Picks and Pans Review: Save Tonight for Me

updated 06/02/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/02/1986 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Chuck Mangione

Mangione's compositions and fl├╝gelhorn playing can be passionate and evocative, as they were on Children of Sanchez or Tarantella. They can also be dreary and full of colorless drift, as they are on this album. Produced by Morris "Butch" Stewart, a good portion of whose experience has been in turning out TV commercials, the LP seems to idle along for most of its 41 minutes, leaving about as much of an impression as a frozen macaroni and cheese dinner. The longtime Mangione sideman, saxophonist Chris Vadala, is hardly noticeable. Stewart has incorporated a dominating package of synthesizers into the arrangements, playing most of them himself. He also used a 21-piece string section that seems totally out of place. There's a little bit of fetching harmonica from Howard Levy on Take It to Church, but otherwise there's not much else to remember this album by. It's a shocking waste of Mangione's talents. (Columbia)

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