Janis Siegel

Short Stories

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Although singer Janis Siegel is best known as a member of the Manhattan Transfer, her recordings under her own name, particularly those made with pianist Fred Hersch, best showcase her abilities. This is their first of several collaborations between the two, and it concentrates more heavily on modern pop songs rather than standards. The haunting bittersweet ballad "Invisible War" (written by singer Julia Fordham) features an emotional vocal by "Siegel" that is enriched by Hersch's inventive accompaniment. They are just as effective interpreting works by James Taylor, Todd Rundgren, Joni Mitchell, or Judy Collins. The standards include a moving renditions of "The Meaning of the Blues" and "Never Let Me Go." Jazz compositions include David Frishberg's lively "Zanzibar" and Hersch's lovely "A Dance for Me (Rain Waltz)," which is a bit overdone with an overdubbed backing vocal. This 1989 CD has been out of print for some time, but it is well worth seeking.

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