Jeff "Siege" Seigel Quartet
King of Xhosa
(2017, Aritsts Recording Collective)
A reviewer's dream, the Jeff "Siege" Siegel Quartet's King of Xhosa comes with a great narrative—Seigel's collaboration with South African horn player Feya Faku—and with a jazz throwback: critical liner notes by WVCR's J Hunter. Pardon me while I geek out instead about the sound of King of Xhosa: open, physical, and detailed, another gem of heightened naturalism from Scott Petito's NRS Recording Studio in Catskill. Siegel is an acutely toneful drummer, all glancing blows and fine internal dynamics. Faku's flugelhorn is straight honey. Five performers contribute tunes: Siegel's poignant "Ballad of the Innocent"; pianist Francesca Tanksley's austere "Prayer"; three rhythmically happening, small-footprint compositions by saxophonist Erica Lindsay, one of which, spotlights percussionist Fred Berryhill. But for the percussion pieces that bookend it, this is a quintessential modern jazz record, and an exceptional one at that. Artistsrecordingcollective.biz.