What does excel a prolific pianist? Is it his education of many years (Dan began piano lessons at age eight)? Is it his studies at an university? Foremost it's his experience and universality. Dan has never been obliged to a special style. So he can obtain his creativity by electronic oriented material, exotic world music and also jazz. Siegel has recorded and performed with a variety of artists including: Glenn Frey (The Eagles), Chaka Khan, Berlin, Philip Bailey (Earth Wind & Fire), Kenny Rankin, Hugh Masekela, Joe Sample, Herbie Hancock, Larry Carlton, Boney James, Ernie Watts and the London Symphony Orchestra.

On his new project "Departure" Dan Siegel is performing with Brian Bromberg (bass), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Lenny Castro (percussion), Bob Sheppard (saxophones) and further special guests from the wide scene of contemporary jazz. "The intent in making this album was to create music based on the fundamental ensemble of the jazz piano trio. The pure acoustic nature of the instrumentation made this project a departure of sorts for me. Even the additional overdubs, which include a small string ensemble, didn't detract from the organic foundation of the basic tracks", writes Dan in the liner notes of his album. Dan's explanation reveals the inner structure of the album which is certainly a contrast to his previous work "Inside Out".

With great carefulness and sensibility Dan introduces into the first piece Across The Sea. Bill Cantos is humming the melody in the style of Pat Metheny. Romantic is woven by Dan's melodica. Brian Bromberg's acoustic bass and Dan's piano are building a fantastic suspense-filled musical rainbow.

Street Talk is more purposeful and pointed like a Cha-Cha-Cha. Norman Brown creates a short guitar solo coquetting with his great talent. But indeed this is Dan's opportunity to roll over the ivory and ebony keys.

Bromberg's dark acoustic bass pushes the listener deep into
Mosaic. The tune is featuring Bob Sheppard's sax. The frame of the melody is wide-meshed and one never knows when its end.

The swinging vibe continues on Friends Forever. Dan Siegel's piano play is brilliant and sophisticated. Although melody-oriented his interpretation is complex and profound.

Departure is stepping more into the jazz area. His re-reflexion to traditional Jazz roots is always overlayered by his melodious past. So its a fallback to both sides. Excellent Brian Bromberg's short bass solo.

There are also mellow ballads on this album like From Here On Out. Even this ballade has a crescendo. A real heartbreaker.

The second ballade is A World Away. In the first part Dan plays performs the tune like a melody, then he starts to decorate the melody still avoiding improvisations.

The third slow tune is Soliloquy. In the middle of the tune Brian Bromberg lets his bass sing the melody before Dan's melodica and piano take over this part again. The tune is attenuated but always appealing.

Shades Of Gray is featuring Grant Geissman on electric guitar (in a very discreet role), while Grandmaster Dan Siegel unwind the melody part on his piano in a sovereign way.

Nothing is so fugitive like Castles In The Sand. Dan Siegel's melodies are certainly more durable. Because of their complexity it's not so easy to keep them in mind. They are coming and going like a pleasant smell or a wonderful butterfly. Catch the moment of marvelous rareness.

On the final Alone Dan's piano is accompanied by Bob Shepard's soul-stirring sax. A heartful melody.

"The end result is a work that falls somewhere between the generic cracks of stylistic categorization; a place that I have become quite comfortable inhabiting," comments Dan Siegel. This project requires the contemplative listeners if one wants to comprehend the whole substance of this album.





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  • Title: Departure
    Artist: Dan Siegel
    Year: 2006
    Length: 0:49:02
    Genre: General Jazz
    Label: Native Language

    01 Across The Sea [4:33]
    02 Street Talk [3:45]
    03 Mosaic [4:38]
    04 Friends Forever [4:12]
    05 Departure [5:17]
    06 From Here On Out [4:02]
    07 A World Away [4:18]
    08 Soliloquy [5:08]
    09 Shades Of Gray [4:36]
    10 Castles In The Sand [4:24]
    11 Alone [4:09]