New York flugelhornist and composer Dennis Angel presents a collection of funk, Latin-tinged and contemporary jazz sounds in a musical package of smooth-styled jazz featuring pianist of note Kenny Barron on the light and savvy On Track. A lawyer by profession with a New York City suburban law firm, Angel delivers his third album as leader and his second collaboration (Timeless Grooves, Timeless Grooves Records, 2012) with pianist and producer Jason Miles who also provides the arrangements along with saxophonist Gottfried Stoger. Angel's soft flugelhorn voicing seems the perfect fit for the soft smooth repertoire of the disc which contains nine originals and a beautiful rendition of the standard "Tea For Two" featuring daughter Rebecca Angel on vocals.
The personnel listing for the ten-piece album features a variety of players and vocalist performing in formats from quintets to an eight-man ensemble with Barron appearing as special guest on a couple of originals. The music opens up on the funky-tinged "Soul Strut" with Barron, Angel and saxophonist Stoger driving the music on this single release. The following "I Like It Like That" picks up the beat featuring Maya Azucena on vocals and a cast of eight laying down a tasteful groove. With music and lyrics by the leader, the love song "My Love" is voiced by James D Train Williams as Angel provides the flugelhorn background on one beautiful song.
Keyboardist Miles is pronounced on the electric piano and the Hammond B3 organ, augmented by Cyro Baptisata on percussion and others on the light "Take Me away," while the smooth jazz chart of "Serenity" features the soprano voice of saxophonist Stoger with accompaniment from the leader, drummer Brian Dunne finishing off another charming piece of music. The carnival-like "Jubilation," is one of the standout pieces of the disc highlighting brisk moments from Angel and Stoger on the flute, the electric bass of Amanda Ruzza and powerful solos from acoustic guitarist Romero Lubambo.
The swinging cool hard-driving beats of "Sunset Café" mark this one, the funkiest song of the set featuring Barron and Stoger's strong tenor statements. The session begins to close on the high-energy soul jam tune "This Song's for You" which showcases bassist George Porter Jr., and finalizes on the slightly disco-styled finale piece "Dream Dancer," capping off a splendid set of smooth and swing-driven jazz. A finesse player on the flugelhorn, Dennis Angel drives the music right On Track with this engaging outing of smooth jazz, touching on a variety of styles while displaying multiple rhythm sections and solid solo performances by a core cadre of fine players, very nice indeed!
Soul Strut; I Like It Like That; My Love; Take Me Away; Serenity; Jubilation; Tea for Two; Sunset Café; This Song's for You; Dream Dancer.
Dennis Angel: flugelhorn; Gottfried Stoger: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Jason Miles: piano, keyboards; synthesizers, strings; percussion and arrangements; Kenny Barron: piano (1, 8); 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: vocals; James D Train Williams: vocals; Pamela Friggs: vocals; Rebecca Angel: vocals.
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