Jack Jeffery is a multi-instrumentalist from Virginia, USA who also released his first album Passage To Agadir independently, but I'm not familiar with that one. However, I listened to his second effort The Constant That Remains, because Jack was so kind as to send me a promo for a review on this website. So here it is!
When you review an album you can do two things. You can either listen to the music trying to discover all the musical influences or you can check out the website of the artist to read about the influences and then listen to the album in order to discover them. Well, for this album I did a bit of both. I listened first and later on I looked at Jeffery's MySpace-website. According to this website he was influenced by many artists like Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, Syd Barrett, David Gilmour, The Alan Parsons Project, Brian Eno, The Beatles, The Moody Blues, Roger Waters, Kraftwerk, Procol Harum, Nick Drake, Ash Ra Tempel, Manuel Göttsching, Tangerine Dream, John Lennon, Neil Young, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, Stephen Stills, Paul Simon, Simon & Garfunkel, Yes and Rush.
While listening to the opening tune We Need It Back (A Modern Dreamer) I could checking off the first four names on the above-mentioned list. The second track Rearranged could have been a piece written by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, although The Beatles came to mind as well. The third track is the easiest one if you look for references, because A Plea To A Dreamer is just a homage to John Lennon and The Beatles. Listening to the lyrics explained a lot here. The next track Gavotte For African Steel Guitar is the first instrumental on The Constant That Remains. This is a beautiful guitar piece accompanied by some fine mellow keyboard parts. I couldn't find any references to other artists for this piece! Fade Away and Everything Changes have again some Floyd-influences and the same applies to The Sirius Wall that also contains elements from the music of The Alan Parsons Project. Trust The Dial! is a short instrumental, a kind of radio fragment that lasts for only 41 seconds.
The next two instrumental pieces Valencian Cosmos and Ascendancy strongly tends in the direction of the music by Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk and Jean Michel Jarre. However, the music of Ash Ra Tempel and Manuel Göttsching might be an inspiration as well for Mr. Jeffery. The Constant In The Chaos is again a very short instrumental filled with soundscapes of war. The album ends with Carry On, another track that has some elements from the music created by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. After listening to the album I realized that I didn't notice the influences of some of the above-mentioned names. Especially Yes and Rush aren't present on the twelve compositions, although they showed that Jack Jeffery likes all kinds of musical styles. His musical pallet goes from progressive rock to folk and from ambient to electronic music. So no musical boundaries for Jack!
If you like your progressive rock lighter or calmer filled with lush ambient sounds I'm sure that The Constant That Remains will please you. I certainly had some fine moments while checking off whom Jack Jeffery has been influenced by!
*** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
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