I know I say a lot around here that there was a time when instrumental music was played alongside the pop and R&B hits of the day. One of the biggest hit instrumentals of that time was Chuck Mangione’s “Feels So Good.”
By the time this song was released, Mangione had been leading a band for over a decade. He’d also played with jazz great Art Blakey, and fronted a band with his brother Gap. The band he would feature on “Feels So Good” would contain Chris Vadala on saxophones and flutes, Grant Geissman on guitar, Charles Meeks on bass, and James Bradley, Jr. on drums with the leader on flugelhorn and keyboards. This group would go on to have great success based mainly from this single.
I have featured the album version in today’s post; though the hit version cuts about six full minutes from the one included on the album. That single edit cruised to the pop top ten in the spring of 1978. It was nominated for the Record of the Year at the Grammys, where it lost to Billy Joel’s “Just The Way You Are.” His next pop release, “Give It All You Got,” was used as a theme for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. It also placed high on the pop charts, making it into the top 20. These songs were part of an era that would soon fade away—Kenny G may have been the last smooth jazz artist to generate any pop airplay in the early 90s. Now all instrumental pop music is relegated to smooth jazz stations.
I hope you enjoy this throwback smooth jazz classic from the seventies. As always, thanks for reading and listening.