Dr Richard Niles writes:
The American sax & flute virtuoso Nelson Rangell, who has not appeared in Britain since 1999 will be at Pizza Express Dean Street on Oct. 28 & 29, Pizza Express Maidstone Oct 30.
From Colorado, Nelson Rangell went to New York in 1984 to work with artists such as Hiram Bullock, Jorge Dalto, Eric Gale, Richard Tee, Jaco Pastorius, Earl Klugh, Gil Evans and David Sanborn (to whom he has been compared).
Beyond his technical mastery, Rangell’s passionate melodicism can make a melody laugh, cry or moan. This has kept him on jazz radio playlists in the US since his first album To Begin Again (1988) and delighted audiences internationally.
He recorded eight CDs for Dave Grusin’s GRP Records (1988-1998) and also recorded with The Rippingtons, Chuck Loeb, Patti Austin, Tom Browne, Don Grusin and Dave Grusin’s GRP All Star Big Band. To date, he has released 15 albums, the latest of which is Soul To Souls [Koch Records] featuring an unusually silky arrangement of “Night In Tunisia”. Rangell’s choice of recorded material has ranged from originals to jazz standards – the polish and sophistication of the Smooth Jazz genre. His live performances direct the focus firmly on his volcanic instrumental prowess.
On his last visit to London’s Pizza Express in 1999, I managed to get him to play sax, flute and piccolo on my two solo albums. I was able to witness at close quarters the ability of a great musician to take something I’d written and turn it into so much more. These return gigs feature top-drawer British players Phil Mulford (bass) Pete Adams (keys) and Neal Wilkinson (drums).
With Nelson Rangell at the Pizza next week you will be guaranteed an exciting evening with a man who combines sensitive emotionalism with high-adrenaline instrumental wizardry.