Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Angela Bofill: Angie

Angela Bofill: Angie. We read about her recently in the fine Clive Davis autobiography.  Angela Bofill performed with Ricardo Marrero & the Group and Dance Theater of Harlem chorus prior to being introduced to Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen (of the jazz label GRP Records) by her friend, jazz flautist Dave Valentin.  Grusin and Rosen signed Bofill and produced her 1978 debut album, Angie.  Shown above!

Angie was well received both critically and commercially and spawned the chart single "This Time I'll Be Sweeter" (co-penned by Gwen Guthrie), as well as Bofill's sprawling jazz composition, "Under the Moon and Over the Sky". Less than a year later the followup, Angel of the Night was released and outperformed its predecessor.  The album included chart singles "What I Wouldn't Do (For the Love of You)" and the uptempo title track, as well as the self-penned song "I Try" (later covered by Will Downing in 1991). The reception of these albums positioned Bofill as one of the first Latina singers to find success in the R&B andJazz markets.

Following the release of Angel of the Night, Arista head Clive Davis (whose label had a distribution deal with GRP at the time) showed interest in Bofill, and she switched labels for the release of her next album, 1981's Something About You.  That album (produced by Narada Michael Walden) was an attempt to move Bofill into more mainstream R&B and pop material, but performed less well than her prior releases, despite the relative success of singles "Holdin' Out for Love" and the title track, which both reached the R&B Top 40.  The following year Bofill and Walden re-teamed for Too Tough, this time scoring a major hit with the title track, which reached #5 on the R&B chart and spent four weeks at #2 on the Dance chart, as well as a Top 20 follow-up single "Tonight I Give In".   Several months later Bofill released her final collaboration with Walden, Teaser.  That album failed to match the success of Too Tough but did produce one Top 20 R&B hit, "I'm On Your Side", which has since been covered by multiple artists, most notably Jennifer Holliday, who had a Top 10 hit with it in 1991.

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