by Jonathon Blakeley
Thursday, April 26th, 2012
The Way to Peace is the debut album from Rich Siegel and is a collection of piano based songs about religion, politics, & spirituality. I am more a free-jazz, Bebop kind of a guy at heart, so Rich’s album is a bit of a change for me. That being said, it has strong inspiring message of Unity and Peace underpinning it all, that everyone can empathise with. Rich is a great piano tickler and his music is deep and thought provoking which he conveys with his strong emotive voice.
This album is creative melting pot with many people contributing songs, lyrics and arrangements. The Way to Peace is the first track to be written by Rich Siegel, where he ponders the nature of peace and how it may progress.
The Way to peace is to live and let live,
It’s to be and simply let be,
The way to peace is to dwell
In that knowledge
For it is the truth that will set you free.
I suppose the common theme connecting this album together is the existential questioning, and self-doubt about the world and where it is going. Noble sentiments indeed…
My purpose in recording it (“Shams el Aghani”) is to make a statement as an American Jew singing in Arabic about the experience of Palestinian refugees”
My favourite songs on the album are Shams el Aghani & In Palestine. Shams el Aghani has some great soloing by the ubiquitous Gilad Atzmon & both tracks stand out as being much more eastern in their sound and style.
“In Palestine” is slightly controversial as it digs deeper into the myth and justifications for Israel’s occupation of Palestine. The song considers the various arguments, justifications and blame that is cast, but at the end of the day children are still dying in Palestine and with frightening regularity. You can’t argue with that.
Well is true we’ve been hated
But when we arrive
And take over their country
Is it any wonder that peace cannot thrive
While the children are dying in Palestine”
deep & thought-provoking…