Love Life Choices
First off I must confess that producer Jason Miles and I have been social media buddies for a very long time so I have a definite soft spot for just about everything he creates. Mostly because he is a passionate, dedicated and formidable talent with an eye and an ear for musical genius. So when Jason "discovers" a new talent, I put down my wine and I really listen.
Rebecca Angel is the real deal, with a voice so intoxicatingly smooth who needs wine? And much like a fine wine, it's hard to believe this young, fresh talent is new to the world of smooth groove. Love, Life, Choices is her debut album, the word "debut" completely debunked by her mature, sophisticated delivery and song choices that speak to an old soul with a need to be heard.
Let's begin with "For What It's Worth", the Buffalo Springfield classic with surprisingly relevant lyrics. The song may be vintage but the take is contemporary cool, complementing Rebecca's velvet vocals. "Waiting In Vain" (Bob Marley) takes a time-honoured reggae lilt and sweetens the vibe with glossy groove. And "Just The Two Of Us" is another jazzy gem, silky, sleek and serene. And therein lies the secret to Miss Angel's delivery - she never over-sings and she never shows off unnecessarily. She does not have to. She is creating mood and meaning.
But it's not just about clever covers. Rebecca offers up three emotional originals: “Side By Side” (co-written with Miles and beatboxer Butterscotch), “Summer Song ” and the provocative “Thoughts and Prayers.” The girl keeps up!
Her team is world-class with Jason (Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, Grover Washington Jr.) on keyboards and an impressive cast of super-cool cats including trumpeter/flugelhornist Dennis Angel, who also happens to be Rebecca’s father. “I never try to be someone I’m not,” she says. "The most important thing is believing in what you sing or play, because if you don’t believe it nobody else will.”
True words. And for someone new to the game, spoken and sung with the wisdom of an old musical soul. Rebecca Angel has only just begun and I'm quite sure that as she lives and loves, her musical choices will get more and more interesting. I can hardly wait.
Vickie van Dyke