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Jeremy - Overall Review


Discography:

1995 - "Pilgrim's Journey"

1997 - "Celestial City"

1999 - "Salt the Planet"

2002 - "Kingdom Come"

2003 - "Fruit Tree"

2004 - "Still Waters"


1995 - "Pilgrim's Journey"
(73 min, "Kinesis")
*****

 1. Always Will Return
 2. Rivers of Life
 3. Deep Sleep
 4. Overflowing
 5. Final Warning
 6. Peter's Song
 7. Timeless
 8. New Song
 9. Valley of Vision
10. Second Return
11. Aliens
12. Pilgrim's Journey

Line-up:Jeremy Morris: electric, acoustic, and bass guitars, keyboards, drums & percussion Dave Dietrich: drums on the first track.

The lightest music I ever heard. It's an all-instrumental concept album dedicated to man's travel through the earthly life and beyond.

Always Will Return. The opening track introduces listeners to a world of musical thoughts. Mostly keyboard based almost 7 minute long track contains several varied, very colourful themes. You can feel the lightness of music on the physical level, though this is astral music, dedicated to a virtual yet real journey. Colour of light: pale-blue.

Rivers of Life. Light turned from pale-blue to absolutely blue. Opened by extra arrangements of classical guitar, music later becomes mostly electrified. Lush keyboards add more and more of blue-coloured shades into this jorney.

Deep Sleep. The same colour. Lots of gentle acoustic guitars and keyboards. One of the most varied and epic compositions on the album. Many very original guitar and keyboard solos and interplays between both these instruments.

Overflowing. Keyboards' waves and witty fluid electric guitar solos. Searching for the truth. Constructive dialogue between two opposing feelings.

Final Warning. In the beginning light turns from blue to yellow to red. Anxiety and running over the hills of misunderstanding in search of God. Varied keyboards effects manage to show the Pilgrim's mood. Life and Death, Love and Hate dance together to the quiet drums of current events.

Peter's Song. Light turns a little back to orange. Eternal questions, eternal silence. Waiting for God's sign. Quiet, light sorrow.

Timeless. Light turns back to blue. Beautiful acoustic guitar passages. Love and Forgiveness. Quiet in understanding. Amazing stuff of thinking.

Valley of Vision. Complete awakening so far from the frozen lands of misunderstanding, and rage, and grief. There's no place to demonic feelings in this music. Only phylosophy and a wish to move forward. Positive energies (synthesizers).

Second Return. Light turns to pale-blue. The point to give a look back at life. A short stop before going forward to Eternity to see its golden wings.

Aliens. Pilgrim's understanding, that his material life is still incomplete beyond the earth life. A blend of blue, red and violet. Perturbation. Searching for new ways to understanding.

Pilgrim's Jorney. I think, originally this was just his regular journey between the walls of material and spiritual worlds. The most epic and complex composition. Reincarnation, returning to the whirlpool of earthly events. Looking for a choice again. Lots of varied moods. Trembling souls (acoustic guitar), dramatic passions (electric guitar), the surrounding world (keyboards), parallel worlds (bass and drums). There's no end, there's no beginning to the Pilgrim's jorney...

Summary. Musically can be compared to Mike Oldfield / Steve Hacket (in the '90s), though in this work Jeremy has tried to show our basic human feelings, preserving his own Love, Forgiveness and Understanding. Different thinking in Prog. Especially recommended to those, who are tired of their internal anxiety, of their own misunderstanding. Point of destination for those, who love mature thoughts in the background of quiet and light, on the whole, music. content

VM. November 6, 1999

Musea Records


1997 - "Celestial City"
(71 min, "Kinesis")
*****

I'll return a bit later and in detail to the best (IMO) album of quite a well-known American multi-instrumentalist (to my view, detailed reviews are there to describe the nuances of very solid works). For now it's a pre-last album of Jeremy. The music, as always characteristic of him, is very light and soothing (an achievement in Progressive Rock that is so rich in moods, from agression to melancholy). A lot of divers instrumental themes in the classic penchant (recall acoustic guitar pieces by Steve Hackett), abundunt keyboards, mostly sounding in the spirit of spacey. Of course, Jeremy is a universal musician, but in the first place - an exceptionally gifted guitar player. You won't hear speedy arrangements out of a screaching guitar, but his fluid solos are amazing! One of the masters of deriving the electric guitar sound. For those who like the way of all of Mike Oldfield and the later works of Steve Hacket, though Jeremy has their own original stylistics. "Celestial City" was released on the US' biggest independent Progressive Rock label "Kinesis".

VM.

Musea Records


1999 - "Salt the Planet"
(52 min, "Moonchild")
****+

Jungle  5:50
Waterfall  5:15
Whirlwind  4:50
Heartbeat  5:47
Saltthe Planet  11:17
Earthquake  7:37
Lightyears  11:07

All music written and arranged by Jeremy. Produced by Jeremy.

