Review by Wanda Callagy
In conjunction with the celebration of the Day of Buddha’s Enlightenment, Zen Mountain Monastery in Mount Tremper hosted a concert by Gus Mancini’s Sonic Soul Band, and the special occasion only enhanced the magic of the music.
Featuring Gus Mancini on saxophone and synthesizer, Peter Head on guitar, Ruperto Ifil on drums and percussion and Michael Colletti on bass, the band delivered a performance which was not only mystical, but also induced most fans in the room to get up and dance as well.
They also introduced their new CD, Nine Improvisations, sharing their wide range of influences from “Monk to Funk” and their passion for musical storytelling with the listeners. Recorded at Sonart Studios in Mt. Tremper, the album is now available. And definitely some of the selections from the CD, especially “Nebula Funk,” were heightened by hearing and seeing them performed in such a spiritual place.
On stage, the four members obviously have a good musical rapport, and their performance was quite personable. Mancini’s sweet saxophone and improvisation on the synthesizer fit nicely with Head’s sounds on that Fender, while Ifil and Colletti kept the groove going with their exchange of rhythmic beats between the sticks and the bass. The energy was everywhere, and the concert was too soon at end.
You can hear Gus Mancini’s Sonic Soul Band in concert at the Falcon in Marlboro at 7pm on Friday (December 20), opening for the Mark Soskin Trio (featuring Steve Smith on drums). Mancini is also a long-time regular on “The Woodstock Roundtable,” broadcast from 7-9am on Sundays on WDST (100.1 FM). Take a listen and enjoy.Gus Mancini, Zen Mountain Monastery