I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release (April 7, 2017), Different Voices from Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues and it's quite different. Corky Siegel, once member of the famed Siegel-Schwall Band, is back with an interesting concept. Orchestral blues. Opening with Missing Persons Blues - Op 25 forms around a traditional Chicago blues theme but featuring the strong sax work of Ernie Watts with Siegel on harp, Jamie Gorgojo on violin, Chihsuan Yang on violin, Dave Moss on viola, Jocelyn Butler Shoulders on cello and Frankie Donaldson on tabla. One features lush harp work by Siegel and crystal clear vocals by Matthew Santos on vocal, this track having more of a euro, show sound. Time Will Tell Overature - Op. 25 features Sandeep Das on tabla balanced with Siegel and enriched by nicely orchestrated violin accompaniment. On pop track, Lay Down Sally, an Eric Clapton and Marcy Levy composition, Marcy levy takes the lead on vocal, maintaining it's pop roots but with a critical orchestral spin. Siegel layers harp soloing over cello and viola giving the track a bluesy feel. Angel Food Cake features Siegel on lead vocal and fuses the styling of the original SSB with orchestral accompaniment. Cool. Shadows In A Shoe Box is one of my favorite tracks on the release with a more classical stance. Santos and Yang share the vocal floor with a light jazzy flavor and Siegel layers in rich harp work. Very nice. Albert Brumley's I'll Fly Away maintains a lot of it's original structure and builds in a gospel manner with Bruce Roper, Deb Lader and Sue Demel on vocal and guitar/Mandolin nicely laid on a string backing. Very nice. Italian Shuffle/Flip Flop & Fly opens with a light, airy orchestral piece over a 12 bar bottom, evolving into a blues standard featuring the great Sam Lay on vocal. A more deliberate classical composition, Galloping Horses, features Chihsuan Yang on erhu and Matthew Santos on beat box. Nicely done. Another nicely fused classical blues track, Counter Intuitive Op. 24 Part One has a deliberate walking bass line performed on strings and plucked violin strings with Siegel playing classic blues harp riffs but dressed with classical violin dressing. On Part 2 Siegel takes a more adventurous lead harp role and with violin supported melody and classical structure. Wrapping the release is The Sky Will Fall, with a solid Americana feel. Siegel is front and center on lead vocal and harp. Santos adds contrasting vocals over a passionate violin bridge and Siegel is showcased on harp to close out the release.
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