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Bofill, Angela

jazz album performed success

Bofill, Angela, jazz singer; b.N.Y., 1954. Migrating between contemporary jazz and slick pop, Bofill’s biggest successes came within the realm of the latter, though at both the beginning of her professional career (with Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderley, and others) and then after its commercial success waned, she performed in genuine jazz contexts. The Hispanic multi-instrumental prodigy grew up in the Bronx and performed on the Latin music scene, most notably with the salsa band led by Ricardo Morrero known simply as The Group. Flutist Dave Valentin of that band introduced her to the owners of GRP, who launched her career with an album that made the jazz charts. After her second album for GRP, she disputed her royalties and subsequently her contract was moved to Arista, which promoted her solely as an R&B artist and similarly focused the production on her albums. Though she never broke through to the mainstream, she had a number of R&B hits and her mid-1980s albums charted consistently. She had the greatest success with Narada Michael Walden, who like Bofill directed jazz chops in a commercial direction. By the latter part of the decade, however, her sound was no longer current, and later efforts to update it came off awkwardly. Finally on her Shanachie album she returned to her old style, at least sounding comfortable again.

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