Chuck Mangione

BIOGRAFIA
Chuck Mangione’s early years were fruitful. In Rochester, New York, where he was born and grew up, he rubbed shoulders with many greats, including Dizzy Gillespie, who came to the family house after local appearances for a home-cooked meal. Later, while still in Rochester, Chuck and his brother Gap led a band called the Jazz Brothers, which featured such future heavyweights as saxophonist Sal Nistico and drummer Roy McCurdy. During the same period, Mangione recorded his first album as a leader, Recuerdo, for Riverside’s Jazzland subsidiary; he also studied at the prestigious Eastman School of Music.

Mangione moved to New York City in 1965, where he played briefly with the big bands of Woody Herman and Maynard Ferguson before joining Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He was in the fabled drummer’s band for two and a half years, where he worked alongside the soon-to-be-renowned pianist Keith Jarrett and made two albums, Buttercorn Lady and Hold On, I’m Comin’, for Limelight.

Returning to Rochester in the late Sixties, Mangione formed a quartet. He switched from trumpet to flügelhorn, and he also shifted his musical focus from the hard-driving jazz that typified the Jazz Brothers to more lyrical pieces that leaned toward pop music. Of these initial works, none drew more attention than "Land of Make Believe," recorded for Mercury. The album of the same name earned two Grammy® nominations in 1975. That same year, Mangione signed with A&M Records and began scoring with one solid-selling album after another. The tune "Bellavia", from the album of the same name, earned Mangione a 1977 Grammy® for best instrumental composition.

Chuck Mangione has been active since the mid-Nineties, touring with a quartet that features his longtime partner Gerry Niewood.


® nominations in 1975. That same year, Mangione signed with A&M Records and began scoring with one solid-selling album after another. The tune "Bellavia", from the album of the same name, earned Mangione a 1977 Grammy® for best instrumental composition.

Chuck Mangione has been active since the mid-Nineties, touring with a quartet that features his longtime partner Gerry Niewood.



Excerpted from Chuck Mangione’s Finest Hour


Zan Stewart

March 2000
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