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The key word from the title of this latest release by singer Janis Siegel is beautiful. She interprets this lovely program of mainstream songs in such a way that we're able to sit back and reflect on the beauty that each one holds. Her message is sincere. Hers isn't some groove shop exercise where she entertains us with vocal acrobatics and whiz-bang instrumental technique. No, Siegel performs with genuine sincerity and delivers a message that reaches home, communicating with her audience and leaving a beautiful glow with each phrase.
Edmar Casteneda's Colombian harp and the band's bright Latin jazz accompaniment gives Siegel a pleasant texture with which to sing songs of love and romantic pleasure. Caramel mambos into our hearts with a lightly dramatic flair; both Casteneda and pianist Edsel Gomez contribute stirring solo spots and suave accompaniment. Siegel sings this one with a romantic presence, multitracking the piece and filling it with positive thoughts.
A Thousand Beautiful Things allows Siegel and her ensemble to bring a lovely mambo texture to the dance floor. The music simmers gently and she takes us for an exotic tour of far-off lands where the landscape is filled with nothing but spiritual pleasures, both wholesome and real. Paul Simon's "Love places the singer amid a chorus of voices that float gently over a syncopated Caribbean breeze. Here and elsewhere, Edsel Gomez adds considerable depth to Siegel's heartfelt interpretation.
With Casteneda's harp as accompaniment, Siegel interprets "A Wish sincerely as a romantic Valentine's Day greeting. She closes the program with "Did You See the Moon Tonight? performed slowly with piano accompaniment: sweet, sincere and filled with the beauty that rest of her album delivers in abundance.
Track Listing: Hidden Place; The Suitcase Song; I Cant Help It; Caramel; A Thousand Beautiful Things; A Wish (Valentine); Love; Make it Better; Till Then; Sweet is the Air; Reflecting Light; Did You See the Moon Tonight?.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.