Jeff Marx & Jeff "Siege" Siegel - Dreamstuff

Jake Harper, AllAboutJazz

Duo performance is one of the most revealing venues for a performer. While as exposed as if performing solo, the inclusion of another musician into the creative process forces accountability. Many great musicians have been stretched by the process to create some of their best performances, whether it is Duke and Jimmy Blanton or Hank Jones and Joe Lovano.

The drum/sax duo is one that can very easily lend itself to a dizzying flurry of squeaks and honks and it is nice to hear on Dreamstuff melodic ideas fleshed out with plenty of space lining the walls.

Drummer Jeff "Siege" Siegel has a definite reserve on the drums as well, setting up long drum fills on the snare only, dropping in the bass kick at the end of a phrase. Without bass, the performers utilizing the full range of their instruments is very important in creating drama; Siegel's careful implementation of flourish with a snare here, booming bass kicks over there and gap fills with ride cymbal and high hat surround saxophonist Jeff Marx' sax lines with a sense of orchestration.

There is a consistency of improvisational material from song to song. Even the more exploratory tracks make use of a very singular style of free communication throughout. One benefit of dropping the bassist is in the added freedom of being able to fall into new and exciting improvisatory excursions; the only lacking aspect of Dreamstuff is a seeming reluctance for chance and exploration.