Jeff "Siege" Siegel - drums, percussion, bells, gongs, toy instruments (USA)
Esa Pietilä - Saxophones, bells, toy instruments (Finland)
A new power-duo that improvises on any given musical theme mixing the possibilities of the drums & saxophone in completely personal way. In addition to the drums and saxophone, the duo uses percussion of gongs, bells etc. mixed with saxophone multiphonics and extended playing techniques colouring their expression of avant garde jazz. Their juicy freejazz flows, crunchy polyrythmical textures, diverse sound ambients and spiritual meditation-like chorals combined with virtuoso playing of Jeff & Esa carries the listeners mind to the sea of multidirectional rhythms, high clouds, winding rivers, subtropical jungle, festive fireworks, where ever - You name it...
Drummer/Composer Jeff “Siege” Siegel is a veteran of the New York Jazz Scene and has worked with a virtual “who’s who” of artists. A member of the Sir Roland Hanna Trio from 1994-‘99, Siegel’s diverse career has also led him to perform and/or record with legends such as Ron Carter, Kenny Burrell, Jack DeJohnette, Benny Golson, Frank Foster, Shiela Jordan, Helen Merrill, Mose Allison and many more. He has also performed and/or recorded with the younger generation of musicians such as Dave Douglas, Stefon Harris, Kurt Elling, Ravi Coltrane, Ryan Kisor, Arturo O'Farrill, Steve Turre, Arthur Rhames and John Esposito. He has worked in the avant garde world as well with Wadada Leo Smith, Baikida Carroll and others. He is leader of the Jeff "Siege" Siegel Quartet. He co-leads the groups of The Jeff Marx/Jeff "Siege" Siegel Duo and Marx, Siegel and Esposito. Siegel has been described in Jazz World Magazine as a “brilliant drummer”, while lauded in Modern Drummer for his “forward energy and abundantly attractive ideas”. “His playing is always tasteful whether it be in forceful, intense situations or in quiet, supporting roles. His writing is intriguing” notes the Green Mountain Jazz Messenger. An active educator, Siegel teaches Jazz drumming at The New School in New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz as well as at Western Connecticut State Universit and has taught at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. He has performed clinics throughout Europe, South America and the United States. He holds a Masters Degree in Jazz from Queens College where he studied composition with Jimmy Heath and has subsequently been the recipient of several grants from Meet the Composer. He is an endorser for Vic Firth Drumsticks.
At his youth Esa Pietilä studied saxophone at Sibelius-Academy (Helsinki) and privately with worldwide known David Liebman & Ellery Eskelin in NYC plus at multitude of masterclasses in Europe & USA. His playing and recordings has been thanked by such internationally well-known critics, reviewers and editors like Stuart Nicholson (UK), Laurence Donohue-Greene (AllAboutJazz-New York),Don Williamson (Jazzreview.com),Robert Spencer,(Cadence USA),Matthew Wuethrich (ALL ABOUT JAZZ) etc.
Esa´s original style and various projects - trio - new "4 STREAMS" Quartet (formed 2008) with ECM artist Iro Haarla - solo saxophone concerts etc., have stabilized his position performing on the national / international jazz circuit, and have led him to play in Italy, Germany, Norway, Sweden, France, The Netherlands, Austria, Iceland, England, USA, Australia, New Zeeland, Brazil and Cuba… He has performed with the names like Ron McClure, Mathias Eick, Mike Nock, Claudio Fasoli, Heiri Kaenzig, Anders Begcrantz, Odean Pope, Raoul Björkenheim, Brian Melvin, Iro Haarla, Filip Augustson, Hilmar Jensson, Johannes Mössinger, Kjartan Valdemarsson, Fabian Kuratli...Along with his engagements at international festivals, Esa has also been a regular visiting teacher and lecturer at annual IASJ symposium led by Davib Liebman
Pietilä´s uncompromising approach to music, search for new angles and refusal to walk the trodden path betray his lofty ambitions. He injects immediacy and surprise into his playing by going for unplanned gems that like-minded interaction can discover through spontaneous playing. His interests are as much about implication - the spaces between the dots he punches out - as about literal adherence to pre-written composition.
His groups explore new improvisational fields of freejazz expression, and they have performed with success in many Scandinavian and European festivals & clubs on the recent years. The openness for free improvisation of Esa´s Trio and The 4 STREAMS Quartet, and the elaboration upon the conventional roles of their instruments, highlights a larger goal: creating a unified group identity.
In 2007 Pietilä started a series of totally improvised solo saxophone concerts, which will continue annually. He release the studio version of recordings of improvisations in 2009. "At the Solo concerts, the virtuosity of his tecnique and the tonal colours Esa Pietilä creates in multitude textures belong into to the elite of saxophone expression. His capabilities to let the saxophone ring from variety of minimalism whispers to full free blowing, results a rich palette of colourful shapes of multiphonics, chordal tones, rhythmic surprises, and even fuga-like approach of inner dialogue."
“Esa is one of Finland's leading jazz musicians and a dedicated jazz educator. I recommend his albums Direct (Fiasko Records) with Uffe Krokfors on bass and Markku Ounaskari on drums as well as the album Fulica Acra that followed, which show his scope and imagination as a player.” Professor Stuart Nicholson, Author, Journalist, Lecturer
About solo saxophone CD "Karhea"....Congrats on the new CD - it's FANTASTIC! AllAboutJazz-New York (Laurence Donohue-Greene )
"while never resorting to the tired bag of tricks that so few have been able to resist before him". - Cadence, USA
Esa is a wonderfully gifted saxophonist and composer. I can highly recommend Esa as a composer, performer and educator.” Michael J. Stevens, member, International Society of Improvised Music
Liberty Ship at Turku Jazz, Freedom Suite from Switzerland & Finland, Duo Kankaanranta-Pietilä, Solo Saxophone at Lahti Church...