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Soul to Souls

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Album Review

Pop-jazz reedsman Nelson Rangell returns with the amiable Soul to Souls, an album evenly split between familiar covers and originals. The standards, including "A Night in Tunisia," Earl Klugh's "Vonetta," and Joe Sample's "Free as the Wind," are mostly pleasant but uninspired; the exception is a lovely recasting of Stevie Wonder's "Send One Your Love" (from his underrated fusion experiment Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants) that features some of Rangell's most haunting and inspired flute playing. The originals blend R&B and pop influences into Rangell's mainstream, smooth aesthetic; as always, his playing is impeccable and the production is pristine, but there's little sense of new artistic ground being broken on Soul to Souls. At its best, the album is a recapitulation of Rangell's talents; at it's worst, it's treading water.


Born: 26 March 1960 in Castle Rock, CO

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Nelson Rangell has primarily played pop-jazz throughout his career, although he did a credible job playing some soulful alto with the straight-ahead GRP All-Star Big Band. The records he cut for GRP in the early '90s made him into a popular contemporary jazz attraction in the David Sanborn tradition. A native of Denver, CO, Rangell learned how to play flute at the age of 15, and within six months, he was studying music at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Shortly afterward, he learned the saxophone,...
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Soul to Souls, Nelson Rangell
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