Angel Rissoff is a Bronx, New York native. He started singing R&B on street corners when he was twelve, and joined his first band, The Soul Masters, as bass player in 1970. His distinctive vocal style is a result of an array of influences; doo-wop’s Nolan Strong, jazz balladeers, Arthur Prysock and Billy Eckstine, soul giants, Howard Tate, Don Covay, Harvey Fuqua and the blue-eyed soul of Felix Cavaliere.   Rissoff has been active in soul, R&B and rock circles as well as in the beach music scene, where he is known as The Bronx Bomber of Soul. He was lead singer for the Florida-based band, Kollektion, and made an album as part of the critically acclaimed group, Diamond, Angel and Crooks. He also fronted the GC Dangerous band with original Rascal, Gene Cornish on guitar. He played with the legendary Chuck Berry, and has worked with such notables as Dion, Matt Guitar Murphy, Bobby Byrd, Robbin Ford, Darlene Love, John Lee Hooker, Chuck Jackson, Paul Schaffer, The Blues Image, and Harvey Fuqua and The New Rascals. From 1999 to 2007, Rissoff was a member of the acclaimed vocal group, Kenny Vance and The Planotones. He adopted the name Little Leopold to sing lead on Little Isidore & the Inquisitors’ smash single, Harlem Hit Parade.  In 2006, Rissoff’s CD, Where Have You Been, was nominated for Best Solo Album of the Year at the Carolina Beach Awards, and recognized as one of the best R&B records of the year by soul-jazz producer, Bob Porter. The track, I Want a Love I Can See, was nominated for National Dance/Shag Song. In 2007, Rissoff was presented with the Black American Standard Music Award at Philadelphia’s Soul-Patrol Convention for his CD compilation, Angel’s Nu-Soul Explosion. In 2008, the National Association of Rhythm & Blues DJs Presented him with the Blue Note Award for the vocals, producing and arranging on his CD, Nu Soul Stew.

Angel Rissoff was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame as a Great R&B Artist on December 4, 2011.

© December 2011
Photos: Susan O'Kane