|Artist: Jeff Sherman|
As a founding member of Glass, Jeff had an early start in experimenting with new ways to express his artistic vision. At the inception of the band in 1969, he was the primary songwriter and wrote most of Glass' early songs on the bass guitar - not typically thought of as a composition tool. But to Jeff it seemed as natural as writing a rhythm figure or song melody in an unusual time signature. Glass matured and their music expanded to include new technologies and influences so Jeff saw the need to take up the electric piano and eventually incorporated playing bass pedals into his role in the band. He also uses acoustic and electric guitars to great advantage on Glass pieces like "Broken Oars" and "Home".
Jeff's formal musical education started at age eight when his parents bought him a second hand accordion. He pestered them for lessons and they finally relented. But the remote Northwest town he grew up in had no professional musicians, so the job of teaching music was given to a family friend to whom accordion playing was a hobby.
Later after moving to Port Townsend, Washington Jeff picked up electric guitar as so many budding musicians did when the 60's Rock Renaissance took hold. It was also during this period he taught himself to play bass guitar when the bass player in an early band was forced to quit. The band had just seen the English progressive rock trio Soft Machine open up for Jimi Hendrix in September of 1968 and they were ready to move their music into the progressive genre. It was this shift that was the final piece in the elevation of Glass to an all-original-material progressive rock trio.
Active in both the Port Townsend High School Concert Band playing saxophone and later with the High School Orchestra where he played cello, he became exposed to the great Classical composers. In his Senior Year of high school he wrote an experimental avant' guarde orchestra piece that was performed live with select members of the high school orchestra and the very first iteration of Glass. He was 17 years old.
After his earlier tenure in Glass he went back to his musical roots - 60's rock and R&B and pursued a career as a songwriter. Then came a career move to Los Angeles, California where he formed several bands including Alen Rench and The Vicegrips to showcase his hook-laden-but-strange brand of Pop Rock. After being exposed to life in the barrios of The San Fernando Valley and Downtown L.A.ís Skid Row, he evolved once more into a songwriter of what can only be described as Political Folk Rock. Having taken up the cause of "The Common Man" he created an alter ego - Jeff Joad - a fictional long-lost brother of Steinbeck's famous migrant family portrayed in "The Grapes of Wrath". He then started doing homeless outreach for Southern California's displaced and forgotten through various organizations such as The Frontline Foundation. This led to a stint working with the LA-based Project Xela-Aid where he became further educated in the disparity between the 1st and the 2nd Worlds. He joined Xela-Aids in-county project in Guatemala, Central America two years running where he provided onsite musical entertainment to the throngs of native Guatemalans who had to wait hours to get medical help at the groups make-shift clinics. Upon his return to The States he wrote his tour-de-force album "Judgment of the Flame" and put the Jeff Joad career on hold. He was exhausted and ready to go on to something new.
Then came the long-awaited Glass Reunion. Musically reunited with his childhood friends Greg and Jerry the cycle of his creative path now seems to have come full circle. He lives in Southern California and continues to write and perform with Glass. He also maintains connections with Project Xela-Aid.
After rekindling his former progressive music career, he broadened his musical spectrum by diving into the world of ambient music via an interest in Brian Eno, Edgar Froese, Klaus Schulze and Florian Frickeís work (to name only a few). This immersion has led to experimenting with the use of a fully modular analog synthesizer setup augmented by his use of The Mellotron Mk VI.
Career milestones include a solo signing with Musea Records who will release his third solo ambient work, "Gauguin" in the Fall of 2009. He's also completed recording his fourth solo album entitled " 'Branes". Short for "Membranes", it is a conceptual work loosely based on the 11 dimensions theoretically possible in quantum physics' String Theory and features Canterbury Music legend Hugh Hopper on bass and tape loops.
Artist note about gear and such:
ďI had always eyed my brother Gregís ARP 2600 since he first brought it to Glass in 1973. I was amazed at the sounds he was able to achieve and the freedom it allowed him to shape his own sounds. I promised myself back then one day Iíd indulge my own interest in modular synths. That day has come. While checking Ebay out for analog synths I saw the Synthesizers.com synth known to you all as The Barneycom.
I fell in love with it immediately. I knew this was the modular synthesizer I had been waiting for all these years. It really was an almost magical, intuitive feeling. I inquired of its owner a man named John LeVasseur and he gave me the background on it. We struck a deal and after John had endured everything but a Plague of Locusts, it was finally sent to me. I absolutely love the sound of this synthesizer! And though Iím a novice at patching Iím learning quickly. Iíve already made a few test recordings with The Purple Haze Ė as she is now called Ė and my Mellotron Mk VI. Another great advantage of owning a Synthesizers.com modular is the impressive Dotcom support group on Yahoo. Though I havenít posted much (yet!) Iím very impressed by the posts I read every day. What an intelligent and insightful, focused group of people. Iím looking forward to a whole new world of sound possibilities thanks to Roger Arrick (and I must confess I feel privileged to own a one-of-a-kind instrument fashioned by Roger himself!)Ē
Purple Synthesizer Module compliment:
1 - Q104 MIDI Interface
1 - Q137 Power Control & Interface Module
1 - QPS1 Power Supply
1 - Q105 Slew Limiter
3 - Q106 Oscillator
1 - Q107 State Variable Filter
1 - Q150 Transistor Ladder Filter
2 - Q108 Voltage Control Amplifier
2 - Q109 Envelope Generator
1 - Q112 4-ch Mixer
1 - Q125 Signal Processor
1 - Q130 Clipper/Rectifier
1 - Q110 Noise Source
1 - Q117 Sample & Hold
1 - Q116 Ring Modulator
1 - Q124 Multiples