Saturday, August 6, 2016

Birds Of A Feather - 1994 "Above The Clouds"

Over the course of fifteen solo albums since 1980, Dan Siegel has set a melodic standard for the smooth jazz genre. His only problem each time out seems to be topping and challenging himself. Fronting the supergoup Birds of a Feather for a freewheeling pop-fusion adventure Above the Clouds finds the keyboardist energetically resolving that dilemma. The multi faceted rhythmically eclectic project--somewhat of a sequel to a 1987 all star album--gives Siegel the opportunity to compose and produce for other lead instruments like guitar (Allen Hinds, Carl Verheyen), and sax (Boney James), and the result is a lively ensemble date which brews hefty doses of spontanaeity in a base of radio ready song craft. Siegel allows himself a few glistening solo spots but is mostly content to be one of the guys, as Hinds, James, bassist Larry Kimpel, and percussionist Lenny Castro fire away. The name warrants one corny cliche--these birds certainly fly high.

Solid contemporary pop/jazz project produced in 1994 by keyboardist Dan Siegel. Band members include Siegel, Boney James (sax), Allen Hinds (guitar), Carl Verheyen (guitar), Larry Kimpel (bass), Roberto Vally (fretless bass), Randy Drake (drums) and Lenny Castro (percussion). Standout songs include See You Soon, Head To Toe, Moonlight Drive and Old San Juan

This time around it's Dan Siegel with Boney James, Allen Hinds, Carl Verheyen, Larry Kimpel, Roberto Vally, Randy Drake and Lenny Castro on eleven great Siegel originals. Most of these cats played on his solo albums as well.

I had never heard of this group, saw some references to them and read some good reviews, and took a chance. Well worth the gamble! They sound very much like some of the earlier Rippingtons stuff. If you like the Rips, you'll love this album. 

I took a chance on buying this CD in the shop, not having heard of this band before and now it's one of the best smooth jazz albums in my collection. Listening to the first track 'See You Soon',really makes you appreciate what good music is all about and the recording is excellent. Perfect tempo, rhythm,and composition come through each track. Dont hesitate, go out and buy it!

 Track Listings

  1. See You Soon
  2. Head To Toe
  3. Moonlight Drive
  4. Old San Juan
  5. Above The Clouds
  6. When Truth Speaks
  7. Phoenix Rising
  8. Big Sky
  9. Westward
  10. Hopscotch
  11. Durango


Dan Siegel (vocals, keyboards);
Allen Hinds, Carl Verheyen (guitar);
Boney James (saxophone);
Randy Drake (drums);
Lenny Castro (percussion).



  2. Excellent!
    I had a 320kbps copy but this is a lot better.
    Thanks for sharing!