JEFF GOWER - "Eclectic Earwig Reviews Music and More for You!"            
prog rock, jazz fusion, jazz rock, jazz, pysch/trance, space, electronic, ambient, essentially eclectic excellence

Eclectic Earwig Reviews

Jeff Gower: Lakeside Drive - (CD, 66:44) Tone Poem CD001, 1999

Some music is meant to be scrutinized, analyzed, and dissected to determine
the artistic merit of its structure and composition.  Each chord shift and
time signature is noted for processing, every nuance is mentally "jotted
down" to future study.  Then there is other music that is simply meant to be
ABSORBED... this type of music requires no meticulous dissection; it is the
music which takes action upon the listener, not vice versa.  It is not the
music that speaks to you, but the Muse itself.  Classical guitarist Jeff
Gower's debut collection of unaccompanied compositions Lakeside Drive
is one such piece of music.  It almost defies analysis, as the music itself
has a tendency to release the mind of all rational thought processes, and
instead places the listener in an almost meditative, relaxed, and serene

Lakeside Drive is a selection of original compositions that Mr. Gower
has collected dating back to 1975.  These songs are exclusively performed on
the nylon classical guitar - an instrument with which the performer seems to
definitely be at home.  Although the CD starts off with an upbeat number
titled "Open for Business," most of the 25 tracks tend to fall on the more
gentle and breezy side of the musical spectrum.  One particular stand out is
"The White Water-Lily," which is a song written in dedication to the French
poet Stephane Mallarme - Gower combines an almost Spanish fingering style
with the use of simultaneous notes a half-step or a step next to each other
to achieve a hauntingly beautiful sound.  The track "L's L's" (Hey, I don't
name 'em - I just review 'em), is an excellent example of how the use of
harmonics can be used to subtly carry the rhythm of a composition without
sounding gimmicky.  As one listens to Lakeside Drive, it becomes
increasingly obvious that Gower treats his guitar almost as an extra
appendage as he effortlessly plays multiple melodies in unison at times
creating a "guitar orchestra" type sound.

If I could find any fault with Lakeside Drive, it would be that while
the guitar playing is definitely proficient, it is not terribly distinctive.
Fortunately, Gower keeps the songs short enough (around 2 or 3 minutes) so
that they stay refreshing and avoid becoming repetitive and tedious.  So, if
you're looking for a guitarist that will blow you away with his chops and
astonish you with innovative playing, Jeff Gower may not be for you.
However, if you're looking for some music to listen to as you sip on a hot
cup of coffee in your easy chair while staring out the window at a sunny
early-Autumn Sunday morning, then I can't think of better accompaniment.
This is music to exhale by...

- Michael Askounes

To purchase this recording and get more info, soundclips, etc.


OR . . .

Please visit my BUY IT E.E.R. NOW INDEX PAGE
Please try my brand spankin' new

buyer's guide to recommended music.

OR ...
go to my LINKS page and find the vendors' section.
Happy hunting!

Back to MAIN REVIEW list
Back to MEN list
Back to LADIES list
Get outta here and go HOME