"The Starry Night"
by Vincent van Gogh



Excerpts from
Mp3 Excerpts
Excerpts from
Above

Beyond

Miles,Monk & Mom


Heaven's Reply


Excerpt 1
Excerpt 2
Excerpt 3
Excerpt 4
Excerpt 5
Excerpt 6


Big Sur 9-14-2000

Excerpt 1
Excerpt 2
Excerpt 3
Excerpt 4
Excerpt 5


Autasia Pt. I


Excerpt 1
Excerpt 2
Excerpt 3
Excerpt 4
Excerpt 5
Excerpt 6
Excerpt 7
Excerpt 8
Excerpt 9
Excerpt 10





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Expose Issue #33 - May 2006




 
 
   
 
 
   


Jeff Sherman - "Home"
(Relentless Pursuit Music 2003, RD4135)


Uploaded to Aural Innovations: October 2003

There s something deeply personal about Home. Like that place where our lives exist and our memories dwell, the second solo effort from Jeff Sherman, keyboardist and bassist of progressive rock Group Glass, is rich, warm, vibrant, cool, simple, complex, and colourful, and hints at memories both comforting and disconcerting. Another effort of what Sherman refers to as progressive ambient music , it s ambient in the sense that, as the cover art suggests, the music is very impressionistic, and progressive in the sense that it never lapses into the background, remaining a consistently innovative and exciting listen throughout.

Burying Euphoria opens the album. Built on the 33-year old recording of a teenaged Sherman and his rock band Glass along with a high school chamber group, performing a piece he wrote back then. Sherman has layered in other samples from numerous sources: a staggering array of natural (including VLF recordings of the earth s magnetosphere), technological, and musical sounds. What I really like is that every sample is carefully chosen to bring out the theme of the piece (one of lost innocence), never placed in there just for random effect. The track is built up with some throbbing bass guitar and a smoking synthesizer solo performed by his brother Greg. The result is a complex piece of music that conveys the multitude of emotions associated with the theme.

The title track digs into the vault again, utilizing a recording of Sherman playing acoustic guitar from a track that appeared in its original form on the Glass album No Stranger to the Skies. As he says in the liner notes, part of the concept of this album was returning home to unfinished business , and he had always wanted to release a version of this song closer to how he wrote it. Adding in Mellotron, sampled vibes, and the sound of a crackling fire, the piece achieves a thoroughly intimate atmosphere, and is a completely delightful contrast to the first track on the album.

The Apes and the Auroras is the first of two pieces on the album that are transatlantic collaborations with legendary Soft Machine bassist Hugh Hopper. Utilizing a tapestry of modified samples (including the recording of the magnetosphere mentioned above and great apes communicating through hollow logs), Sherman weaves a deep and spacey soundscape with Hopper joining him on fuzz bass. The piece is melodically complex and unpredictable. Like Burying Euphoria, The Apes and the Auroras is sonically dense, and even a little difficult to get into at first, but repeated listening reveals its stark and mesmerizing beauty.

Hopper joins Sherman again for the amazing 25-minute finish to the album, the expansive and evocative Rainy Day. Through a calliope-like sequence and a gentle and meandering, Eno-like meditation of piano and synth loops, sound samples emerge, gentle touches of life. It weaves its way languidly to a lovely, jazzy, even toe tapping bass guitar bit that ends the piece. All these disparate parts may sound contrary to one and other, but work together marvellously well creating moods that contrast and complement each other. Yet the piece as a whole manages to remain refreshingly spacious and breezy after the sonic density of Apes. It s the perfect end to the album.

As I said, there is something deeply personal about Home. But that doesn t mean that only Sherman himself can relate to it. Far from that, it musically touches on so many aspects of human experience, that ultimately, it has the ability to reach into anyone and touch them. After all, doesn t everyone at some point in their lives feel the need to return home?

For more info, visit the Relentless Pursuit Records Web Site at: http://www.rpursuit.com.

Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald

 

Expose Issue #28 - December 2003





Expose Issue #27 - July 2003

 

   


From Aural Innovations #21 (October 2002)

On his album Above and Beyond, Jeff explores the possibilities of electronic music, what he calls "progressive ambience". From symphonic, to lushly ambient, to minimalist composition, to complex sound collage, Above and Beyond takes the listening on a far-reaching journey.

The album begins with its shortest piece, the classically influenced Above, and follows with another short piece, the companion Beyond, an ambient exploration that lies just on the edge of the natural world, with gentle bell-like sounds, brushing percussion and swirling textures floating beneath. Miles, Monk, and Mom seems to list its influences in its title, though it reminded me more of what Hans Rodelius was doing in the mid-80's when he was recording for EG. A lovely, simple piano melody plays over a synthesized horn melody; wistful and beautiful, it's one of my favorite pieces on the album.

