Trombonist Naomi Moon Siegel represents the new breed of jazz artists, the ones who have to make it all happen themselves. In lieu of an established record label, the words "Self Produced" say it all. And while the ability and relative affordability of putting out a CD that is self fundedor fan direct fundedcertainly eliminates a necessary culling process of artists who aren't quite ready to make this jump, Shoebox View, Siegel's marvelous debut, is one that the record companies should be kicking themselves over, for the missed opportunity to bring a fresh talent to light.
Siegel has found her voice. On this sprawling album that employs thirteen musicians in addition to the leader, the trombonist explores folk-like melodies and what she describes as "fantastical landscapes." A trombone seems an odd choice for a melodic lead in a folk song environment, with its deep tone and sonic heft, but Siegel surrounds the muscular brass with a silvery, moonlight-on-the-tree-tops backdrop on the opener, "Jeanine's Joy."
Recorded in Seattle, Costa Rica, and Brooklyn over a nine month period, half the music here is highly produced, the other half is recorded essentially live, with little or no studio tweaking. That said, it is a remarkably cohesive statement. Siegal works the studio like an old pro on the previously mentioned opener. She's added intricate effects on "Casa de Aves." Throughout Wurlitzers sparkle, synthesizers paint gentle washes of pastels, world percussion percolates. In a way, Siegel seems to be doingin a folk a song, world beat, African rhythms arenawhat Miles Davis and Teo Macero did with funk and acid jazz on On The Corner (Columbia Records, 1972), with, in Siegel and company's case, a gentler, more patient, and more melodic mode. The sounds around her may change, but the trombone remains a constanta powerful yet gentle voice in the middle of a vibrant world community.
Jeanine's Joy; It's Not Safe; Casa de Aves; Ukelady; Punta Uva, Ever Yes; Brow, Grey, Orange, Green; Electric Flower; Mama Sanchaba; Manana, Manana.
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