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Janis Siegel: The Tender Trap

Jim Santella By

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The combination of Janis Siegel’s vocal creativity and Fred Hersch’s imaginative supporting arrangements makes this album take off. Recorded in an intimate trio setting with various guest artists, the album lets its stars shine brightly. A gifted pianist, who began playing at the age of four, Hersch has taught at the New England Conservatory of Music and is widely regarded as an exceptionally creative artist. Siegel first sang professionally at the age of 12 and played folk songs on guitar before linking up with Tim Hauser to reshape The Manhattan Transfer in 1972. Siegel and Hersch, who have worked together previously with similar success, are aided by the strong bass work of Drew Gress and articulate drummers Victor Lewis & Matt Wilson.

Hank Crawford guests on the slow and deliberate title track, drawing upon the singer’s lower register to match his lush, sultry setting. He and guitarist Dave Tronzo assist on "I Just Want to Make Love to You" for a good old-time blues celebration. Michael Brecker adds fire to a near-vocalese arrangement of "Change Partners," while Russell Malone sits in for three tunes. His light, blues-tinged assistance on "Tulip or Turnip" blends appropriately with Siegel’s bright, articulate vocal presentation. Recommended, Siegel’s fourth album as leader in a career that spans over 25 years with The Manhattan Transfer evokes romance and passion while emphasizing good music.

Track Listing: That Old Black Magic; My Ship; (Love Is) The Tender Trap; Change Partners; I Just Want to Make Love to You; Too Darn Hot; How Deep is the Ocean?; Dreamsville; The Touch of Your Lips; You Bring Out the Lover in Me; How Long Has This Been Going On?; Tulip or Turnip; All Roads Lead Back to You / I Thought About You.Collective

Personnel: Janis Siegel- vocals; Fred Hersch- piano; Drew Gress- bass; Victor Lewis, Matt Wilson- drums; Russell Malone- guitar; Hank Crawford- alto saxophone; Michael Brecker- tenor saxophone on "Change Partners;" David Tronzo- slide guitar on "I Just Want To Make Love To You;" Frank Colon- bongos on "Too Darn Hot;" Jon Gordon- alto saxophone on "How Long Has This Been Going On?"

| Record Label: Monarch Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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