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
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more