By James Keepnews, Chronogram
If you wonder whether Woodstock-based drummer Jeff “Siege” Siegel’s nickname is merely the result of good-natured hyperbole, listen to “Meet Me at the Station,” the kickoff track of this outstanding CD and wonder no more. In the overture, Siegel unleashes a cymbal fusillade, coaxing splashes of ringing multiphonics and stunning polyrhythmic finesse. It sets the driving tone for this live date from 2010.
Siegel and his cohorts—tenor saxophonist Erica Lindsay, pianist Francesca Tanksley, and bassist Uli Langthaler—revel in post-Coltrane, minor-key jazz, replete with unison piano/bass lines and passionate interplay, notably in Lindsay’s opening track, Tanksley’s “A New Freedom,” and their down-and-dirge-y reading of the late underground icon Arthur Rhames’s arrangement of “I Want Jesus to Walk With Me.” While taking nothing away from his exceptional bandmates’ fine playing, this recording is a powerful testament to Siegel’s talent, one absolutely deserving greater recognition.