Jeff Greinke — Virga
(Lotuspike LSM16, 2009, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2010-07-01It’s been a while since I’ve heard anything new from Jeff Greinke, probably my own fault since he has close to 20 releases to his credit now and I’ve heard less than half that number – mostly his early works from the 80s and 90s. Those classic early works were like lush ambient sound-paintings built mostly on dense multi-layered synth textures, creating moody slow-moving worlds of dramatic intensity. To its credit, Greinke still utilizes much of that bold visionary cinematic feel to create the twelve pieces on Virga, although many new elements have been added to Greinke’s music, giving it a more overtly melodic articulation that intertwines with the atmospheric textures. Piano is one of those elements, offering a basis for well defined melodies that drift freely amid lush textural soundwalls, along with guest cello and trumpet that give many of the cuts a distinctly chamber feel. “Virga” is defined as wisps of precipitation falling from a cloud but evaporating before reaching the ground; anyone who has approached an incoming storm has probably seen this phenomenon first hand, and indeed this is a strong visual corollary to some of the more dreamy atmospheric works at hand, many bearing a somber or dark undercurrent that evolves slowly. This is a distinctive and engaging release that won’t put the listener to sleep.
Related artist(s): Jeff Greinke
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more