Angel of the Night
Produced in New York City at the peak of the disco movement, Angela Bofill’s 1979 album Angel of the Night proved it was possible to make dance music that was every bit as nuanced and agile as high jazz. The album’s credits list a multitude of talented musicians, many of whom Bofill knew personally from her days at the Manhattan School of Music or from New York's jazz clubs. The music's most outstanding quality is its flow. Even with their many ingredients, the songs cycle forward with utter effortlessness, as Bofill integrates jazz, R&B, theater tunes, and world music with an ease that might remind listeners of Stevie Wonder. The vulnerability and clarity the singer brought to ballads like “I Try” made her an icon among female listeners, but the best way to experience this album is to immerse oneself in the slow, shimmering textures of “The Feelin’s Love” and “The Voyage.” By blurring the lines between urban funk and club jazz and Broadway glamour, Bofill ensured that her best tunes would defy easy classification.