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The Dan Siegel Project: Fables

Fables is a new CD of old music or, as the veteran pianist puts it, they are “re-imagined songs” using today’s software to magically whisk away some outdated elements. Fables is a fantastic recording on which live playing is key, with guests like Abraham Laboriel on bass, Charlie Bisharat on violin and John Riley on oboe, piccolo and bass clarinet-where Siegel fans or first-timers will experience the sweeping musical styles Siegel leaned on through the years, from his early days of new age to his current contemporary jazz muse. The tunes are from three albums Siegel released in the mid-1980s: Another Time, Another Place; On the Edge and Short Stories.

New age is, of course, well represented with the cosmic, space-age “Dark Star” and the exotic “Little Creek,” with its sitar and other Eastern sounds. “A Day in the Country” and “Concrete Jungle” are updated with a fresh new midtempo sound, the latter punctuated by Tony Guerrero’s trumpet. Allen Hinds’ rockin’ electric guitar rages on “The Last Waltz” and “Fugitives,” and vocalist Nadia Freeman’s ghostly vocals light up the latter, which loops a spooky, “Tubular Bells”-like sound. Siegel’s newer music is represented well with the contemporary jazz perfection of “Celestial Bodies” and with “Where Are You Now,” featuring Michael Lington’s swaying saxophone.

Originally Published