A recent JAZZIZ magazine poll ranked Nelson Rangell among the most underrated musicians in the business. Such a vote was simply a confirmation of what contemporary jazz fans have known since the Denver-based saxophonist emerged in the late 1980s, that Rangell is one of the most exciting and diverse performers in the genre, equally adept at soprano, alto and tenor sax, in addition to being a genuine virtuoso on flute and piccolo.
Rangell first played the flute at the age of 15. Within six months he was studying classical and jazz at the Interlochen Arts Academy, a national camp for gifted musical students. He was named Best High School Jazz Soloist by Down Beat magazine's national competition and went on to attend the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he won the magazine's college-level national competition.
He has performed all over the United States and internationally, and has been a side-man on many recording sessions and jingles. To date Rangell has recorded 12 CDs, of which three have been in the top ten of Billboard's national jazz sales chart. He has been first in JAZZIZ magazine's radio active listing and has placed many top singles in national radio play charts.
Rangell is the fourth child in a musical family. His brother Andrew is a well-known concert pianist living in Boston, Massachusetts; his brother Bobby lives in Paris and is a leading woodwind player in Europe; his sister Paula is a professional singer living in New Orleans.