The Jason Miles-produced album is a jazzy R&B throwback; radio grooving to “Forever Funk”
Scarsdale, NY: Having successfully released more than a half dozen diverse singles that charted and received radio spins around the globe, trumpeter Dennis Angel will release his debut album, the vintage sounding “Timeless Grooves,” on November 13th via Timeless Grooves Records. Angel wrote eight songs for the varied 10-track set produced by keyboardist Jason Miles
(Marcus Miller, Miles Davis, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross) that brings something refreshing and unique to the contemporary jazz scene.
Angel has a way of gracefully emoting pristine pop melodies from his horn over the type of laidback grooves that bring to mind jazz-funk hits from the ‘60s and ‘70s. After experimenting and dabbling in a wide array of straight-ahead and contemporary jazz, hip hop, R&B and pop to construct an eclectic variety of instrumental and vocal singles, Angel knew he needed a producer to curate the sound for his first album. Enter Miles, who gave Angel the freedom to create and encouraged the trumpeter to also play flugelhorn on the set. Giving the well-crafted material a distinctive R&B edge, Miles (keyboards, synth bass, percussion) recruited “some of the very best players in the studio to play live” including guitarists Romero Lubambo, Nick Moroch, Dean Brown, and Will Bernard, bassist Amanda Ruzza, and drummer Brian Dunne. Joel Mofsenson plays acoustic piano on the vocal tracks and arranged two of the compositions. Long-time Angel collaborator Gottfried Stoger plays saxophones and deftly arranged the remaining compositions based on the classic American form.
While Angel and Miles toiled away in the studio in the spring and summer on “Timeless Grooves,” the single “Rio On My Mind” was released as an appetizer. Radio stations instantly embraced the idyllic soul-infused fiesta spotlighting Angel’s flugelhorn and classy acoustic guitar licks from Lubambo. As a follow-up, the groovy “Forever Funk,” on which Angel and Stoger engage in a Soul Train line-like trumpet and sax strut, was just serviced as a single. Angel’s 16 year-old daughter, Rebecca Angel, delivered a heartfelt vocal performance on the empowering “A Song In Harmony,” co-written by the pair. One of two covers, The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” receives a beautiful 3/4-time treatment with elegant etchings courtesy of Angel’s flugelhorn and Lubambo’s acoustic guitar along with a sterling performance by Stoger on soprano sax. Flugelhorn and tenor sax top the marquee on the leisurely paced “Vegas Vibe,” which bodes to become a radio favorite. Charismatic baritone vocalist DeForest Raphael pledges allegiance on the patriotic “I Did All This” and is featured on the clever bebop rapper “From Bebop To Hip Hop,” the latter of which charted when released as a single in 2010.
“Releasing ‘Timeless Grooves’ represents a life-long dream come true for me. After playing the trumpet my whole life, the album embodies my personal contribution to the music scene, which I believe adds something new and fresh to the contemporary jazz genre. We want to bring back some of the great trumpet and sax R&B sounds from the ‘60s and ‘70s and give it a more contemporary feel. The songs have catchy melodies that came to me during quiet times of just putting my trumpet to my lips. For me, the heart of a song is a simple yet memorable melody, which is what I tried to incorporate into each recording,” said Angel.
While in high school, Angel was trained by world renowned trumpeter William Vacchiano and had to decide between studying music at The Julliard School and pursuing a law degree. He chose law school and based his highly respected suburban New York City law practice on the motion picture industry where he works with the major studios. However, he never stopped playing his trumpet and performed at Carnegie Hall in a brass choir. In 2009, Angel wrote and recorded the witty “The Wall Street Recession Time Blues” after the market crash. This timely track garnered considerable airplay and media attention from the likes of the Boston Herald. Encouraged, Angel continued to crank out new singles, which also were welcomed at radio. Some were tongue-in-cheek numbers such as “I Need Smooth Jazz” and “Daddy, Can I Drive Your Car?” while others displayed the true talent behind the soulful grooves (“Dizzy Izzy”). Collaborating with the veteran Miles elevated Angel’s recordings to the next level. Energized, he is looking forward to performing music from “Timeless Grooves” in a concert setting.