by Vasiliy Baziuk/The Daily Messenger
Press Photo of Gap Mangione
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.
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,
Fever were released the following year and all three are
now prized collector's items.
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.
has recorded four albums for A & M, She
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
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.
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.
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.”
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,
in the Autumn Wind and Stolen
Moments are now in release.
Mangione: The Big Band
Mangione has always loved big bands. His first experiences with them
was as a youngster when his father would take him and his brother Chuck
to hear the best of them in live performance. As a teenager he was arranging
for and playing in semiprofessional groups. During his college days
at Syracuse University, he was house pianist at the 1200 seat Three
Rivers Inn Theater Restaurant and played in big bands accompanying the
likes of Sammy Davis, Jr. and Nat King Cole. His first solo recording,
Diana In The Autumn Wind, introduced the big band writing talents of
Gap Mangione and Chuck Mangione to a national audience. Today, Gap has
his own big band and sustains a passion for and a fascination with the
sounds and possibilities of this wonderful musical entity.
most recent edition of the Big Band, was formed originally to play a
30-week engagement at a dance club in 1990. 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.
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, arrangedspecifically for this
group. The emphasis is on quality, style and variety.
Mangione's big band CDs include Planet
Gap , Stolen Moments
and Family Holidays.
Each is a jazz oriented delight.
An evening with the Gap Mangione big band
is an especially enjoyable and fun time, and an unusual musical treat.
Press Photo of Gap Mangione