Gus Mancuso roared onto the recording scene in 1956 playing baritone horn, an instrument rarely heard outside of marching bands. Attracted by Mancuso’s facility and inventiveness on the big horn, Cal Tjader arranged for his debut on Fantasy with a distinguished collection of sidemen. For two of the sessions, vibraharpist Tjader returned to his original instrument, drums. He brought in Eugene Wright and Vince Guaraldi from his own quartet and added guitarist Eddie Duran and tenor saxophonist Richie Kamuca. In another session, pianist Gerald Wiggins headed Gus’s rhythm section. One of a generation of talented young Italian-American musicians from upstate New York, Mancuso made his paisan Joe Romano a partner in the front line of his second album, music from the Broadway variety hit New Faces. Mancuso’s career since the 1950s has included collaborations as a pianist with Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, Quincy Jones, and Carl Fontana. In his own trio, he plays both piano and baritone horn.
with Bill Douglass, Eddie Duran, Buddy Greve, Vince Guaraldi, Pete Jolly, Richie Kamuca, Red Mitchell, Joe Romano, Cal Tjader, Gerald Wiggins, Gene Wright