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GAp Mangione

Welcome to Planet Gap, the rousing debut CD from Gap Mangione and the Big Band

Sound Samples | The Musicians | Credits | To Order

Pianist-arranger-composer Gap Mangione has just released Planet Gap, the debut CD of The Big Band, the seventh album under his name, but the first to feature the rousing, free-spirited jazz of his 14-piece band. With this album release, Gap will bring broader national attention to a talented, distinctively Mangione orchestra that's been a fixture in its upstate New York birthplace throughout the 1990's.

On Planet Gap, Mangione brings together many of the musical ideas and infectious enthusiasm which have put him on the bandstand and on recordings with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Gadd, Larry Carlton and, of course, his brother, Chuck Mangione, in a career spanning four decades.

In fact, drummer Steve Gadd, arguably the premier drummer of the modern era and an alumni of Gap's bands, was a special guest on the CD session, contributing his rhythmic imagination and rock-solid pulse to every track. Other notable players on Planet Gap include bassist John Patitucci, trumpeter Jeff Jarvis, guitarist Dan Schmitt, and reed players Pat LaBarbera, Andy Weinzler and Gerry Niewood.

If you want to know the things that make Gap tick -- and, trust me, you do -- just check out the music on Planet Gap:

The opening track is a clever, highly musical big band rave on "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" which will almost certainly become a fixture for between-inning breaks at ball parks throughout the land. It'll not only guarantee a seventh-inning stretch, it may well have fans dancing with the hot dog vendors.

Also in the batting order are several jazz standards, including "Round Midnight," "Doodlin'," "Bernie's Tune" and "Au Privave," and all are given fresh, imaginative interpretations. Most notable are the wonderfully intense Latin rhythms of "Bernie's Tune" and the combination of wildly diverse influences in "Au Privave." (On the latter track -- a Charlie Parker classic -- arranger Gap mixes in a powerhouse funk beat, provided by Gadd, and a trumpet section fanfare based on Louis Armstrong's landmark solo from Potato Head Blues some 70 years ago -- talk about diversity!) The jazz standards are the album's clearest indicators of how much Gap has been influenced by the big bands of his musical mentor, Dizzy Gillespie.

The straight-ahead, blues shuffle sound of "Coat Check Cathy" is followed by "My Favorite Dream" and "Rochester, My Sweet Home," a melodic double-feature of Mangione magic. "My Favorite Dream" is a Gap original that states his philosophy of a life of family, friends, love and music, both in the vocal prologue tastefully sung by Cindy Miller and in the lyrical instrumental sections that follow. Gap and his brother, Chuck, have always worn their hearts on their sleeves, conveying an emotional honesty that endears them to their fans. "Rochester, My Sweet Home," in fact, is from Chuck's songbook. It's a graceful ballad with a lovely melody that brings a sense of comfort and warmth, whether your home is Rochester, Raleigh or Richmond.

For pure fun and energy, though, it's hard to top "Calypso for Janet," a playful, rhythmic Gap original dedicated to his wife. It's built upon ear catching ascending and descending melody lines, and fueled with a dance-inspiring beat. It spotlights a marvelous Mangione piano solo in which he even manages to interpolate a witty taste of Old Man River.

The set's most tradition-bound groove is a bebop-inspired reading of "Orange Colored Sky" featuring vocalist Cindy Miller. And, before you now it, your delightful hour on Planet Gap concludes with "The Gap Theme," Mangione's regular, finger-snapping set-closer.

If you love talented musicianship, clever, inventive arrangements, good humor and energy, brass that rattles the walls, and rhythms that get you up out of your seat, head for Planet Gap. It's in another galaxy, altogether.

The Musicians

Gap Mangione
Piano, Keyboards
Steve Gadd
John Patitucci
John Patitucci, Courtesy of Concord Record
Dan Schmitt
Dennis Tribuzzi
Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Jeff Jarvis
Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Herb Smith
Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Mark Kellogg
John Hasselback
Bob Kalwas
Bass Trombone
John Viavattine
Alto Sax
Andy Weinzler
Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax
Pat LaBarbera:
Tenor Sax
Nancy Boone
Baritone Sax
Gerry Niewood
Flute, Baritone Sax
Cindy Miller
Geoff Smith
Steve Curry
Jim Saporito
Congas, Percussion

The Credits

Produced by: Gap Mangione
Recording & Mix Engineer: Larry Swist
Mastering: Larry Swist
Recorded at: Trackmaster Audio, Buffalo NY; and Kampo Studios, New York NY
Mixed at: Trackmaster Audio, Buffalo NY
Mastered at: The Studios At Linden Oaks, Rochester NY
Production Plan and Consultation: Peter Morticelli
Cover Painting by: Ramon Santiago
Booklet Photo: George Kamper
CD Photo: Lori Farr
CD Package Designed by: 4D Advertising


The Big Band players and Steve Gadd and JohnPatitucci, you always make me feel like dancing; to Larry Swist, for making our album sound like this; and to Ramon Santiago, for the joy of what you see. To my son, Jason and my daughter, Ardis. To my folks, Frank and Nancy; my brother Chuck, for your wonderful music; and my sister Josephine, you're the best. To Peter Heinrich and Jon Heinrich, peerless gentlemen, for including me in what you have created at The Lodge at Woodcliff. To Bruce Ashby, Marc Iacona, Don Kollmorgan and Louise Woerner, Gerald LeMarsh, David Lippitt and Bob and Mabelle Pizzutiello, for making this dream possible. And to John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie whose big bands, and his way with them, continue to inspire.

This Is Dedicated To Janet Mangione, My Beloved.
You Make Me Smile With My Heart.

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