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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby




    A Thousand Beautiful Things

    Telarc CD 83630



1. Hidden Place
2. The Suitcase Song
3. I Can’t Help It
4. Caramel
5. A Thousand Beautiful Things
6. A Wish (Valentine)
7. Love
8. Make It Better
9. Till Then
10. Sweet is the Air
11. Reflecting Light
12. Did You See the Moon Tonight?
Janis Siegel – Vocals
Edsel Gomez - Piano
Edmar Castaneda – Colombian harp
John Benitez – Bass
Steve Hass – Drums
Luisito Quintero – Drums and percussion
Marlon Saunders – Background vocals
Brian Lynch – Trumpet and flugelhorn

      Janis Siegel is best known as a long-term member of Manhattan Transfer but she has also made many solo albums, of which this is her ninth. On this CD, Janis performs songs by a wide range of contemporary composers, including Stevie Wonder, Suzanne Vega, Paul Simon and Annie Lennox. Most of the songs are given Latin-American backings, which suit Siegel’s seductive style very well. The sound of Edmar Castaneda’s Colombian harp adds piquancy to several tracks, especially A Wish (Valentine) where he duets sensitively with Siegel.

      It is difficulty to pick out particular numbers, as the singing and musicianship are impeccable on every track. The optimistic mood of the album is clear in songs like the title-track and Raul Midon’s Make It Better. The Suitcase Song has the sort of warmth one associates with Sergio Mendes. Paul Simon’s Love is given a haunting rocking rhythm, while Lizz Wright’s Till Then is performed by Janis entirely alone.

      All in all, a delightful album made extra special by Edsel Gomez’s thoughtful arrangements and Janis Siegel’s tasteful singing.

      Tony Augarde


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