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Nelson Rangell: Look Again

Veteran saxophonist Nelson Rangell is well known for his David Sanborn-influenced alto sound, and on Look Again (A440), he decided to change that sound by varying his sax voices, focusing especially on tenor. What hasn’t changed are Rangell’s agile, eloquent playing and signature multitracked saxes.

Rangell gets vigorous and assertive on the funky “Off the Hook” and teams with a horn section on the snappy “Dedication.” Singer Will Downing contributes rich-toned backing vocals to Rangell’s version of his song “Good Morning Love,” and Rangell gives his cover of singer Jill Scott’s “Long Walk” an atmospheric reading that’s all melodic soprano sax, pulsing bass and dreamlike percussion. The album’s last two tracks, “With All My Heart” and “Scenario,” are ballads that Rangell somehow manages to make simultaneously mellifluous and muscular. Look Again is an interesting, diverse collection, but I missed Rangell’s flute, which has long been part of his sound. Rangell is a gifted flutist, and it’s a shame he couldn’t find room to include it on the album.

Originally Published