GAP MANGIONE'S 13 PIECE BAND PERFORMED SATURDAY NIGHT IN THE CALUMET
12, 1994] -- In the last year or so, Buffalo has been lucky enough
to see both the Mangione brothers -- trumpet-flugelhorn ace Chuck and
pianist Gap -- a number of times.
doesn't take long to notice some basic differences between them. Chuck
is moody; Gap is serene. Chuck dresses like a Bohemian; Gap dresses
like an investment banker.
while the mercurial Chuck has been known to scowl now and then, Gap
never stops smiling.
Gap Mangione brought his 13-piece big band to the Calumet Arts Cafe
-- and through all three sets, the man's smile never wavered. Gap grinned,
nodded his head and bobbed up and down. He beamed at the large group
of listeners who had fought freezing rain to show up.
he spoke, his voice had a giggle.
going to have a wonderful time, and I'm hoping you are, too," he told
these drab days, we don't get much chance to hear live big bands. That
perhaps is part of the reason that, whenever Gap Mangione's band comes
to town, a crowd turns out, and the room assumes a festive glow.
band first visited the Calumet Arts Cafe last summer, and it was fun
from the beginning. The musicians, however, sound 100 percent better
now -- more rehearsed and in sync. They showed their strength right
away in "Stolen Moments" and then segued into "Groovin' for Nat," a
tune by Ernie Wilkins. Buffalo alto sax man Dave Schiavone contributed
a fleet-footed solo.
this group, anchored by drums doesn't lack power. A singer once described
"My Ship" as "a heavy old song," and that's how Gap's band played it,
like a piece of Biedermeier furniture. A Chuck Mangione work originally
titled "Rochester, My Sweet Home," reflected its composer in its full,
robust trumpet sound. And "The Gap Theme," a bluesy affair, ended in
stomping elephantine chords.
petite singer Cindy Miller took the stage, the band threatened several
times to engulf her, rushing at her like a great sparkling tidal wave.
Miller, though, packs power on her own. With flair, she attacked "The
More I See You," "The Nearness of You," and a funky, precarious "You
Are My Sunshine."
poised by his electric piano, added a light touch. He comped with gentle,
easygoing chords, flashing that smile. He played a graceful, twinkling
"All of Me."
seems like a good boss to work for, and proof might lie in the fact
that Buffalo musicians flock to join him when he visits. Saturday, alto
saxophonist Andy Weinzler counted himself in Gap's ranks, while trumpeter
Jeff Jarvis -- who had been busy working with Doc Severinsen -- arrived
for the second set.
a sound was created. Toward evening's end, WECK jazz host Sid Ehrenreich
shook his head. "Are they exceptionally hot tonight, or what?" he marveled.
if he could hear us, Gap Mangione beamed that big smile our way. "Don't
go away," he grinned. "The last set is the party."
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