What’s unusual about this album — shocking really — is how MEATY the bottom end is. I don’t know of a pop jazz recording with beefier, more articulate or weightier bass. The only record I can think of in this genre of jazz with comparable bass is Grover Washington’s Winelight. We played some copies of that album recently and were just knocked out with how well recorded the bass is, just the way we were knocked out with Children of Sanchez from a month or two back. Both of them really set the standard for recording this kind of music. Needless to say we loved the sound.
Recorded at Kendun and mastered by Robert Ludwig, the audiophile sound should be no surprise.
All four sides are quite good; see if you don’t agree with us that the two Super Hot sides are slightly better than the ones with a half plus lower grade.
The horn sound is also key, not only for the flugelhorn that Chuck plays but for the trombones and French horns that fill out the arrangements. When the various horns are solid and smooth (what’s smoother than a French horn?) yet even the more subtle harmonic signatures of each instrument are clear, you have yourself a Hot Stamper.
The copies that are present, clear, open, transparent and energetic, with a solid rhythmic line driving the music, are a hundred times more enjoyable than the anemic pressings that can be found sitting in most collections practically unplayed (gee, I wonder why?).
This idea that most pressings do a poor job of communicating the music still has not seeped into the consciousness of most audiophiles, but we’re working on changing that, one Hot Stamper at a time.
This is the man’s 16th album (!), a Grammy Winner (his second) for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
Children Of Sanchez Overture 14:07
Pilgrimage (Part 1) 2:57
Pilgrimage (Part 2) 2:37
Consuelo’s Love Theme 17:04
Hot Consuelo 4:01
Death Scene 4:42
Market Place 3:08
Children Of Sanchez Finale 3:06
Chuck Mangione composed this music for a film soundtrack in 1978, but it quickly took on a life of its own when it was released as a two LP set, garnering a loyalty the film never enjoyed. Its film origins certainly show both in the purely atmospheric quality of some of the music and in the earnest vocals and awkward lyrics that introduce the suite and later reappear.
However, the simple themes and the powerful, minimal orchestrations–brass and drums for funereal military music; cello, flute, guitar, and eerie voice for the very pretty “Consuelo’s Love Theme”–retain a strong appeal. Mangione’s own performance on flügelhorn–sometimes hinting at Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain transported to harsher terrain–is frequently riveting, a darkly expressive, soulful element that conveys undiluted passion, sorrow, and joy.