Although time does not allow to me to become familiar with all of the new “contemporary classic” artists that come onto the scene, I’m always happy to share news of artists that fall into that category and are appealing to my tastes. One such artist is Jeff Green, a California native who currently resides in Ireland.
Jeff’s background includes a stint with the Eagles tribute band Illegal Eagles, which he found himself fronting after being asked to join during 1997. His new album, Jessica, is likely to resonate with fans who share his passion for some of the classic groups that were influential in his own musical development. Yes, Rush, The Who and Pink Floyd are cited as some of Green’s most important influences, and are the influences he leaned on most heavily during the creation of Jessica.
Although the music that makes up Jessica may bring joy to fans, it was a result of Green’s own personal grief that he suffered due the tragic loss of his daughter during childbirth in 1996. Despite the tremendous grief he experienced, he was eventually able to come to peace with his grief and realize that he had to honor her the best way he knew how: With music.
The musical influences that led Green to become the kind of writer and performer he is probably goes a long way towards my appreciation for this album which might best be described as progressive rock with almost palpable pensive overtones. However, the musical content of this album is not limited to ballads, as might be assumed after knowing about the events that inspired it.
“Future,” the first track, features up-tempo segments with soaring guitars and a “classic” synthesizer piece that is certainly reminiscent of many hits from the 70’s and 80’s that are so familiar to many of us. “On This Night” delivers similar up-tempo content, once again featuring guitar and synthesizer that’s held together with solid performances by both the bass player and drummer. I certainly cannot find fault with the musicians Green enlisted to record this album with him.
The remaining ten tracks will escape my attempts to adequately describe them, but for me, I found something worthwhile in every one. In other words, it’s one of this albums I can just queue up and listen to from start to finish without any nagging desire to hit the “Forward Track” button. That’s not likely to be true for everyone, of course, but it’s these kinds of albums that are easy for me to talk about. When I come across something I don’t care for, I find it extraordinarily difficult to say too much beyond “I don’t care for it.”
Eleven years in the making, Jessica is not only a tribute to his daughter, but also an effort to help other parents who have to endure the pain that results from bearing a stillborn child. All proceeds from the sale of the album will be donated to Southend General Hospital for the purpose of constructing a dedicated space or bereavement room for grieving parents.