Nelson Rangell

Turning Night into Day

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If Nelson Rangell was not so keenly aware that a funky alto presence is apt to gain more acceptance in the smooth jazz world than the flute, he could easily be the Weisberg of his generation. On Turning Night into Day, he again plays chameleon, blowing sassy horn licks most of the time, but striking a more artistic and eloquent - and thus more memorable - stride on the few virtuoso flute pieces. "La Repuesta (The Answer)" is buried at the end of the disc, but its bold blend of Michael Bearden's zesty Latin piano, splashes of high temperature horn section fills, and soaring flute make it worthy of better placement. Likewise, the duetting of Rangell's high register piccolo with Howard Levy's lonesome harmonica harmony on "The Journey" adds a touch of classical-flavored cool to the set. Between these high points are riff after riff of Rangell's brand of solid but ultimately less satisfying Sanborn sounds. They're slick and well performed, but don't really tell us much about Rangell's personal development over the last eight years. Always among the best of the Sanborn soundalikes, Rangell should take a risk, try an all-flute project, and offer his brilliance on flute the spotlight it deserves.

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