I remain a fan of the beautiful Bronx native and doleful singer, Angela Bofill. Another forgotten song post a couple of years back hopefully attests to that fact. No surprise she landed on me during the late-70s, and kept me hexed through much of the 80s. Female songstresses with robust voices like Angela’s, Minnie Ripperton, and Phyllis Hyman had a transfixing affect on more than a few of us listeners during this period.
Each handled soulful ballads and uptempo dance numbers with ease by voice alone. None of the current pyrotechnics, light-shows, or overly stagey dance choreography of contemporary singers need apply. Just them and a microphone could hold an audience spellbound. Sadly, each would have their singing careers cut short. Lives, too, for Minnie (cancer) and Phyllis (suicide). Only Angela is still with us.
Admittedly, I adored her work on the GRP label (Grusin/Rosen Productions). Her later stint with Arista Records, not as much. Not to say they were bad, no. She just needed a good producer who’d tailor the song selection and arrangements to a style that lent themselves to her strengths as a singer. She finally got that from the label in 1985, her last with Arista, when the great George Duke took her under his wing.
Her only collaboration with Duke, Tell Me Tomorrow, produced the last of my favorites for the singer. More a mix of the R&B cuts aimed for radio play of the time instead of the Jazz Fusion ballads that initially snagged me the previous decade. Still, the title track and my favorite cut of the entire album, Still in Love, retained those characteristic qualities. The slow soulful jams others attributed to the Quiet Storm1.
I’ve no doubt George Duke brought in the traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument, the Koto, for just the right sound and effect to accompany Angela on this. It’d be like him. When you hear its distinctive notes on the song’s instrument backing, you’ll recognize the Koto, and how well it worked.
Composed by Derek Bramble, the song still takes me in all these years later. Oh, that voice. Not to shortchange his influence or artistry, the late-George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013) was his usual multitalented self. He would perform keyboard, synthesizers and background vocal, along with his stirring arrangement of the song. Beautiful and tender, this was Angela Bofill and George Duke at their best.
You look so sorry, please tell me what's wrong Just what are you thinking, you look so forlorn Maybe you're thinking that I have been untrue So let me assure you and tell you the truth I'm not one to fool around The mistake that I made Was not meant to hurt you I needed somehow to try and find out How I really felt inside and I know I'm Still in love, still in love I'm gonna be all you want me to be 'Cause I'm still in love, oh, still in love I'm gonna do all you want me to do Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies It's something that happened in which I can't disguise I needed somebody to take me away From feelings of doubt which in my mind delay But you've always been the one And there are days when I know I should have told you Don't make me cry 'cause I'm gonna try To make you believe in me and you know I'm Still in love, I'm so still in love I'm gonna be all you want me to be 'Cause I'm still in love, I'm still in love I'm gonna do all you want me to do Still in love, still in love Still in love, still in love Still in love Still in love, still in love, oh Oh, you must be the one for me 'Cause as hard as I try I just can't let you go So that you know, please, please don't go 'Cause you're all, you're all that I need and I know I'm Still in love, I'm still in love I'm gonna be all you want me to be 'Cause I'm still in love, I'm still in love I'm gonna do all you want me to do Still in love, still in love, still in love, oh I'm gonna be all you want me to be I'm still in love, I'm still in love I'm gonna do all you want me to do