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JEFF GREEN

Neo-Prog • Ireland


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Jeff Green biography
US composer and guitarist Jeff GREEN has been an active musician since the mid 1980's, with lengthy tenures in European band North Point Park, his own classic rock cover band No Idea and then cover band The Illegal Eagles as his most high profile band activities. In recent years he's also been creating original material in his project studio Terrapin Station. Jeff Green is currently a resident of Ireland, where he's been based since 2002.

His activites as a solo artist have so far been limited to one album, albeit one with an elongated and special process of creation. On May 31st 1996 Jeff and his wife at the time were at the hospital, she due to give birth to their first child. But it turned out that the baby had died sometime during the final phase of the pregnancy, strangled by the umbilical chord, and the child was stillborn.

This harrowing experience had a profound effect on Jeff, and over the years he started creating an album's worth of material fuelled by the thoughts and emotions this life changing tragedy had on his life, a process instigated in 1997 and reaching it's conclusion in 2008. The following year the CD Jessica was self released by Green, all profits from this endeavour to go towards financing a room for grieving parents at Southend Hospital. A project close to the heart of Green, for obvious reasons.

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JEFF GREEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 10 ratings
Jessica
2009
3.79 | 33 ratings
Elder Creek
2014

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JEFF GREEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Elder Creek by GREEN, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.79 | 33 ratings

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Elder Creek
Jeff Green Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Five years on from his debut solo album, 'Jessica', American guitarist Jeff Green has returned with his second, which this time is credited as a project. When one sees who has been involved this time, it is probably a fairer way of crediting it. While Jeff provides most of the guitars, mandolin, guitar synth and much of the vocals, he is also joined by He is joined by Pete Riley on drums (Guthrie Govan, Wetton & Downes Icon, Keith Emerson), Mike Stobbie on keys (Pallas and a renowned prog producer), Sean Filkins (Big Big Train, Lorien) provides lead vocals on the title number, Alan Reed provides lead vocals on 'A Long Time From Now' (Pallas, various Clive Nolan projects, solo), Garreth Hicklin provides lead and backing vocals (Illegal Eagles), Phil Hilborne guitar (Nicko McBrain's touring Clinic, has played with Brian May, Glen Hughes, Keith Emerson, Steve Vai), with Andy Staples (bass) and Imogen Hendricks (backing vocals) completing the line-up. Out of all of these, the one name that may seem unusual to progheads is that of Garreth, until one realizes that Jeff is also a member of Illegal Eagles.

'Elder Creek' explores the concept of memory, its loss and the part it plays in our lives, the lives of loved ones and society in general. Using both anecdotal and mythological subject matter, the album raises the question; if memories define who we are, then who indeed are we without them. Many lyrics were based on poems written by Jeff's father. Jeff may have lived in Ireland for more than a dozen years, but it his American roots that come through, especially when he is playing acoustic guitar, as that combined with the harmonies leads the project more into the area of Crosby Stills and Nash as opposed to IQ or Pallas. But, the prog influences are also there throughout and the result is a crossover album that is beautiful, with soaring vocals and great keyboards that accentuate the guitars. This is all about songcraft as opposed to showing just how clever all those involved are when it comes to playing their instruments. They have nothing at all to prove, and this feels incredibly relaxed as it draws the listener in to it's heart and soul.

There is a depth and real presence with this album, with some wonderful arrangements and the clever use of repeating melodies on different instruments to provide additional dynamics while staying within the same theme. Immediate, impressive, one can only hope that it doesn't take five years for the next one, as anyone who enjoys great songs with great singers, especially if they enjoy their classic Americana, will find a great deal here to enjoy. www.progrock.co.uk

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 Jessica by GREEN, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.33 | 10 ratings

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Jessica
Jeff Green Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Born in 1966 in Sacramento to American father and English mother, Jeff Green became a composer and music teacher, influenced by a mass of 70's Classic and Progressive Rock bands.After his parents divorced, he moved to England.There he played with a few cover and other bands, most notably North Pont Park, with whom he performed for over a decade.In 1996 comes the most touching moment of his life.His wife Jude was going to give birth to their daughter Jessica, but the baby was eventually stillborn.From this moment Jeff Green started the writing process of a tribute to his lost daughter, that was finished in 2009 and released privately in July.He got some serious helps over the years with three bassists, Mark Cunningham, Tim Vogt and Glenn Sissons, ex-Pallas' keyboardist Mike Stobbie, Pete Riley on drums and Phil Hilborne on guitar/vocals.Phil Aldridge contributed piano lines in a couple of tracks, all of the musicians were Green's former bandmates on his past groups.

There is no question that this is an emotional-heavy album with a touching and most importantly true story in the background, that reflects on several of the album's singing parts and Green's guitar playing.But ''Jessica'' is not all about melodic solos, sensitive soundscapes and keyboard ambiences.It's a well-crafted and pretty balanced album in the vein of modern Neo Prog with a huge space for instrumental lines and inspirations from CAMEL, PALLAS, KANSAS and JADIS, ending up to be a lovely, atmospheric Progressive Rock album, even for those who do not care about its background, even if they should.There are plenty of grandiose keyboard runs, heavier guitar lines and more upfront tempos in the album to satisfy lovers of more dynamic stylings, later-era PALLAS and PENDRAGON are good reference points during these moments.But the absolute highlights come from Green's more laid-back electric textures.The spark of his daughter comes alive through his excellent guitar solos, the keyboards in the background add a light symphonic flavor and the few piano themes are also along the emotional concept.Memorable and intense material with great instrumental parts along the best groups of British Neo Prog.

This is an album, that can be characterized as borderline strongly recommended.Not complex or even demanding, but fans of melodic Progressive Rock will love it.Great work, Jessica would be really proud of her father.

