DAVID ANGEL

Big Band • United States
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Los Angeles native David Angel is one of the most respected composer/arrangers on the West Coast; however, he is virtually unknown to the general public. That is why tuba and bass-trombone master Jim Self decided it was time to rectify that situation. He brought together the David Angel Jazz Ensemble to record “Out on the Coast,” a gorgeous three-disc, first of its kind anthology of Angel’s music.

Angel, a Life Member of AFM Local 47, plays saxes and clarinet. He played and wrote for Latin bands in his youth but was also attracted to classical music. He was especially influenced by the French Impressionists, particularly Debussy and Ravel. He was equally influenced by jazz artists, such as Duke Ellington, Jack Montrose, Gerry Mulligan, Marty Paich, Gil Evans, and Bill Holman. Angel is also a big fan of the West Coast jazz style. When he was 21 years old, he was
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DAVID ANGEL The David Angel Big Band ‎: Camshafts And Butterflies album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The David Angel Big Band ‎: Camshafts And Butterflies
Big Band 2015
DAVID ANGEL Out on the Coast album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Out on the Coast
Big Band 2021

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DAVID ANGEL Out on the Coast

Album · 2021 · Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
This week’s installment on jazz musicians who deserve more recognition goes to composer and arranger David Angel. As orchestrator Brad Dechter put it, “David Angel is quite possibly the best composer you have never heard of “. You may not know David by name, but you have probably heard his music in countless TV shows and movies including a long running gig on “Bonanza” that started when David was only 21. Along with his work as soundtrack composer and educator, David has also been running a big band rehearsal group out of Los Angeles since 1969. A remarkable number of big name artists have passed through that band including George Bohannon, Bud Shank, Bob Brookmeyer, Art Pepper, Victor Feldman and many more. Given how long Angel has been running this project it comes as a surprise that prior to this year Angel had only one album out as a leader. Long time associate and horn player Jim Self decided it was time to get more of Angel’s music out to the public so he organized this extensive recording project that resulted in the three CD, “Out on the Coast”.

David’s music is very west coast, with a typical track rolling along in a relaxed swing feel, but there is variety too with Latin numbers, waltzes, ballads and blues too. David’s forte is contrapuntal arranging in which intertwining voices twist around each other in kaleidoscope textures. These arrangements will often continue even while the soloists stretch out providing interesting tone colors to counter the solos. David cites French impressionists such as Ravel and Debussy as major influences, as well as early ‘cool’ proponents such as Gerry Mulligan and Gil Evans, and of course the Duke.

Most of these tracks are David Angel originals with a few covers thrown in as well. Of the originals, some standouts include a Quincy Jones sounding bluesy jam session called “Ah Rite” and “Out on the Coast 3” on which the two flutes melody recalls kitsch TV soundtrack music from the 60s. There are also several lengthy suite like numbers on which David displays his ability to bring different moods to one piece of music. Of the covers, Ellington’s “Prelude to a Kiss” features alto saxophonist Gene Cipriano channeling Johnny Hodges to make this one really come alive with the spirit of the Duke’s long running band. Also from the Ellington repertoire we get French horn soloist Stephanie O’Keefe doing an excellent job on Billy Stray horn’s “A Flower is a Lovesome Thing”.

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