Song:Feels So Good
I'm sure that no one was more surprised than jazz flugelhornist Chuck Mangione when the 1977 single Feels So Good was a top ten pop hit. Today Mangione is revered as a smooth jazz pioneer but he didn't know that back then. He was born Nov. 29, 1940 in Rochester, NY. His brother Gap Mangione is a pianist. Dizzy Gillespie was a family friend. The Mangione family has always been a big part of the Rochester jazz scene. While attending the Eastman School of Music, Mangione recorded for Riverside Records as The Jazz Brothers. This band included Gap Mangione on piano and Sal Nistico on sax. In the mid-60s, Mangione was a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. He also got into arranging and conducting sessions. By the late 60s he moved back to Rochester and started working with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Mangione signed with Mercury Records and released the 1970 album Friends & Love. This was the album that first got him noticed. The album was a mix of jazz, rock, folk and classical music featuring the Rochester Philharmonic, singer songwriters Don Potter and Bat McGrath and jazz musicians like Gerry Niewood and Marvin Stamm. After a few similar albums for Mercury, Mangione moved to A&M Records. His recording of Chase The Clouds Away was used in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Then Feels So Good reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1977. At the time long time sax player Gerry Niewood had launched a solo career so he wasn't on the record. He would return to Mangione's band later. The featured musician on Feels So Good was guitarist Grant Geissman along with Chris Vadala on sax, Charles Meeks on bass and James Bradley Jr. on drums. Mangione recorded for A&M until 1982 and then he recorded for Columbia in the 80s. He wasn't as commercially successful in those days but there's no question he paved the way for today's smooth jazz artists. He won a Grammy for the soundtrack of the 1978 film Children of Sanchez. Fans of the animated series King of the Hill will remember Mangione for his voice work on that show. Tragedy struck when Mangione band members Gerry Niewood and Coleman Mellett died in a plane crash over Buffalo on Feb. 12, 2009. Since then I don't think Mangione has been as active though he plays occasional gigs. This budget comp covers his Mercury and A&M years. Here's Chuck Mangione performing Feels So Good on The Midnight Special 1977.