Heaven's Reply takes its cue from the German electronic explorers of the 70's, but rather than lapsing into something constructed around repetitive sequences, it builds spacey tones over a structure of complicated patterns before it dissolves into deep space textures reminiscent of late 70's Ash Ra, with loose electronic percussion and exploratory piano notes thrown in. It all works to create a certain kind of magic realm of the senses, dream-like and haunting. Jeff uses a fascinating sound on this piece that is something of a cross between some kind of plucked instrument and maybe an African drum, although he creates it electronically.

I mention it because it features prominently in the next track, Big Sur, 9-14-00. Another sensory piece, this one is highly impressionistic. Jeff doesn't take the easy way out, throwing in recorded sound effects. Like Claude Debussy, he uses the music itself to paint sonic images, where waves crash across an open beach, wind rustles in trees, and seagulls cry overhead. That sound I mentioned previously seems to me, to create on this track, the impression of sunlight sparkling on the waves. This is not gentle new age music, however. Complex and multi-layered, this is music that vitalizes rather than anaesthetizes.

The final piece is the epic, half-hour long sound collage, Autasia Part 1. Opening with deep organ notes and a sweeping, cosmically majestic introduction, it segues effortlessly, after about 9 minutes, into a lengthy collage of voices, natural sounds, and segments of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, set to an urgent piano run and tapping percussion. The voice samples in this part occasionally overwhelm the music a little, and some of them have too much hiss in them, which becomes quite obvious as it cuts in and out with the beginning and end of some samples, but it does tend to create a disorienting effect that can snap the listener out of complacency. As the piano fades, numerous experimental electronic textures whirl and weave throughout the samples till the last 5 minutes of the piece, where it morphs into a crazy percussive jam with horns dancing around it, sounding like something Sun Ra might have done back in the late 60's!

The many varied styles and textures create a challenging tapestry of sound for the listener to explore its endless threads.
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald




 



 



 

 



There is music that comes from collaboration. From group effort. From contractual obligation or because of deadlines. There is music that is made subservient to image, trend or imitation. And then there is music that is highly personal. Music that answers only to the one making it.

Jeff Sherman's "Above & Beyond" is the best example of such music. It comes across as profoundly personal without ever descending into unintelligible, self-referential code. "Above & Beyond" also incorporates a wide number of ideas and influences into a far-reaching and highly accessible listening
experience.

Sherman draws from a number of sources in the electronic, jazz and classical worlds to form a music he refers to as "abstract expressionism". The cover art makes a good tie to this idea. The music moves from tranquil and reflective atmospheres in pieces like "Miles, Monk and Mom" with its winding-downing piano lines to the wild open spaces of "Big Sur 9-14-00" to
the darker and shifting perspectives of "Autasia Pt. 1". "Above & Beyond" is comprised of inter-related contrasts.

The sound is equally distinctive. The opening track "Above" has a rough, home-made feel which contrasts with the more smoothly polished "Beyond" which follows it. Both familiar and unique instruments find ways to merge with found and environmental sounds to create atmospheric effects which are
too detailed and complex to be called "ambient". This stuff is definitely not sonic wallpaper.

Because of the carefully structured nature of much of the music, closer listening is encouraged throughout the album. "Big Sur" incorporates a range of environmental sources to great effect, framed within a unique and unpredictable structure. "Autasia Pt 1" seems to restate this idea of contrasts and sources by drawing from Bach and Beethoven -- the opening organ phrases
here point to Bach, but they remind me more of Peter Hammill's "Gog /Magog", which doesn't seem like such a bad association, either. There are some flashes of the familiar here and there -- the sounds of analog instruments like the Mellotron and Arp add warmth and the sense of recognition, perhaps as a deliberate touch of nostalgia, which works to further the mood.

For those of us ready to rail against the outpouring of product heaped onto store and warehouse shelves by the music industry, I can't conceive of a better antidote than the music, and thinking that created it, of "Above & Beyond." Its form and scale have a way of again making music very personal for both the performer and the listener.

K.L
3/2003 Copy. All Rights Reserved

 



Jeff Sherman: Above and Beyond
Date: 2003-03-28
Review By: A-J Charron

Jeff Sherman
Above and Beyond

Relentless Pursuit (http://www.rpursuit.com/)

Glass's Jeff Sherman offers us a great instrumental album. Opposite Glass' Progressive Rock, Jeff's new album fits more into the New Age genre. It's quite based on keyboards.

