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Stevens, Siegel & Ferguson are a well established trio, having played together for a decade, and they sound like it on this recording. They move together so well that each has clearly internalized the others' tendencies. They're funky together, sensitive together, sparing together, and lavish together. This recording shows them in fine form, supporting guest artist Valery Ponomarev. Ponomarev is a splendid horn player. His playing is careful and deliberate, with solos that are finely crafted and never given over to abandon. He doesn't resort to cheap tricks to appeal to the crowd. Instead he relies on the intelligence of his listeners to realize the depth of his performance. Similarly, there is little that's overtly flashy about Stevens, Siegel & Ferguson. They are a solid, mainstream, trio, but one with a lot of character. This is the kind of group that makes music that doesn't grab your attention at first, but which stays with you and makes you notice its subtle longevity.
Personnel: Michael Jefry Stevens: piano; Jeff "Siege" Siegal: drums; Tim Ferguson: bass; Valery Ponomarev: trumpet, pocket trumpet, flugelhorn.
Track Listing: Magical Spaces, Lonely Woman, Julie's Tabouleh, Dedication, For You Only, Blue Heart, Con Alma, Memorial, Blues For Elena, Angelica, You Wait Here. Total time: 70:01.
I love jazz because I enjoy the freedom.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was 17.
I met Cedar Walton at a concert in San Paulo.
The best show I ever attended was Helio Jambao trio.
The first jazz record I bought was Witchcraft by George Benson.
My advice to new listeners is listen to the old school first.