« on: September 28, 2014, 09:13:02 AM »
Jeff Pearce "With Evening Above" CD
Phenomenal ambient guitar soundscaper Jeff Pearce makes impressive comeback to his more ambient-driven landscapes with self-released album "With Evening Above" CD. Out since June 2014 as his 12th solo album, Jeff's most recent compositions bring back unforgettable memories of wonderful recordings such as "Bleed" (2002) or "Summer Solstice" (2003). Sure, previous albums "Lingering Light", "Rainshadow Sky" and "In The Season Of Fading Light" belong to the pedestal of filigree intimate guitar and piano bravura, but many core fans were eagerly waiting for the reappearance of his spaciously drifting atmospheric era. "With Evening Above" showcases Jeff Pearce at the very top of his blooming guitar wizardry, when hauntingly soothing guitar melodies are carefully counterpointed and alternated with graciously expansive driftscapes!!!
The title track "With Evening Above" opens the album with its warmly embracing fragile stringed magic safely holding the signature that is only Jeff Pearce. Gorgeously evocative and intimate!!! As much refreshing as a gentle nocturnal breeze and as much captivating as a nightly scene with a full moon, sheer aural magic!!! Actually, this song was originally released on "Summer Solstice" CDr in 2003, now it has been re-recorded for this album. "The Same Stars" immediately shifts into grandiosely meandering expanses, soothingly infinite and stunningly graceful. My ears are constantly bathed in ultimate atmospheric elixir sculpted by undeniable wizardry of its sole protagonist. Kudos, Maestro!!! There is a nice story behind the title of this composition, which was inspired by Jeff's younger daughter, Fiona. The next composition, "A Clear Night", quickly returns to gently shimmering crystalline string melodies, dreamy and relaxing!!! Longer "After Dark", clocking to nearly 8 minutes, follows the path of "The Same Stars" and drifts into heartwarming, but slightly enigmatic celestial spheres, filled with continuously rising and falling harmonic, choir-like currents. Exquisite drone reverberations are guarding above and tickling the ears with mindscaping helical coils. Another pinnacle!!! "Ghost Of Summers Past" gets over two and half minutes and dusts off with its tenderly pristine strings long forgotten memories. Immensely reflective!!! "Cloudfall" glides right away into unbounded sky-high realms of unmeasurable grace and magnificence. Welcome to another masterfully drifting panoramic paradise!!! Shorter "A Closed Circle (Farewell)" instantly attracts with its emotionally driven stringed subtlety. Nearly 22 minutes long "No Matter How Far" closes this album with soothingly embracing soundscape, floating and ebbing into gorgeously immersing and euphonious fields, reinforced occasionally by slowly emerging distant pulsations. Cyclical harmoniousness of this composition is enchantingly warm and utterly evocative, audibly absolute brilliance is again accomplished!!! It's still unbelievable that all this beauty is created by electric guitar and additional processing. A pure masterpiece and an epic conclusion too!!! The title of this composition, although "rather" updated..., was directly inspired by Jeff's older daughter Thalia. And with this composition also unforgettable memories of one of my all time fave recordings, "The River Of Appearance", inconspicuously awake...
Credited on this album are also Robert Rich for mastering and Rainer Gembalczyk for graphic design. How to wrap this review up? I am almost wordless after the final track, because Jeff Pearce, in West Point, Indiana, based sonic healer, did it again!!! Yes, "With Evening Above", a 54-minute album, is fully loaded with his gifted guitar virtuosity and it's another brightly shinning jewel in his treasured discography. Obviously one of the highlights of 2014!!! Bravissimo, Jeff!!!
Richard Gürtler (Sep 28, 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia)