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An Evening of Magic: Live at the Hollywood Bowl

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Album Review

Recorded at the height of Chuck Mangione's fame when "Feels So Good" was still busting up the charts, this double-LP set attempts to recapture the dynamism of his earlier live albums but falls short on a few counts. For one thing, the sound gives the listener no idea of what it was like to be in the audience that evening; there are only fleeting traces of the live presence and electricity of the event in this tightly mic'ed recording. For another, the sense of fresh discovery of a new voice in the Mercury sets is replaced by a mostly self-congratulatory round of reprises from earlier albums, centered in the jazz-funk idiom of Mangione's then-current quintet (the funkified "Hill Where the Lord Hides" in particular lacks the majesty and tension of the original live version). Mangione and his sidemen (Chris Vadala, winds; Grant Geissman, guitars; Charles Meeks, bass; James Bradley, Jr., drums) are sufficiently pumped up and energetic, sometimes outdoing the studio performances of the material, and there is a 70-piece orchestra of L.A. musicians who mostly form part of the scenery. The only "new" stuff (as of July 1978) is a set of excerpts from the film score to Children of Sanchez — a heavily truncated selection from what was heard that night — that comes off pretty well. Of the two live Mangione A&M albums, this one is a more accurate career retrospective, but Tarantella is quirkier and thus more fun. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Customer Reviews

worth it

if you want "feels so good", but have reservations about buying that album....then consider Live at the Hollywood Bowl. it's amazing, full of energy and life. you can relive all that 1979 glory in your own living room. kids love it too.

What about the Rest?

Feels So Good was Chuck's quintessential hit of the late Seventies, however, there is music on this album that is much better than that pop release. Children of Sanchez blew out crowds on the tour. I had the priveledge of seeing him live on this tour with the Muncie Symphony, Muncie IN. This whole album brings back that thrill. Let's hear it for great music!

This was a SUPERB Concert--I was there!

Chuck Mangione at his peak, his quartet grooving, and an amazing HUGE orchestra backing them--all that plus food, wine, and the Hollywood Bowl made it a PERFECT southern California evening of jazz and joy. And it shows in the recording, truly. The counterpoint of Chucks' soulful horn improvs backed by the tight, perfect orchestrations, plus this was the premiere of the "Children of Sanchez" score--the movie hadn't opened yet and this was the first the public heard it. Latin, yet modern, yet "big movie score" bold. Enjoy! It brings back great memories for me--we wound up having FOUR boxes in the 3rd row center with all the friends who wanted to come along I wound up buying tickets for. Those were the days!


Born: November 29, 1940 in Rochester, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Throughout the 1970s, Chuck Mangione was a celebrity. His purposely lightweight music was melodic pop that was upbeat, optimistic, and sometimes uplifting. Mangione's records were big sellers yet few of his fans from the era knew that his original goal was to be a bebopper. His father had often taken Chuck and his older brother Gap (a keyboardist) out to see jazz concerts, and Dizzy Gillespie was a family friend. While Chuck studied at the Eastman School, the two Mangiones co-led a bop quintet called...
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An Evening of Magic: Live at the Hollywood Bowl, Chuck Mangione
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