Jazziz magazine writes that Nelson Rangell is "an artist of depth, a master of song, and an improviser non pareil." The Times of London notes “his extraordinary facility on a range of instruments and his undoubted virtuosity," adding that Nelson is “one of fusion's most accomplished exponents." Such praise is a confirmation of what contemporary jazz fans have known since the Denver-based saxophonist emerged in the late 1980s: Rangell is one of the most exciting and diverse performers in the genre, equally adept at soprano, alto, and tenor saxophone, as well as being a genuine virtuoso on flute and piccolo.
Rangell is the fourth child in a musical family. His brother Andrew is a well known concert pianist living in Boston; his brother Bobby lives in Paris and is a leading woodwind player in European jazz and studio scenes. His sister Paula is a professional singer living in New Orleans.
Rangell first played flute at the age of 15. Within six months he was studying both classical and jazz music at the Interlochen Arts Academy, a national camp for gifted music students. He went on to attend the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. As a student he twice won Down Beat Magazine's prestigious National Student Recording Awards competition both as best jazz and best pop/rock instrumental soloist.
He has performed all over the United States and internationally and has been a side man on countless recording sessions and jingles. To date, Rangell has recorded 15 CDs, four of which have been in the top 10 of BillBoard's national sales chart. He has been number one in Jazziz magazine's "radio active" listing and has placed many top singles in national radio play charts. His new CD entitled Soul to Souls was released earlier this month.