Birds of a Feather

Above the Clouds

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Over the course of fifteen solo albums since 1980, Dan Siegel has set a melodic standard for the smooth jazz genre. His only problem each time out seems to be topping and challenging himself. Fronting the supergoup Birds of a Feather for a freewheeling pop-fusion adventure Above the Clouds finds the keyboardist energetically resolving that dilemma. The multi faceted rhythmically eclectic project--somewhat of a sequel to a 1987 all star album--gives Siegel the opportunity to compose and produce for other lead instruments like guitar (Allen Hinds, Carl Verheyen), and sax (Boney James), and the result is a lively ensemble date which brews hefty doses of spontanaeity in a base of radio ready song craft. Siegel allows himself a few glistening solo spots but is mostly content to be one of the guys, as Hinds, James, bassist Larry Kimpel, and percussionist Lenny Castro fire away. The name warrants one corny cliche--these birds certainly fly high.

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