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Janis Siegel: Sketches of Broadway

Jim Santella By

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Her vibrant tone and spot-on technique place Janis Siegel among the elite in contemporary jazz song. Each performance demonstrates her superior vocal acrobatics.

This collection of Broadway favorites includes glimpses from Annie Get Your Gun, The King and I, My Fair Lady, Oklahoma, Mame, and several others. Siegel interprets each with authority. Her heartfelt anguish over a piece from St. Louis Woman issues forth decisively. There’s little left unspoken. She reminds us, with charming demeanor, of the song’s place in history. The selections that Siegel has chosen for this project each have their significant place in our lives.

”Make Someone Happy” floats its message on wings bolstered by Stefon Harris and Gil Goldstein. Along with bass and drums, the two artists supply a lush harmonic foundation for this lovely dedication. Siegel gives it her all.

Romero Lubambo joins the ensemble for several numbers. His acoustic guitar adds a natural quality that’s suited ideally for both ballads and for other lyrical pursuits.

As a vocal soloist, Siegel excels. Her clear, soprano voice towers above it all with authority. Interpretations of Broadway come naturally. She employs multi-tracking on the album frequently, however, to achieve finely matched vocal harmony. The result is an uneven album theme: part heartfelt solo vocal interpretation, and part glitzy vocal harmony with bells and whistles.

Her earthy interpretation of “I’ve Got the Sun in the Morning,” “It’s a Woman’s Prerogative” and “Surrey With the Fringe on Top” stand apart as the album’s high points. On each of these, Siegel reaches deep inside herself and achieves a relaxed outcome that’s colored by the blues and tinged in moody hues.


Track Listing: Show Me from My Fair Lady; Sorry-Grateful from Company; It's a Woman's Prerogative from St. Louis Woman; The Story of Lucy and Jessie from Follies; Born Too Late from The Littlest Revue; Out of My Dreams from Oklahoma / I Have Dreamed from The King & I; I've Got the Sun in the Morning (And the Moon at Night) from Annie Get Your Gun; The Surrey With The Fringe On Top from Oklahoma / Stoned Soul Picnic It Never Was You from Knickerbocker Holiday; My Best Beau from Mame; 11. Make Someone Happy from Do-Re-Mi.

Personnel: Janis Siegel?Vocals; Gil Goldstein?acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes, accordion; Stefon Harris?vibraphone; Romero Lubambo?acoustic guitar, electric guitar; John Patitucci?acoustic bass, 6-string electric bass; Antonio Sanchez?drums.

Title: Sketches of Broadway | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Telarc Records

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