Line-up: Jeremy Morris - electric keyboards, electric guitars & bass, e-bow, real and unreal drums & percussion

Unlike the two previous albums, mostly based on guitar structures, this time Jeremy has decided to show his capabilities as a keyboardist. I like "Celestial City" and especially "Pilgrim's Journey" for their very colourful musical atmospheres, as well as for Jeremy's incredibly tasteful guitar (passages, etc) playing there a much more significant role than keyboards. The "Salt the Planet" album kind of confirms that Jeremy plays keyboards as well as he plays guitars, but on the other hand, it appears clear that the guitar is Jeremy's "own" instrument, whereas keyboard is just his "second cousin". Compositions with guitar at the head of all the other instruments, or Jeremy's purely acoustic guitar pieces (see also the next review) are almost always full of inspiration, impression and warmth, but "Salt the Planet", filled with keyboards structures, doesn't quite sound like an album of inspiration. Overall, this is quite an interesting album, though Earthquake being in my view the only track-masterpiece here - with its charming themes and arrangements from the first to the last note - looks quite lonely among the other album's tracks. Although the two other album's longest pieces - Salt the Planet and Lightyears contain some wonderful episodes too, the first four pieces I find quite monotonous. But in all, the release of such an album as "Salt the Planet" was probably an appropriate step Jeremy took in order to diversify his own discography more stylistically. In any case, especially with such a killer as Earthquake in stock, this is a good album, at any rate.

VM. April 5, 2001

Musea Records


2002 - "Kingdom Come"
(72 min, "JAM")
****

1. Flying Hearts 1:36
2. Ocean of Dreams 10:41
3. Flaming Hearts 1:05
4. Born of Water 8:57
5. Children's Song 3:50
6. Kingdom Come-I 34:06
7. Kingdom Come-II 1:27
8. Meadows 11:05

All music written, arranged, performed,
recorded, mixed, & produced by Jeremy Morris.

Mastered at "Diamondisc Audio", Antioch, TN.

Solo Pilot:

Jeremy - electric, acoustic, & bass guitars;
keyboards; drum-programming

Prologue. As far as I know, "Kingdom Come" is the fourth official album by Jeremy, the well-known Solo Pilot of Prog. His previous album, "Salt the Earth" (1999), was released by "Moonchild", while "Pilgrim's Journey" (1995) & "Celestial City" (1997) were released by "Kinesis". (Unfortunately, there are neither "Moonchild" nor "Kinesis" on today's map of Progressive Rock.)

The Album. Structurally, "Kingdom Come" differs from any of the previous albums by Jeremy. Only the opening and closing tracks of the album contain the parts of drums. Furthermore, the work of the rhythm section is really evident only on Meadows, as Flying Hearts is a very short piece. Also, Flying Hearts is one of the two compositions on the album that sound quite strange for these ears (that, by the way, are well familiar with the creation of Jeremy). Another strange piece is the 9-minute Born of Water (track 4). Both of these compositions feature the slow and rather abstract solos of synthesizers and guitar, accompanied only by echoes and various effects. These structures are so amorphous that I can't find any words but "strange" to describe Flying Hearts and Born of Water. Fortunately, all six of the remaining compositions on the album are very good, at least. However, not all of them are of a unified stylistic concept. In that way, I have to describe them in parts. All three of the remaining short tracks on the album, Flaming Heart, Children's Song, and Kingdom Come-II (1, 3, & 5), most of all remind me of pieces of a light Classical Academic Music, performed at a slow pace. The arrangements that are present on each of them develop slowly yet constantly, which is typical for Academic Music. Flaming Hearts consists of interplay between a few of the lush keyboard passages, including those of a string ensemble. Varied interplay between the 'classical' passages of acoustic guitar, string ensemble, and a softly sounding solo of another synthesizer, are featured on Children's Song and Kingdom Come-II. However on Meadows (8), which is undoubtedly the best composition on the album, a light Classical Academic Music appears in all its beauty. This 11-minute composition sounds truly classical and symphonic. It is marked not only by the arrangements that develop constantly, but also by a very rich sound. The passages of strings and acoustic guitar are here enriched with solos of electric and bass guitars, and various synthesizers. Stylistically, both of the remaining compositions, Ocean of Dreams and Kingdom Come-I (2 & 10), are similar among themselves. Ocean of Dreams features the thoughtful and diverse arrangements of both the symphonic and spacey characters. Of course, the structures of the album's title track contain the larger number of 'genre' constituents than those of Ocean of Dreams. The stylistics of Kingdom Come-I can be defined as an innovative blend of Symphonic Art-Rock, Space, and Folk Music with the bits of Classical Academic Music and Heavy Metal. I don't know what are the instruments Jeremy used on the album's title track. However, being well familiar with a Greek folk music Buzuki (there is quite a large Greek Diaspora in Tashkent), where the main soloing instrument is a kind of guitar, which is called Buzuki as well, I can assert that there are many of the Buzuki motifs on Kingdom Come-I. And they are as notable here as the symphonic and spacey structures.

