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Ghost Canyon

Title - Faraway Place
Artist - Dan Siegel

While the coronavirus wreaked havoc to a deadly extreme, the pandemic era with its heightened quarantine measures proved to swing a double-edge sword for musicians.

Many were silenced, suffering the liability of limited-to-no opportunities to perform. But on the other hand, the disease aroused many to be creative in their artistic expression.

Veteran contemporary jazz pianist/keyboardist Dan Siegel took that difficult challenge during the social distancing desert to remotely assemble a group to deliver his eclectic album Faraway Place on his DSM label.

Ergo, Faraway Place (out August 13th, 2021) is comprised of 11 originals that range from straight-up lyrical beauties to accordion-tinged grooves, to a baroque-like number with strings and horns.

1. Old School
2. Sentimental Story
3. Tried And True
4. Something You Said
5. Curves Ahead
6. Faraway Place
7. Some Time Ago
8. Bluebird
9. Your Smile
10. Looking Up
11. Once Again

Siegel’s 22nd recording as a leader opens on the forthright, harmonically retro approach to Old School and the more laid back vibe of Sentimental Story, before bringing us some funky, gently euphoric hipsway on the free flowing majesty of the organ-fueled Tried and True, the elegantly layered, accordion-tinted Something You Said and then we get the shifting tonalities of key work found within the grooved Curves Ahead.

On what Siegel himself as described as something of a trilogy, his brand new album continues onward with the ornate splendor of Faraway Place and the Renaissance-esque imbed Some Time Ago, and then we get the dulcetly orchestrated tones, and Brazilian vocalist Rogerio Jardim’s wordless vocals of Bluebird, with the album rounding out on the Celtic-infused imbibement of Your Smile (again featuring Rogerio), the upbeat swirl of Looking Up, the album coming to a close on the harmoniously fevered jaunt Once Again.

“This is a different kind of album because of the pandemic,” says the Irvine, California-based composer and bandleader. “After writing the music in isolation, everything, with a few exceptions, was recorded separately by musicians in their home studios.”

“All of the tracks were demoed and developed rhythmically by drummers Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Gadd at East West Studios in LA. Those were the only sessions that I was present at,” Siegel admits.

“They set the music into motion with their drums. Then I sent what they did to the musicians I wanted to use and asked them to lay their parts down.” “What they sent back was so musical and really well-played. It only required a few modifications. I also went into the studio to record piano, and I rented an accordion for four tunes.” “I used contrast on the arrangements. They started sparse but then built with layers in the mix, always keeping in mind the song underneath it all. The way I see it is that I’m a composer first and I perform piano second,” Siegel adds.

Also joining Siegel on the album are saxophonist Eric Marienthal, trumpeter/trombonist Lee Thornburg, guitarist Allen Hinds, acoustic bassist Brian Bromberg, electric bassists Abraham Laboriel and Dwyane “Smitty” Smith, percussionist Lenny Castro, and on two tracks Brazilian vocalist Rogerio Jardim.

Amazon Purchase Link

Official Website

Dan Siegel @ Facebook

Dan Siegel @ YouTube