Janis Siegel

Sketches of Broadway

Telarc CD 83597

Janis Siegel, vocals; Gil Goldstein, piano, Fender Rhodes, accordion; John Pattitucci, bass; Romero Lubambo, guitar; Antonio Sanchez, drums; Stefon Harris, vibes.

With "Sketches of Broadway", Brooklyn-born singer Janis Siegel, a long-time member of 'Manhattan Transfer', makes her eighth solo album and her third on the Telarc label. There is a rich vein to be exploited in show songs and a professional like Janis shows us what can be done with some careful research. All of the arranging is by keyboard player Gil Goldstein. Many of the songs are from the second string of show masterpieces; Stephen Sondheim's "The Story of Lucy and Jessie" (Follies) and "Sorry Grateful" (Company); Harold Arlen and Johnny Mandel's "It's a Woman's Prerogative" (St. Louis Woman). She gives herself a stunning unaccompanied multi layered vocal backing in "Out of My Dreams" (Oklahoma) and "I Have Dreamed" (The King and I); and an interesting and effective selection of sidemen help to make this track a work of beauty. Each song is approached differently and given it's own special treatment "I've Got the Sun in the Morning (And the Moon at Night)" has a raunchy, stretched feel; putting a different emphasis entirely on "Annie Get Your Gun". Janis sings with a clear, bright voice, not missing a nuance when required; and above all she sings with conviction. These are eleven superb songs, given a very special treatment from a consummate artist.

by Ferdinand Maylin