But it's a disservice to brand Mike Mangan and his Big Organ Trio with any mild pejorative such as "jam band." A virtuoso on the Hammond Organ and acclaimed by Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer; Santana co-founder Greg Rolie; and Melvin Seals of the Jerry Garcia Band, Mangan crafts original tunes that rarely lose focus even though they stretch on to lengths designed for the narcotically inclined. Meanwhile, his cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression" keeps it tight and funky and shuns self-indulgence.
Like most artists shunted into niche categories, Mangan and his peers typically attract little mainstream attention. But roots music and guitar genuflecting publications such as Jambands.Com, JamBandNews, and Glide Magazine have all paid tribute to his head-nodding instrumental grooves and mastery of the organ.
In the most telling sign of his ability, the L.A.-based veteran has attracted an all-star lineup to flesh out his visions, including Marc Ford on guitar (Black Crowes), Steve Molitz on organ (Phil Lesh & Friends), Leon Mobley on percussion (Ben Harper) and Munyungo Jackson, a percussionist with Stevie Wonder's band.
The crew take over the Mint on Friday night to celebrate the release of Mangan's sophomore record "Unwound." Expect flailing limbs, flopping hair and an audience seeking their own form of religion. In honor of the event, Mangan is premiering "Go For Broke," a track that does just that.
Mike Mangan's Big Organ Trio, The Mint, 6010 W. Pico Blvd., Friday, 9:00 p.m. $12 in advance, $15 at the door
MP3: Mike Mangan's Organ Trio -"Go For Broke"
-- Jeff Weiss
Photo: Mike Mangan. Credit: MikeMangan.com