Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2023 March 13 • Monday

The 769th Soundtrack of the Week is Children of Sanchez by Chuck Mangione: his choice of material from the whopping 23 and a half hours of music that he composed and recorded for this movie. Now there's a box set I want!

It starts with the plaintive "Children of Sanchez Overture" for voice and nylon-string guitar: "Without dreams of hope and pride a man will die". Then the band comes pounding in and Mangione begins to play the overture melody on flugelhorn. This is a great groove and makes the opening track about fourteen minutes long. It's all pure plasure, though, with considerable intensity as well.

Gentle and lyrical strings create an appropriately soothing atmosphere for "Lullabye", which also features a celeste-like sound that might be Mangione on electric piano.

The first of four album sides then concludes with the short "Fanfare", a reprise of the opening melody, the main theme, performed on flugelhorn by Mangione solo.

Side two begins with "Pilgrimage" parts one and two. Part one is a high-energy spin on the main theme, with lots of action from the drums, while part two continues much in the same manner but with more space for the drums and more of the spotlight on horns.

"Consuelo's Love Theme" is a nice change of pace, a lovely lilting midtempo number that Mangione can really relax into. Strings and voice get into it too. The chorus refers back to the main theme and it's gorgeous. I'm starting to wonder why more people don't play some of these tunes.

Time to change records for the third side now. It opens with "Hot Consuelo", an uptempo Latin number that starts with a blast of drum kit and hand percussion before Mangione comes sailing in on horn, reprising the main theme.

Solo acoustic guitar starts off "Death Scene", recallin the overture and playing a somber version of the main theme. It's eventually joined by cello and then most of the ensemble comes in for a heavenly finish.

"Market Place" is similar to "Hot Consuelo", another killer groove, though maybe more Brazilian this time, with Mangione tearing it up on flugelhorn.

Solo piano starts out the beautiful "Echano", eventually joined by flute and strings for a lovely and rich sound.

After that comes "Belavia", which starts with Mangione playing a really tasty groove on electric piano, before flute comes in with another wonderfully lyrical melody. This is another absolutely great piece that I hope is in one of the Real Book volumes. Eventually the whole ensemble comes in for a big triumphant build-up.

The third side concludes with "Lullabye (Vocal Version)", this time with female vocals and superbly sensitive electric piano playing from Mangione.

The fourth and last side starts with "Medley", in which a great groove anchors Mangione as he tears through all the themes on flugelhorn.

Then it's another downshift to the soft and slower "B'bye", which starts with a very pretty flugelhorn, guitar and bass trio before strings come in to add a Mancini-ish touch.

Everything wraps up with "Children of Sanchez (Finale)", a reprise of the swinging part of the overture, complete with vocals.