Title - Love. Life. Choices
Artist - Rebecca Angel
For those unaware, Love. Life. Choices is the debut full-length album from New York City-based vocalist Rebecca Angel, following her widely acclaimed 2018 EP What We Had and a handful of well-received singles and other interim releases.
In Love. Life. Choices, on both her original compositions and interpretations, Rebecca displays maturity and poise, well-honed craftsmanship, a steely confidence, smart musical choices and an innate sense of self.
Furthermore, Rebeccas individuality shines through on each diverse track.
On these 10 stellar tunes, Rebecca threads together elements of several musical genres, including jazz, soul, pop and Brazilian music, fashioning an instantly embraceable hybrid sound.
For the sessions, veteran jazz/R&B producer/arranger Jason Miles (Miles Davis, Luther Vandross, Grover Washington Jr.) who also provides keyboards, assembled a world-class team of collaborators, and an impressive cast of virtuosic top-shelf musicians, among them guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Reggie Washington, drummer Gene Lake, and trumpeter/flugelhornist Dennis Angel, who also happens to be Rebeccas father.
Love. Life. Choices boasts an eclectic track list that finds Rebecca drawing material from several disparate sources. The albums covers run the gamut from Buffalo Springfields 60s protest classic For What Its Worth, which has already topped several prominent radio charts as a single, to songs written by Brazilian maestro Antonio Carlos Jobim (Corcovado and Waters of March), the beloved singers Sade (Maureen), Bill Withers (Just the Two of Us), and reggae icon Bob Marley (Waiting in Vain).
The collection also features a customized cornerstone of the modern classical canon, Gymnopedie No. 1, originally penned by the visionary Erik Satie and retitled here as Till Now, featuring newly written lyrics by Rebecca.
1. For What Its Worth (4:15)
2. Till Now (Gymnopedie No. 1) (3:35)
3. Side by Side (4:22)
4. Just the Two of Us (4:23)
5. Waiting in Vain (4:21)
6. Corcovado (4:50)
7. Waters of March (4:34)
8. Maureen (4:19)
9. Thoughts and Prayers (3:35)
10. Summer Song (Electro Remix) (4:06)
Opening on the lush, smooth jazz tones of For What Its Worth (featuring Maya Azucena, Reggie Washington, Gene Lake, Dean Brown and Dennis Angel) and the laidback hipsway of Till Now (Gymnopedie No. 1) (featuring Romero Lubambo, Reggie Washington and Gene Lake), she backs those up seamlessly with the finger-snapping delights of Side by Side (featuring Butterscotch, Dean Brown and Dennis Angel), the truly captivating Just the Two of Us (featuring Maya Azucena, Reggie Washington, Gene Lake, Ira Siegel and Ada Rovatti), and then the jazzed up Waiting in Vain (featuring Maya Azucena, Reggie Washington, Jimmy Bralower, Mark Rivera, Romero Lubambo and Nir Felder).
Along next on this highly impressive full-length album is the Latin-imbibed Corcovado (featuring Reggie Washington, Cyro Baptista, Romero Lubambo and Dennis Angel) and the addictive foot-tappers Waters of March (featuring Pamela Driggs, Reggie Washington, Brian Dunne, Cyro Baptista and Jay Rodriguez) and the atmospheric Maureen (featuring Jason Miles, Reggie Washington, Gene Lake, Richie Morales, Christian Ver Halen and Hailey Niswanger, with the album rounding out on the dedicated timbre of Thoughts and Prayers (featuring Jason Miles, Reggie Washington, Jonah Miles Prendergast and Brian Dunne), closing on the pure gossamer of Summer Song (Electro Remix) (featuring Jason Miles, Steven Wolf, Christian Ver Halen and Gottfried Stoeger).
The variety of song topics addressed within Love. Life. Choices is as wide-ranging as the music itself, with some tracks directly speaking to vital issues facing contemporary society and others inspired by Rebeccas recent marriage to her steadfast partner, Jonah.
In addition to her interpretations of classics, the singer contributes three impactful tunes that she composed: Side By Side (co-written with Miles and beatboxer Butterscotch), Summer Song (Electro Remix) and the incendiary Thoughts and Prayers, with lyrics that could have been ripped from todays headlines.
Each of Rebeccas performances is richly textured, finely nuanced and sophisticated, reminiscent of artists who have been at it much longer than she has.
Throughout the album, even as she glides easily from style to style, Rebecca Angel puts her own distinctive stamp on each track. I never try to be someone I am not. She says, the most important thing is believing in what you sing or play, because if you do not believe it nobody else will.
Amazon Purchase Links
Rebecca Angel @ Facebook
Rebecca Angel @ Twitter
Rebecca Angel @ Instagram
Rebecca Angel @ YouTube