three trumpets, three trombones, four saxophones, rhythm section and vocalists, includes in its repertoire arrangements from the swing era bands through the more modern big bands to a cross section of the best in popular music, arranged specifically for this group. The emphasis is on quality, style and variety.

The band's particular feature is the music of Gap Mangione and Chuck Mangione. Most of their music is well known, but some, which has not been recorded until now, could only be heard in performances by the group, [i.e., Chuck's "Rochester, My Sweet Home," composed for Rochester's sesquicentennial, Gap's "My Favorite Dream" and "Calypso For Janet" and Gap's arrangement and the band's playing of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game"].

Gap Mangione's CD Planet Gap: The Big Band is a jazz oriented delight. For this recording, Steve Gadd, John Patitucci, Pat LaBarbera and Gerry Niewood - each a former member of Gap's groups - are added to the regular roster of players to create an especially enjoyable and fun time, and an unusual musical treat.

Gap Mangione's Big Band has released three CDs: Planet Gap, Stolen Moments and Family Holidays. Each is a jazz oriented delight. For these recordings, Steve Gadd, Tony Levin, John Patitucci, Grant Geissman, Pat LaBarbera and Gerry Niewood, each a former member of Gap's groups, are added to the regular roster of players to create an especially enjoyable and fun time, and an unusual musical treat.



to write a review

Jack Garner, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

[May 26, 1997] -- The big-band sound is alive and well -- at least when Gap Mangione is at the helm. The veteran Rochester pianist and arranger showcases his band marvelously in Planet Gap, a zestful, hour long collection of crisply recorded jazz classics and Mangione originals.

The album, which has just arrived in local stores, features Mangione as leader, pianist and arranger, heading a 14-piece orchestra.

Adding key guest support are Mangione associates who have substantial solo careers: drummer Steve Gadd, bassist John Patitucci, guitarist Dan Schmitt and reed players Gerry Niewood and Pat LaBarbera.

Released on Cafe Records, the album opens with a rousing jazz band treatment of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame," an infectious track that deserves to be heard regularly during festivities at Frontier Field.

As each verse progresses, Mangione and the band move from a swing opening to a tradition-bound, waltz-tempo treatment to a hard driving rave-up finale.

The jazz standards on Planet Gap include the easy-swinging loop of "Groovin' for Nat," the hot Latin rhythms of "Bernie's Tune," a sexy slow paced reading of "Round Midnight," a funky "Doodlin'" flavored with Niewood's deep down baritone sax, and an uptempo swing through "Orange Colored Sky," showcasing vocals by Rochester singer Cindy Miller.

Most intriguing, though, is Mangione's arrangement of Charlie Parker's "Au Privave."

Though the tune is bebop standard, Mangione makes it a stylistic gumbo. He gives it a rock beat but arranges the trumpets into a modern interpretation of Louis Armstrong's 75 year old landmark solo on "Potato Head Blues."

Fans of the sort of melodic originals made famous by Mangione's younger brother, Chuck, will enjoy the album's two-song interlude that pairs a Gap original, "My Favorite Dream," with Chuck's "Rochester, My Sweet Home," the tune originally composed for our city's sesquicentennial in 1984.

But the CD's most entertaining track is "Calypso for Janet," a rhythmic delight that's built upon ascending melody lines and dedicated by Mangione to his wife.

by Jack Bowers, All About Jazz

Planet Gap, Gap Mangione Big Band
[September 1998] -- My guess would be that most of those who are reading this (if any are, that is) have heard of trumpeter Chuck Mangione. What some may not know is that Chuck has a piano-playing brother, Gap, and that Gap has his own thundering big band. While the notion hardly qualifies as a scientific survey, one may readily infer from the music presented on the band's initial release, Planet Gap, that at least 19 excessively happy people call that planet home. At least, they seem to be having loads of fun playing together. These musicians aren't keen to impress anyone; they'd much rather have a good time and let the chips fall as they may. But they're impressive in spite of themselves, scampering headlong through an eclectic program in which such well-known tunes as Monk's "Round Midnight," Bird's "Au Privave," Horace Silver's "Doodlin'" and Gerry Mulligan's "Bernie's Tune" rub shoulders with more offbeat themes including "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," Milton DeLugg's "Orange Colored Sky," Gap's warmhearted tribute to "Rochester, My Sweet Home" and his lively "Calypso for Janet." Completing the program are Ernie Wilkins' "Groovin' for Nat," Tim Torrance's "Coat Check Cathy" and two more compositions by Mangione, "My Favorite Dream" (featuring vocalist Cindy Miller) and "The Gap Theme," which ends the session on a high note. Gap wrote most of the charts, and is strong in that area too. The ensemble is impressive, as are its soloists, especially trumpeter Jarvis, tenor saxophonists LaBarbera and Weinzler, guitarist Schmitt and special guest Niewood (flute on "Bernie's Tune," bari saxophone on "Doodlin'"). And of course, Gap is no slouch at the keyboards, soloing smartly on "Groovin' for Nat," Rochester," "Calypso," "Au Privave" (terrific chart) and "The Gap Theme." A sparkling debut, worthy of an immediate encore performance.

Track listing: Take Me Out to the Ball Game; Groovin' for Nat; Bernie's Tune; Coat Check Cathy; My Favorite Dream; Rochester, My Sweet Home; Calypso for Janet; 'Round Midnight; Au Privave; Orange Colored Sky; Doodlin'; The Gap Theme (68:30).

Personnel: Gap Mangione, piano, keyboards; Steve Gadd, drums; John Patitucci, bass; Dan Schmitt, guitar; Dennis Tribuzzi, Jeff Jarvis, Herb Smith, trumpet, flugelhorn; Mark Kellogg, John Hasselback, trombone; Bob Kalwas, bass trombone; John Viavattine, alto sax; Andy Weinzler, tenor, soprano sax; Pat LaBarbera, tenor sax; Nancy Boone, baritone sax, with guests Gerry Niewood, flute, baritone sax; Cindy Miller, vocals; Geoff Smith, bass; Steve Curry, drums; Jim Saporito, congas, percussion

by Mike Ryan, Inside WGMC

Gap Mangione - Planet Gap
[July 1997] -- The latest CD on Cafe' Records by Rochester stalwart Gap Mangione is a welcome addition to our solar system. Planet Gap is a combination of old and new music which has a fresh Big Band approach. If you've ever seen Gap "live" you can attest to his virtuosity on the piano and keyboards. Gap's hand picked Big Band really cooks; these cats can swing! His arrangement of Take Me Out to the Ball Game is classic Americana.

Popcorn Music Review

Planet Gap, Gap Mangione The Big Band
Planet Gap

THREE-AND-A-HALF-KERNELS = a meal, not a snack
Gap Mangione - The Big Band (Josh Music JM-2024):
[December 1997] -- Rochester, New York, keyboardist Gap delivers a fine big-band release. Highlights include a swingin' tune called "Groovin' For Nat," the island-flavored "Calypso For Janet," the Latin-tinged "Bernie's Tune," and a fun arrangement of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" that borrows a phrase from brother Chuck. Fine band that includes Steve Gadd and John Patitucci. Ain't nothin' better than a hard-blowin' big band.