Above and Beyond certainly shows us a different side of Jeff, while still reminding us of his past work and influences. An interesting combination for a different flight into the composer's imagination.

From the very beautiful and thoughtful Miles, Monk and Mom to the more ambitious Autasia, Jeff has conducted a successful experiment which will take the listener to a higher level of being.

Contrary to most New Age recordings, this is album you shouldn't put on as background music, because it will quickly overcome you and become the focal point of your consciousness and unconsciousness.




 


 




Artist: Jeff Sherman
Title: Above & Beyond
Producted by: Jeff Sherman
Label/ Date: Relentless Pursuit Records/ 2002

Tracks:

1. Above [1:30]
2. Beyond [2:19]
3. Miles, Monk and Mom [2:40]
4. Heavens Reply [11:02]
5. Big Sur 9-14-00 [12:01]
6. Autasia Part 1 [29:31]

The Review:

Glass's main man, Jeff Sherman decided to release his first solo CD in the summer of 2002 entitled, Above & Beyond. A mixture of short and long pieces that can be categorized as both ambient and classical with some electronic instrumentation.

The longest piece on the CD, Autasia part 1, is alone worth the price of admission has a surrealistic vibe to it with the inclusion of spoken word and classical music excepts added in. Almost sounds like it could be part of a soundtrack to a surrealistic dream.

Jeff Sherman shows off here that he is an amazing composer as well as a multi instrumentalist building music from scratch rather than totally relying on computers that are readily available for "one-man-bands". And in my opinion, that is a rare find now-a-days.

Jeff describes the music of Above and Beyond as "organic creations". Along with it's mellow side there's a counter-balanced by chaotic noises. So if you like mellow based music the this will definitely be a welcomed addition to your collection.

"Do yourself a favor and listen to them in the dark with your favorite stereo headphones. If you find yourself being transported elsewhere, I have fulfilled a deeper purpose."
j.s. 6/22/2002

~Ron for ProgNaut.com [February 28th, 2003]


Band Members:

Jeff Sherman - All instruments
except...
Greg Sherman - acoustic piano on Autasia Part 1 (a piece called "Astral")
Paul Black - Maracas on "Astral"

 


Reviews



Jeff Sherman - "The Artist as he Sees Himself" (Disclaimer: Sherman supplied me with this photo, I didn't choose it! But it is as abstract as the CD itself, so I suppose it fits!)

Jeff Sherman is the bassist for Glass, but on his first solo effort, Above and Beyond, he plays mostly keyboards and sound effects. Or maybe I should use the old cliché: he "plays the studio". An old cliché perhaps, but an apt description of Above and Beyond.

The first three cuts, "Above", "Beyond" and "Miles Monk and Mom" are almost throw-aways, being very short (1:30 to 2:40) electronic noodling. "MM&M" doesn't really sound much to me like the namesakes (OK, I don't really know what Sherman's Mom sounds like ...). To be honest, if the whole album was like this, I don't think it would be very interesting. But the pace picks up on the fourth cut, the 11:20 "Heaven's Reply". This begs the question, "Reply to what question?", but being an all-instrumental cut, this isn't answered. The reply comes in the form of spacey electric piano, synths and sound effects coming in several unrelated sections of evolving chords, arpeggios, swoops and whooshes, somewhat Edgar Froese-like, circa Macula Transfer. Not bad if you like this sort of thing, which I do. The next cut, "Big Sur 9-14-00", clocking in at 12:01 is similar, but has a rhythmic backbone that continues throughout the piece, and features brash, brassy digital keyboard patterns to create icy steel soundscapes which eventually melt into organic string washes, breaking surf, and bird chirps. Also a good piece.

But the centerpiece of the CD is the 29:21 "Austasia Part I*" which begins with a pipe organ theme which is subsequently augmented by electric pianos, stringy synths and sampled special effects. It also contains the entire first movement of Beethoven's 5th symphony playing alongside these sections, punctuated by voices speaking poetry and a piano theme played by brother Greg Sherman. I must say this piece baffled me a bit, particularly the inclusion of Beethoven's 5th, which seemed to have nothing to do with anything else that was going on. But it is very much like a weird acid trip or something, with reality seeming to fade in and out of the hallucinations. So I must say that overall, this is also an interesting piece. I wonder if there's a "Part II" out there somewhere?

All in all, an interesting solo album by Jeff Sherman, though I must say that if you're a Glass fan, this is irrelevant to whether or not you'll like this album ... this is quite different from Glass. Much more like Edgar Froese.

