Chuck Mangione

Main Squeeze

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More and more a creature of the studio, Mangione employs a coterie of '70s New York session players on an album that wears its make-out-music intentions right on its velvet sleeve. All of the titles reflect some aspect of a love affair; the playing is intricate but highly controlled and not terribly exciting. Oddly enough, Chuck effectively attaches a wah-wah pedal to his flugelhorn on a few tracks -- shades of Miles Davis' "jungle band" period -- and he gets off his best non-electronically modulated solo on "If You Know Me Any Longer Than Tomorrow." There are orchestrations, but the arrangements are just decorations, not an integral part of the material. But then, after all of the warm, fuzzy stuff has run its course for five tracks, the last cut "Main Squeeze" acts as an ecstatic release, a fine, funky jam session where all seem to be thoroughly enjoying themselves.

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