jeff 'siege' siegel quartet + guests at zinc bar, nyc, oct 20

  • photography by Clara Pereira / text by Filipe Freitas

Even momentarily wobbly in terms of sharpness, the Jeff ‘Siege’ Siegel Quartet plus Johannesburg-based trumpeter Feya Faku and multi-percussionist Fred Berryhill as special guests, delivered a consistent performance last Friday, October 20, at the Zinc Bar in Manhattan.
The occasion served to celebrate the release of King of Xhosa, the drummer’s new album out earlier this year on Artist Recording Collective label.

The quartet, composed of longtime collaborators Erica Lindsay and Francesca Tanksley on tenor and piano, respectively, Rich Syracuse on acoustic bass, and Siegel on drums - filled the room with a warm, benevolent, and positive aura that felt very spiritual.

My favorite piece on the album, “Prayer”, was chosen to open the session, illuminating the audience with the modal harmonic movements and glorious cascading melodies elaborated by Tanksley, who penned the composition. Boasting an entrancing timbre, Lindsay deserves praise for the enchanting tenor solo. She did it again on her “Call to Spirits”, the set’s closing tune, an invocation that also featured a circumspect percussive moment delivered by Berryhill, diligent on the handle of congas and shakes, and improvised declarations by Faku and Tanksley, congested with conspicuous rhythmic figures.

The group carried out three pieces more: Siegel’s “King of Xhosa”, marked by an electrifying groove and a Latin-tinged pulse, and two combined compositions by Faku: the peaceful short anthem “Courage” and the fluidly happy “Unsung”.

I was sorry I couldn't stay for the second set.