Picks and Pans Review: Fun and Games
When Mangione was commissioned by ABC-TV Sports to write a theme for the Winter Olympics, the result—Give It All You Got—hardly rivaled some previous custom-made music, like the Eroica Symphony which Beethoven wrote for an Austrian prince to honor Napoleon. But then Mangione isn't Beethoven, Roone Arledge isn't Bonaparte (yet) and the Olympics probably could have gotten along without a theme. Those who want music to remember Eric Heiden by will find it here, but it's the only weak part of the album. The rest is an invigorating change of pace for Mangione, back to small-ensemble jazz. That gives his estimable sidemen substantial solo time. Chris Vadalo (sax and flute), Grant Geissman (guitar), Charles Meeks (bass, harmonica) and James Bradley Jr. (percussion) all profit from the opportunities, particularly on the languorously paced I Never Missed Someone Before and Give It All You Got, but Slowly, a version of you know what. There's also a strange, scatty song called Piña Colada, but neither it nor Mangione has any connection with Rupert Holmes' hit of the same name.