Four by Jeffrey Roden – 1.On Awakening – 2. Stillness – 3. Shimmering – 4. Rift – From Seeds Of Happiness Part 1 – 2005 – Big Tree Music –
Something subtly profound for a Sunday night. Jeffrey Roden is a bass player. I have known Jeffrey since we went to High School. Jeffrey, like many of us, was bitten by the Music bug and went off to form bands or went off to join them. Jeffrey was a great bass player. There was a lot of talent floating around our high school at the time. And as we got older and scattered throughout the country and the world, we took different roads, different paths – a lot of us remained faithful to our first love; Music. And a lot of us got distracted and side-tracked and bounced all over the place. Because life isn’t and never will be a straight line. And even those who stayed in music, switched directions. One classmate dropped the piano to take up the Harpsichord and has been giving recitals ever since. In Jeffrey’s case – he went through a string of bands and got a solid reputation as a well-respected bass player.
But as what happens to a lot of us, we start exploring, start looking for new ways of expressing ourselves, finding different levels and new possibilities. In Jeffrey’s case, the new possibilities took the form of composing music that, on its surface seems sparse and atmospheric – but sitting with it, as it was for me with this album, Seeds Of Happiness Part 1, the experience becomes a whole new world. He’s not just playing solo bass riffs. He’s investigating a sonic landscape that reveals richness and clarity. It’s not minimalist or endlessly repetitive. It’s reflective and has its message – and it’s an engaging one that, for a solo bass is pretty astonishing. It’s deeply moving.
I would urge you to investigate his catalog, either via his website (http://thebigtreemusic.com/) or via Soundcloud. In the meantime, here are four snippets from Seed Of Happiness Part 1 to give you a taste.