Angela Bofill - Angie (Reissue)

Angela Bofill
Angela Bofill Angie.jpg
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A stroke silenced Angela Bofill’s singing voice. However, Bofill still has a voice, and she has used that voice to return to the place that had been her home away from home for more than four decades – the stage. The stage show The Angela Bofill Experience allows fans to hear from this classically trained vocalist as she recounts her life experiences through stories and past video footage. Bofill also befriended plenty of talented vocalists and musicians over the years, and those friends supply the live music element that Bofill – unfortunately – is no longer able to provide. The musical luminaries who have joined Bofill on the stage since The Angela Bofill Experience opened include Maysa Leak, Phil Perry, Kim Waters, as well as members of members of Bofill’s band.

A stroke silenced Angela Bofill’s singing voice. However, Bofill still has a voice, and she has used that voice to return to the place that had been her home away from home for more than four decades – the stage. The stage show The Angela Bofill Experience allows fans to hear from this classically trained vocalist as she recounts her life experiences through stories and past video footage. Bofill also befriended plenty of talented vocalists and musicians over the years, and those friends supply the live music element that Bofill – unfortunately – is no longer able to provide. The musical luminaries who have joined Bofill on the stage since The Angela Bofill Experience opened include Maysa Leak, Phil Perry, Kim Waters, as well as members of members of Bofill’s band.

With Bofill healthy enough to tour, and looking to book more shows, and TV One scheduled to devote an episode of “Unsung” to Angela Bofill later this year, 2012 is an excellent time for longtime fans and others who have an interest in quality music to acquaint or reacquaint themselves with Bofill’s albums. SoulMusic.com Records fills that need by releasing Angie, Bofill’s 1978 debut album with GRP Records. As with most of these reissues, the CD includes all of the original album tracks plus a bonus: here, the radio version of Angie’s biggest hit “This Time I’ll Be Sweeter.”

The reissue also includes a booklet with photos of the original cover art that graced the vinyl 33-rpm long play album. Equally import, the booklet includes details of how the Bronx born Bofill, the daughter of a Cuban father and Puerto Rican mother, came to the attention of Dave Grusin and GRP. Listeners will likely read the booklet while playing Angie, and that history give us an understanding of why GRP was the perfect label for artist with Bofill’s unique voice and diverse background.

“Under The Moon and Over The Sky” plays to the Bofill’s Afro-Latin background. Her Cuban-American father was a longshoreman who moonlighted as a singer. Bofill also had gigs with soul-jazz legend Cannonball Adderly and be-bop and Afro-Cuban jazz pioneer Dizzy Gillespie. That kind of woodshedding paid dividends on “Under the Moon and Over the Sky.” Bofill also had plenty of songs with plenty of crossover potential: “This Time I’ll Be Sweeter,” is the excellent example of a pop torch song that was all over the radio in 1978 and 79, while the sunny “Baby, I Need Your Love” shows that Bofill’s mature and well-trained voice could work magic with a song that might have sounded like bubble gum pop in less experienced hands.

The album tracks on Angie also yield some long forgotten pleasant surprises, including “Rough Times.” This hard driving number features a thumping bass and pulsating percussion as Bofill sings about trying to survive in a cold world. For a woman who made her rep singing love ballads and dance tunes, Bofill was more than up to the challenge of infusing “Rough Times” with the vocal urgency that befits its message.

It would be easy for Bofill to disappear after suffering multiple strokes that prevent her from singing and limit her mobility. Our youth oriented society would be more than willing to forget about her. However, Bofill stepped back into the spotlight because she understood that there were plenty of people who were connected to her through her music. Soultracks.com played a big role in getting that message out by providing periodic updates on her condition, as well as a forum where fans could send expressions of love and support. The reissue of Angie will be another reminder of why fans have been so devoted to this Bronx born Angel of the Night. Highly Recommended

By Howard Dukes

 
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