Sherman has announced the August 2003 release of another solo album called Home with guest Hugh Hopper on bass, but I (obviously) haven't heard that one yet. -- Fred Trafton



JEFF SHERMAN: Above And Beyond

Ah yes - a strange album - well, not musically, but look at this - the first three tracks last six and a half minutes between them - sort of synth music scene setting with melodic waves of lightweight synths and percussion, all very
delicate and ethereal. Then you get an eleven minute track introduced by a mellotron that leads into this sort of synth mix of frog-croak and symphonic bliss, as more layers are added to create a quite symphonic sounding section
bearing in mind there seems to be only one keyboard at work, but it's got a heart
and a neat melodic feel to it. Shortly after, the picture changes and percussion is added as the synths strike out on ripples and waves and drifts of quite lovely persuasion. The twelve minute track that follows - is again pretty
simplistic to start with as synths, delicate percussion, an electric piano sounding
lead melody and assorted bird noises create a quite magical picture as the piece begins to develop with echoed synth strings leading the way and turning the composition into an altogether more eerie context. The twenty-five minute final track is also a mix of gothic, symphonic, melodic and ethereal with all
sorts of organ and synth leads swirling about as the composition builds. At this point I must warn you of a couple of narration sections in the middle of this thing that, while in context, is not exactly what you crave on a synths-dominated album, but allied to the seemingly erratic sections of music that they accompany,are probably quite fitting. This is not a "normal" electronic music album and is both original and a tad over the top at the same time. Let's say "an acquired taste" and leave it at that.

Andy Garibaldi

JEFF SHERMAN: Home

Oh man - this is just sooooooo weird - an electronic music album like no other - with everything but the kitchen sink - although come to think of it...... The synths and keyboards seemed to be quite stark yet layers piled on and the whole thing given the aural equivalent of some mad hatters fairground party - honestly, I could not get into this at all - and I tried - believe me, I tried.

Andy Garibaldi

CD Services



 


Upcoming Release:

Gauguin
Jeff Sherman

Gazul (Musea) Records

JEFF SHERMAN:

Ensoniq Dsk1 Sampler, Ensoniq Dsk8 Sampler,'74 Alembic Small Standard Bass, KORG O1W Sampler, KORG KP2 KAOSS Pad Dynamic Effect Controller, Fatar StudioLogic MP-113 Bass Pedals,"Soundforum" Virtual Synthesizer software (by Stephan Schmitt), Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler Pedal, Modified and Collected Digital Nature Sound Sources, Assembled Dream Bird Chorus Sample, Original Digital Sound Sample Modification Recordings, Modified Samples of 'Tantric Harmonics' by the Gyume Tibetan Monks, Modified Gregorian Chant Samples performed by the Schola of the Hofburgkapelle of Vienna, Modified Bass Samples and Loops, Bottleneck Slide Bass, Rainstick


GREG SHERMAN:

KORG MS2000 Synthesizers

 



Currently OOP
Can be custom ordered by emailing this address:
relentls@ix.netcom.com


Home
Jeff Sherman
(featuring Hugh Hopper)
Relentless Pursuit Records RD4135

JEFF SHERMAN:

Ensoniq Dsk1, Ensoniq Dsk8, Mellotron, Magnus Chord Organ, Thorn Inlay Custom Bass, '73 Gibson J-45 Acoustic Guitar, Alesis H-16 Drum Machine, Digital Samples, Analog Tape Recordings, Original Digital Sound Sample Recordings, Flute, Ashtray, Shovel, Assorted Silverware


GREG SHERMAN:

Acoustic Piano (on "Euphoria. . Core Recording), Synthesizers

Hugh Hopper:

Monster Fuzz Bass, Double-Speed Bass, Looped Effects, Tape Loops

NOW AVAILABLE!




Above & Beyond
Jeff Sherman
Relentless Pursuit Records RD4133

Per the artist's wishes:
THIS IS A LIMITED EDITION CD!
There will only be 246 original Relentless pressings. Each CD is hand numbered and initialed by Jeff.


JEFF SHERMAN:

Fender Rhodes Piano, Ensoniq Dsk1, Ensoniq Dsk8, Hohner Pianet, Arp Odyssey, Mellotron, Sequential Circuits Prophet 5, KORG O1W-FD, Fender Precision Bass, Thorn Inlay Custom Bass, Electric Sax-Synth, Fatar StudioLogic MP-113 Bass Pedals, Alesis H-16 Drum Machine, Digital Samples, Analog Tape Recordings

GREG SHERMAN:

Acoustic Piano

PAUL BLACK:

Maracas

 

 
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