Summary. The distinct originality of music, raised to the power of innovation that is present on most compositions of "Kingdom Come", makes this album very intriguing. Furthermore, its stylistic motley should attract the attention of various categories of Prog-lovers. I however, prefer the albums that were created within the framework of a unified stylistics. So "Pilgrim's Journey" (1995) and "Celestial City" (1997) still remain my favorites among the albums by Jeremy. Nevertheless, "Kingdom Come" is in many ways a remarkable album.

VM. June 6, 2002


2003 - "Fruit Tree"
(40 min, "JAM")
****+

TRACK LIST:

1.  Fruit Tree 6:24
2.  Forever True 3:00
3.  Awakening 4:25
4.  A Brighter Day 4:22
5.  Sad Eyes 3:55
6.  Flowers in the Desert 3:54
7.  For My Father 2:05
8.  Angels 5:55
9.  Open Door 2:22
10. Celestial City 3:47

All music: by Jeremy.
Produced & engineered by B. Allgood.

SOLO PILOT:

Jeremy - Grand Piano

Prolusion. "Fruit Tree" is Jeremy's first output in a series of albums of acoustic progressive music and presents pieces composed especially for Grand Piano. (Its follow-up, "Still Waters", consisting of pieces performed exclusively on a classical guitar, will be released within the next few months.)

Synopsis. Of course, the album is stylistically monolithic, and each of the ten tracks here represents Classical Music or, to be more precise, a little Classical Music concerto for Grand Piano. The compositions differ from each other only by mood and the level of complexity of arrangements, most of which, nevertheless, are in the state of constant development. The album's title track, A Brighter Day, Flowers in the Desert, Angels, and Open Door (1, 4, 6, 8, & 9) are compositionally a bit more diverse than the other pieces, and although each of them is rich in varied moods, dramatics is prevalent here. The piece Flowers in the Desert has in addition some pathetic feel to it, and Angels in places reminds me of Russian Classical Music of XIX Century. Awakening, Sad Eyes, and For My Father (3, 5, & 7) are both peaceful and nostalgic in character, though the second of them has also shades of a light sorrow. The remaining two tracks: Forever True and Celestial City are the bright representatives of romanticism in music. Both of them are for the most part optimistic and are about a light Classical Music.

Conclusion. Of course, this album is hardly destined for those who listen exclusively to Progressive Rock, but who would doubt that its audience directly concerns progressive music (too)?

VM: December 1, 2002



2004 - "Still Waters"
(54 min, "JAM")
*****

TRACK LIST:

1.  Hour Glass 1:53
2.  Barefoot 2:10
3.  Red Balloon 2:14
4.  April Song 2:32
5.  Golden Sun 2:34
6.  Peaceful 1:34
7.  Troubadour 2:33
8.  Melting Snow 5:03
9.  Journey 3:03
10. Little Angels 2:15
11. Alpha & Omega 2:59
12. Beautiful 3:17
13. Over the Hills 1:59
14. King's Court 1:47
15. Queen's Lament 1:32
16. Jester's Dance 1:27
17. Joy Song 1:27
18. Love Dove 2:57
19. Meadows 8:17
20. Still Waters 2:17

All tracks: by Jeremy.
Produced by Jeremy.

SOLO PILOT:

Jeremy - acoustic & classical guitars

Prolusion. "Still Waters" is the second acoustic album by American multi-instrumentalist and composer JEREMY Morris, following "Fruit Tree" (see review above), and is one of the six progressive music related output he has to his credit presently.

Analysis. Different musicians set themselves different tasks when creating their works. Some aspire to electrify you with inflammatory rhythms, some try to shock you with loud aggressive music. Some, like Jeremy, aim their efforts to stimulate the music lover's imagination by saturating their compositions with diverse themes and arrangements, though of course, this remark is less topical regarding their acoustic albums, those by Jeremy in particular. I won't draw parallels between "Still Waters" and the like works, inasmuch as they and their creators are known probably to anyone. Like "Fruit Tree", this instrumental album represents a set of little acoustic concertos, this time out performed on guitar. There is no particular compositional complexity, the unpredictable development of themes or stunning technical virtuosity, all of which would've been just misplaced in this very case. (Look for these in Jeremy's other albums.) The festival of melodic beauty and finesse, this is music for mind's conciliation and for reaching the state of a deep inner comfort rather than for strained thought process. The pieces are performed mostly in major key. Some of them associate with Steve Hackett's acoustic experiments, some appeal to the musical ethos of Asia's Far East; the others are marked with signs of European classicism. It's a totally original stuff, and only Beautiful reminds me remotely of Maria Magdalena's central aria (I Don't Know How To Love Him) from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Rock Opera "Jesus Christ Superstar".

Conclusion. The specificity of Jeremy's songwriting style, his filigree performance and the excellent sound quality of the recording make "Still Waters" one of the winners in the field of today's acoustic guitar music. Highly recommended, especially to those tired of the cruelty and aggressiveness of current daily reality. Created with an open heart, this music heals!

VM: March 30, 2005


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