Dan Siegel: Inside Out (2004)
Almost a quarter century after his debut, Dan Siegel remains one of the kings of smooth-as-silk piano smooth jazz. No computer blips or hip-hop samples here. Siegel is such a mellow mood on his first new studio CD in six years that if you’re not completely relaxed after his latest, you should probably get your money back. Saxophonists Boney James and Jeff Kashiwa spice things up in solos and as part of a horn section, but their playing enhances the mellowness instead of taking it outside a comfort zone. None of this is bad, of course. On “Just Like That” and the cover track, Siegel’s chirpy playing and smooth backbeat are just what my doc might prescribe during the nadir of a hectic work week. Siegel steps outside his comfort zone a little with “Between the Lines,” laying down some tasty organ grooves, but soon slips back into his mellow groove with “To the Point.” He ventures into Yanni territory on the final cut, “Gone, But Not Forgotten,” a spiritual and uplifting four minutes of music cinema.
Siegel is from the old school, a defining member of the smooth jazz movement who still believes in music’s healing and calming attributes. In today’s loud world, there’s still plenty of room for that.
Track Listing: Just Like That; Inside Out; In Your Eyes; When the Time Comes; Between the Lines; To The Point; This Time Around; Crossroads; The Long Goodbye; Gone, But Not Forgotten
Personnel: Dan Siegel (piano and synthesizer); Brian Bromberg (fretless bass); Alex Al (bass); Robert Bacon (guitar); Lenny Castro (percussion); Boney James (saxophone); Jeff Kashiwa (saxophone); Dave Hooper (drums)