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Gap Mangione

Gap Mangione

Gap aids Cohoes and Seton Health with concert
Mangione delights crowd at benefit concert in music hall

by John Fraley and Doug Turner, Staff Reporters
Poly Features

[Wednesday September 23, 1998] -- On Sunday, September 20, the Troy Savings Band Music Hall heard some incredible music. Gap Mangione and his big band put on a concert to benefit the Cohoes Community Center and the Seton Health Foundation. No one who attended was disappointed.

The concert began when Gap and his band came wordlessly ono the stage and just started playing without any introduction. Applause followed every magnificent solo in the piece. Many of the soloists stood for their parts, and it created a comfortable and fun atmosphere.

Next the band played Duke Ellington's classic, "The Mooch." No one sang it like in the Blues Brothers, but that's not Gap style. After that Gap played his version of "All Of Me."

Unlike how it was advertised on the CD summary, I don't think baseball fans will be dancing in the stands during his band's version of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game." (At a jazz concert? I don't really understand, but I guess it was fun.)

Then Gao and his 14-piece entourage really started to show their stuff with "Rochester, My Sweet Home" and Gap's Latin version of "Bernie's Tune." It was really amazing as some of the instrumentalists changed instruments mid-song. (One player went from alto sax to clarinet to flute!!)

They then brought out vocalist Cindy Miller for the next several songs. The lyrics were not exactly to our taste (zam-bam alakazam!) but she had an amazing voice.

After the vocalist left the band went into a blues medley of "Jeep's Blues" and "I Got News For You." Then the band played "Calypso For Janet," a song dedicated to Gap's wife.

Intermission followed and we wandered about the stately music hall. Finding the balcony empty, we took our leave of absence from the first floor and established ourselves abovethe music hall. Laughing like crazed Muppets, we waited for the band to make just one mistake so we could heckle and throw things.

We were disappointed. The rest of the show was a spotless performance of pure musical talent. "My Favorite Dream" brought the crowd to its feet. One woman in the audience swayed her child to and fro to the rhythm.

Overall, there was a great variety for everyone from jazz to big band to, believe it or not, even country. We had a good time and give it two thumbs up.