There is always something very uplifting about Nelson Rangell’s albums, of which ‘Red’ is his latest offering.
It’s that passionate Sanborn-esque sound, the cutting edge production, and uplifting melodies, combined with his seamless technique with more than your average vocabulary, that makes him stand out from the crowd.
On his Wikipedia page, he is referred to as a “Smooth Jazz” musician, which doesn’t really do justice to his incredible ability as an artist and performer on saxes and flutes.
“He has the ability to squeeze every ounce of juice out of every note.”
Nelson has been around the scene for 3 decades now, which is surely a testament to his work – I first heard him playing with the GRP Big Band steaming through ‘Donna Lee’ on piccolo, and in the late 80’s his album ‘Turning Night Into Day (GRP-1997), which has always been a favorite of mine. On ‘Red’ he doesn’t disappoint.
From the virtuosic ‘The Red Pill’ to the soulful funky ‘Smoothly Sinister’ to the passionate ‘Some Next To Grace’ and the Bill Wither’s tune, ‘Whatever Happens’ there is something for everyone here.
Nelson has the ability to squeeze every ounce of juice out of every note; check out the opening track ‘Point Of Departure’, and his long improvised seemingly endless flurries display an awesome technique. ‘Red’ has been produced alongside ‘Blue’ which is his flute and piccolo album, and shows his true diversity and dynamic power.
Undoubtedly this is a commercially produced album, and in that, it succeeds, as it will appeal to a wide audience. Not your regular dinner- smooth jazz album, it’s deserving of much more attention than that.
RED is available from iTunes or Amazon. Check out www.nelsonrangell.com for more info.
Simon Niblock is a busy performer and composer/arranger and leader of the Spice Fusion big band. Check out his latest album featuring Eric Marienthal.