When Nelson Rangell
broke onto the scene in the late '80s, it was easy to recognize his formidable sax chops and just as easy to dismiss him as a top rate Sanborn clone. Gradually, however, he has emerged as a well rounded wind instrument force, and his third GRP album (fourth overall) goes a long way to prove his dynamics and aptitude on all three saxes, fluge, and piccolo. While his composing talents are slowly coming along (he co-wrote three cuts), his range control, energy, melodicism, and improvisational skills have never sounded finer. There are still touches of the Sanborn influence but with the help of producer Russ Freeman (who amazingly enough gathers his Rippingtons around, but does a bang up job without making the disc sound like a group project), Rangell
touches on tenderness, whimsy, and even one short at a Tom Scott
like funk edge. The Colorado saxman definitely arrived with this album, creating his own voice through a multitude of media. Chuck Loeb
deserves special mention for writing the album's top four cuts.