A culmination of influences from an illustrious career spanning 25-plus years, Departure is the latest studio recording from pianist Dan Siegel. He brilliantly blends his melodic and rhythmic pop sensibilities with his traditional jazz roots and offers up an amazing acoustic vision of original compositions. This CD is graceful, noble, and reflective, since it transcends categorization as it speaks to earlier times of adult instrumental acoustic music with classic themes that were influenced by the song, its melodies, and its virtuosic musicians. Among Siegel's invitees are several contemporary jazz greats including Brian Bromberg, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Lenny Castro, with special guest performances by saxophonist Bob Sheppard, guitarists Norman Brown and Grant Geissman, and vocalist Bill Cantos. Produced by Siegel and Bromberg, this 11-track offering is ripe with themes that move, groove and appeal to your sense of jazz. The emotionally gripping opening track"Across the Sea" and "Street Talk," which offers the vintage Siegel sound, defines the true stripped down essence that is Departure. The exotic string ensemble heard on "Mosaic" serves to enhance the darker emotional piano and saxophone textures. "Castles in the Sand" features Vince Guaraldi's inimitable influences while "Alone" is a soft-spoken ballad that includes light percussive textures and an irresistible tenderness from saxophonist Bob Sheppard. Overall, Departure is organic, in-the-pocket, and should be in your collection of great piano jazz records.
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AllMusic Review by Paula Edelstein