Tunes on Tuesday: Feels So Good

Why this tune?

Imagine a time when a smooth jazz instrumental over 9 minutes long reached #4 on the Billboard pop chart and was nominated for the record of the Year Grammy. That time was 1978 and the song was “Feels So Good” by Chuck Mangione, a trumpet and flugelhorn player whose birthday falls on November 29. In addition to his huge pop hit, Mangione had a very successful run in the 1970s and 80s, writing and performing two Olympic themes and several film scores and theme songs.

I expect many jazz heads were not big fans of Mangione and his smooth jazz success, ignoring his jazz credentials as a member of Art Blakey’s band in the early 1960s. My trumpet player at the time, for example, wasn’t impressed with his tone or, I suspect, his music.

Mangione had a second turn in the spotlight, in a way, 20 years later, when he had a recurring role in “King of the Hill.” The running gag in those cameos was that everything he played ended up as “Feels So Good.” He paid tribute to that role with a song titled “Peggy Hill” on his 2000 album “Everything For Love” that includes a quote from his biggest hit in his flugelhorn solo.

I stopped playing trumpet years ago, so I went to the keyboard for my version.

Hear my version

Tunes On Tuesday Reel

Check out these recordings

Chuck Mangione

Alison Brown & Jake Shimabukuro

Published by Oren Levine

Jazz pianist and composer from Washington, DC. Also a digital product and technology consultant currently working with nonprofit cllients

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