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 Jessica by GREEN, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.33 | 10 ratings

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Jessica
Jeff Green Neo-Prog

Review by YodaUK

4 stars I have had this CD for over a year now and am very proud to have it as part of my collection.

It was one of those little gems that you come across and think.. Why doesn't anyone know about this music? Why is Jeff Green not known to a wider audience? I suppose as with many Independent artists getting your name and music out there is actually harder than writing it and recording it in the first place.

The album includes a couple of names that people might be familiar with.. namely Mike Stobbie on Keyboards (ex Pallas and involvement with Arena), Phil Hilborne on guitar and helped with the production (the guitarists guitarist who has played with so many guitar greats there are too many to list...google him) and Pete Riley on drums (Keith Emerson tour band, Guthrie Govan, Wetton/Downes Icon)

The whole album flows from start to finish with mainly instrumental tracks but with vocal tracks thrown in at just the right point to not only break up the instrumental pattern but give the album substance.

The album of course is a labour of passion for Mr Green as it is about the still birth of his baby daughter Jessica way back in 1996. People might be forgiven to expect the musical content to be melancholy and of a sombre nature but it really isn't and that is something Jeff must be praised for.

The stand out instrumental on this album for me is 'Woman with Child'. A track that has drama, passion and some great guitar work.

The vocal track that stands out for me is Live Forever as it really tells how this album does really make Jessica's memory 'Live Forever'.

I cannot recommend this album enough to fans of Pink Floyd, Camel, Yes, Genesis but also fans of classic rock and melodic rock as it is that wide ranging in style. Thats not to say this album has its Prog roots set in the 70's but the influence is there although the production definitely makes this a prog album of the 00's on onwards.

Also worth noting that Jeff Green is apparently donating all the proceeds from sales of this album to the maternity ward in an Essex, UK Hospital. He deserves top marks just for that saintly deed in my eyes.

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 Jessica by GREEN, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.33 | 10 ratings

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Jessica
Jeff Green Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Ireland-based US composer and musician Jeff Green has been an active performer since the mid 80's or thereabouts, first and foremost as a member of various tribute bands. "Jessica" is his first solo production to my knowledge, and was self-released in 2009 from what I understand.

Music is an intriguing concept. Historically regarded as one of the finer arts, but in modern times and especially in more recent times it has lost stature. A form of entertainment is a common description, and many talk about music consumption. But even those who disregard the artistic credibilities of music, at least the more popular varieties of it, it is still a vital part of most people's lives. Some enjoy listening to music intently and with concentration, others prefer to have unobtrusive noise in the background while busy with something else. It is a part of everyday life for most, and a part of life that means something special for some. To a certain degree one might describe the art of music creation in similar terms. Some do it as an occupation because they are good at it, the creation of music their chosen 9 to 5 occupation. To others it is a hobby, and to some it is a vital part of life. For the latter a needed aspect of reality, a way to overcome too many creative impulses or deal with emotions good or bad. Or all of these combined. It would appear that for Jeff Green, at least to some extent, might best fit into this latter category.

This due to the very nature of his first album. A concept album more than a decade in the making, dealing with thoughts, emotions and reflections on a subject personal and painful: The birth of his daughter Jessica, who was, as doctors so neutrally describe it, stillborn. A human life that flickered out before it had even begun. But rather than a harrowing, highly personal catharsis this album appears, at least to my ears, to be one dealing with the second phase of the aftermath of such a traumatic experience: Reconciliation. The music presented mostly stay clear of the melodramatic, intense emotional excursions as I experience it. But is filled with dampened, bitter melancholy and introspective moods. Reflections if you like, given the shape and sound of music.

By and large "Jessica" is very much a guitarists album as seen from a purely musical perspective. Wandering guitar licks and the occasional riff constructions underscoring a dominating guitar solo a central and recurring approach, the latter either blues-tinged in a manner not too different from the likes of David Gilmour or melodic but more intense of a more generic rock or hard rock variety. Nothing fanciful or innovative, but good, old fashioned melodic guitar soloing as they made them back in the 70's and early 80's. But an additional trait is the extensive use of keyboards, and more often than not in a style that most would describe as symphonic. Gentle, dreamladen textures close to the brand of this music that made Camel a career, but also with some nifty organ and guitar interactions that should satisfy fans of good, old Genesis. With occasional flirts in the direction of Pink Floyd. The keyboards generally have more of a subservient role however, and only occasionally will they take charge to dominate in a more expressive manner. As such I'd suspect that those who commonly enjoy bands described as Neo-Prog might enjoy this album to a grater extent than those whose heart and soul of musical enjoyment is stuck amidst the giants of 4 decades ago.

As far as quality goes, "Jessica" is a well produced and well performed affair. Mostly instrumental, and it is the compositions of that nature which are the most compelling creations too in my opinion. At best the combination of underscoring guitars, the motif explored by the guitar solo and the symphonic textures blend into intriguing and even occasionally energetic numbers. Still a few sizes shy of true perfection as far as my personal taste buds go, but highly enjoyable nonetheless. Other efforts tend to be more of the pleasant variety for me, nice songs and generally enjoyable but without managing to make a grand impact. Which is the case for most of the compositions that contain a lyrical message too, the emotional impact of these creations being a textual one to a much greater extent than musical.

As I always make my thoughts on an album based on the musical content alone, existing fans of this production might be slightly disappointed with my overall score for this disc. But when that is said, I'd recommend "Jessica" as a fine acquisition for those who generally enjoy Neo-Progressive rock, with those who enjoy vintage symphonic rock just as much as guitar-based instrumental hard rock a crowd also likely to find this production to be an enticing one.

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