The Emerging Contemporary Jazz Horn Trumpeter And Flugelhorn Player Is Rising On The Charts Again With His New Single “Soul Strut” Featuring Jazz Greats Kenny Barron and James Genus
Tapping once again into the Timeless Grooves that drove three singles off his critically acclaimed 2012 debut album up the contemporary jazz radio charts, Dennis Angel is right On Track for another successful run with his latest full length release.
The versatile trumpet and flugelhorn player’s latest single, the acoustic jazz-funk driven “Soul Strut”, is a fast rising sensation on various prominent smooth jazz radio outlets, reaching the Top 35 on the Smoothjazz.com Radar chart, debuting in the Top 50 on SmoothIndieStar.com and gaining spins on the Radio Wave Internet Airplay chart.
“Soul Strut” and the coolly swinging “Sunset Café” are driven by an organic quartet arrangement, featuring Angel vibing with jazz greats Kenny Barron (piano) and James Genus (acoustic bass); on the latter tune, Angel successfully experiments for the first time with a more laid back, Chet Baker styled tone.
Timeless Grooves included “Rio On My Mind”, which was #67 on the Groove Jazz Music Top 100 of 2012; “Forever Funk”, which reached the Top 25 on the Groove Jazz Music Top 30; and “Vegas Vibe”, which also received significant airplay.
Both Timeless Grooves and the new album were produced by Jason Miles, a keyboardist, composer and artist in his own right, who is renowned for his work over the past 30 years with Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, Michael Brecker, Whitney Houston, Grover Washington, Jr., Sting, Ivan Lins, Chaka Khan, Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, David Sanborn and Michael Jackson. Miles arranged the tracks of On Track with longtime Angel collaborator Gottfried Stoger (who also did transcriptions and charts, and plays tenor sax, soprano sax and flute). Miles performs on piano and adds a classic soul-jazz sensibility to the ten tracks with synthesizer, strings and dynamic array of keyboards, including electric piano, Wurlitzer electric piano and Hammond B-3 organ.
Five of the tracks (“I Like It Like That”, “Take Me Away”, “Serenity”, “Jubiliation”, and “Tea for Two”) are anchored by the rhythm section of Amanda Ruzza (bass) and Brian Dunne (drums), with featured appearances by acoustic guitarist Romero Lubambo and bassist Will Lee. Angel’s 18-year-old daughter Rebecca Angel, a jazz vocal major at Ithaca College, showcases her charming vocals on a seductive bossa nova twist on the Jazz Age classic “Tea for Two”.
The high-energy soul-jazz jam track titled “This Song’s For You” features bassist George Porter, Jr., who is well known for his work in the band The Meters and the TV series Treme. The song also features Miles on Wurlitzer and B-3 as well as a colorful flugelhorn-sax doubling by Angel and Stoger.
The funked out, thumping groove infused “Dream Dancer” is a retro disco/Herb Alpert 70s vibe tune with cross genre appeal. Veteran engineer Goh Hotoda from Japan mixed the original track and did another mastered version that could be a dance track. Two other tracks capture the overall emotional dynamics of the set, with the silky and graceful “Serenity” (featuring Gottfried at his most deeply expressive) giving way to the explosive whimsy of the bossa nova carnival “Jubilation”, featuring powerhouse solos by Lubambo on acoustic guitar and Stoger on flute.
After switching off between trumpet and flugelhorn on the first album – which earned Angel the distinction of December 2012’s Artist of the Month from the monthly jazz webzine Sounds of Timeless Jazz – Angel features his fluid and melodic work on the latter exclusively throughout the ten cuts of On Track. This is all the more impressive considering that he only began playing the flugelhorn two years ago.
“After so many years of playing trumpet simply for my own pleasure,” Angel says, “it’s been very exciting for me to write and record these original songs – especially with Jason and so many world class musicians who bring them to life in ways beyond anything I could have dreamed. I love the whole process of creating music, from the initial spark of inspiration through the smallest details of working in the studio to finally sharing it with the world and playing it live for people. My wife Linda came up with the title of the new album and I thought it fit perfectly with what I wanted to say. It has a lot of different meanings. I really feel that I’m On Track, right where I want to be as an artist.”
Musicians include Gottfried Stoger on tenor sax, soprano sax and flute; Jason Miles on piano, keyboards, synthesizers, strings, percussion and string arrangements; special guest Kenny Barron piano; Will Lee (electric bass); James Genus (acoustic bass) George Porter Jr. (electric bass); Amanda Ruzza (electric bass) Tom "Bones" Malone (trombone); Romero Lubambo (acoustic guitar); Nick Moroch (guitar); JT Lewis (drums); Brian Dunne (drums);
Adrian Harpham (drums); Bashiri Johnson (percussion) Cyro Baptisata (percussion); Maya Azucena, James D Train Williams, Pamela-Driggs; and Rebecca Angel on vocals
Dennis Angel's On Trakc is produced by Jason Miles, and all tracks are arranged by Jason Miles and Gottfried Stoger.