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Rising Star Vocalist Alex Siegers Releases 'From Here'

Rising Star Vocalist Alex Siegers Releases 'From Here'

Courtesy Bella Martin

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An album of truly Australian jazz standards, featuring classic tracks from across six decades, several recorded here for the first time.
Alex Siegers
From rising star vocalist Alex Siegers, an album of truly Australian jazz standards, featuring classic tracks from across six decades, several recorded here for the first time.

Introduced to Australian and New Zealand jazz by her teacher, the late Kerrie Biddell, Siegers was excited when Tim Nikolsky released the first iteration of the Australian Jazz Real Book but also frustrated that so many of the classic tunes in it were so difficult to access in recorded form. This album, says Siegers, is a first step towards remedying that lack, and building the core of the Australian jazz canon.

From Here is my postcard to the world about my beautiful home, Australia. From Cockerawombeeba Creek near Wauchope, NSW to Tangambalanga, VIC, just past Yackandandah and Baranduda; our tiny native bees and our towering tallowwoods; our egalitarian spirit and lovable larrikinism; our art, literature and design, the kitsch and the classic. I love it all. We have a deep and complex history, and so many incredible stories to share.’

The album opens with a classic tune from Australian jazz matriarch Judy Bailey: “Colours of My Dream." Bailey recorded it in 1976 with Denise Keene on vocals; this is the first recording since then. Another key woman in Australian jazz is Sharny Russell: she’s represented here with Siegers’ yearning 7/4 rendition of Somebody’s Daughter.

Kerrie Biddell, one of this country’s greatest musical story tellers, wrote delightfully whimsical lyrics (featuring a lemur called Len, a worm called Harry and a penguin called Doug!) to Col Loughnan’s instrumental classic Three for All. This vocal version has never been recorded – until now. Siegers also treats us to her own vocalese to Brian Brown’s 1958 tune Digger’s Rest (named after a band colleague of Brown’s), transforming it into a sparkling account of the first controlled powered flight in Australia, performed by Harry Houdini in 1910 at Diggers Rest in rural Victoria.

Bernie McGann’s Spirit Song is arguably the best-known Australian jazz standard of them all. Catherine O’Brien created and recorded her gentle lyrics for it in the late 90s; this is the first time they have been recorded since then. Bryce Rohde’s exquisite ballad Why Should There be Stars is an Australian premiere recording in this version featuring Kaye Lawrence Dunham’s soulful lyrics. And the montuno Cuban feel of Bob Sedergreen’s 1970s classic Intersection, with lyrics by Judy Jacques, offers what Siegers calls a light-hearted, even cheeky, take on the concept of an Australian jazz standard.

The album also includes original jazz treatments of two popular Australian classical tunes: Elena Kats-Chernin’s Eliza Aria, reimagined by Siegers for a lower, earthier vocal line, and Carl Vine’s Love Me Sweet, its optimistic vision of love given a more sinister turn by Siegers’ subtle reharmonisations.

About Alex Siegers

Alex Siegers has amassed considerable experience as a performer and educator across jazz, sacred, classical and pop genres with leading ensembles throughout Australia. She has performed and recorded with contemporary musicians including Paul Grabowsky, Gian Slater, The Idea of North, Felix Riebl, Ollie McGill, Julia Jacklin, Alex The Astronaut, Bobby Fox, Goldheist, and Jessica O’Donoghue, and as a jazz vocalist and looping artist in her own right at events and festivals including Canberra International Music Festival, Coriole Music Festival, All About Women, Singing at the House, Sydney Con Jazz Festival, Beams Arts Festival, UCSB Amplified in Santa Barbara, Light the Night, AusAca and Get Vocal Festival. She is a permanent member of the Choir of St James’ King Street, Sydney and is currently performing the lead role in Da Vinci’s Apprentice for Musica Viva In Schools. She has appeared as a soloist with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, and has also performed with The Song Company, The Choir of St Mary's Cathedral, St Andrew’s Cathedral Choir, Sydney Chamber Choir, Luminescence Chamber Singers, Cantillation, and The Australian Voices.

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Track Listing

Colours of My Dream; Eliza Aria; Diggers Rest Brian; Somebody’s Daughter; Love Me Sweet; Spirit Song; Why Should There Be Stars; Three for All; Intersection.

Personnel

Album information

Title: From Here | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: ABC Jazz


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