COSMIC RUMPUS, by Jack Geiring Trio
Cosmic Rumpus Review Credits
Produced by: Jack Geiring, Phil Keaggy and John Sferra
Mixed by: John Sferra
Keyboards and percussion recorded at John Sferra Studio.
Keyboards, bass, horns, strings, organ, piano, synths, composition and arrangements by Jack Geiring.
Guitars recorded and arranged by Phil Keaggy at Kegworth Studio.
Bass guitar on "Big Hugger" and "Gabby", by Phil Keaggy.
Drums and percussion by: John Sfarra
Hand Percussion on Salubrious, Topsey Treme Part 1, Blue Cayman, Big Hugger: By Tom Shelley.
Mastering by Sua Gur
Cover Design by Doug Pfeifer
ABOUT THE MUSICIANS:
JACK GIERING - Keyboardist - Piano, electric keys, synthesizer, organ.
Jack was one of the most influential musicians during the era when "FUNK MUSIC" was the hottest genre of music. He suffered a devastating heart attack, and "died 8 times that week", but was brought back thankfully. His doctors were able to stabilize his condition. Though Jack suffered brain damage, and had to teach himself how to play the keyboard again, he still was given songs from the Lord to compose, with the help of his equally Spirit-inspired friends, John Sferra and Phil Keaggy. They had so much fun putting together their first album, "The Inter-Dimensional Traveler", that they went forward together creating several new albums, without actually getting together in the same room.
PHIL KEAGGY - Guitars - electric, bass, acoustic.
From age 19, Phil Keaggy has thrilled listeners with his immense talent on the guitar, and his songwriting ability, earning many awards and accolades for his talent, drive and range. Phil has been and is a prolific composer and performer, releasing over 50 albums in his lifetime, playing with and jamming with many well-known musicians, and becoming an inspiration for upcoming generations of guitarists.
JOHN SFERRA - Drums and Percussion.
Besides composing and playing percussion and drums, that add so much to compositions, John is also a talented guitarist, inspiring songwriter and vocalist, who has known Phil since their Glass Harp Christian rock band days in their youth. Throughout the years, John has made many projects with many other musicians, some solo albums, and has produced music as well.
Cosmic Rumpus Review
Well, once again the dynamic trio of Jack Giering, Phil Keaggy and John Stefano has created another electrifying to calming, always creative collaboration of songs, composed in their unique way of doing things; having never composed and recorded as a group in one setting. As each of these gentlemen have a music production center in-house, JACK or PHIL or JOHN would start a song, pass it onto the next member, who would add his contribution; all with tremendous success. They all work together as a team in making the CD, taking suggestions from the others. No big egos exist here! Each take a turn with their name in the group name, in the various titles of their CDs. Cosmic Rumpus was published under the name, The Jack Geiring Trio.
Jack Giering explains the process in creating the songs heard on COSMIC RUMPUS; "The creative music clay was thrown on the wall - Once again, jammed out on the keys, and God guided us to extract the beauty in this result of sequential additions of creativity from my brothers! We spontaneously played to each other's beginnings with no idea or rules as to where our musical journeys would end. End? They did not."
What resulted was this inspiring collection of instrumental songs, mostly created in the melodic blues-jazz genre, with elements of funk, rock, syncopation, smooth melodic inspirational (GABBY, WHERE'S YESTERDAY'S SMILE) and in a variety of tempos. Musically, there is never a dull moment, as each cut on the collection has its own unique melody, rhythm, meter and mood that will delight, uplift the listener.
This collection of songs is melody-based, and the rifts and syncopation and other rhythmic sides all work with the melodies presented. Some jazz music that drives some listener's' crazy is the type that is made up of rifts and rhythms but no standard melody. That isn't the case here! This is why even folks who don't like jazz, will find this CD inspirational and fun to listen to and digest.
What is phenomenal to me as a reviewer is how all three of them, inspired by the Holy Spirit, offered a swirl of creativity, expressing musically their own inspirations, while also supporting and enhancing each other's musical thoughts, becoming a unifying force behind their music. They must have had a satisfying blast working together and creating such a grand album!
John Sferra recalls, " The whole process of composing and recording these musical collections, which are aural journeys through our musical psyches comes very naturally for the three of us. We've made new memories working together."
Phil Keaggy shares, "In many ways, I feel this is one of my favorite instrumental albums that I've been involved with. One of the reasons I feel this is because Jack and John provided tracks which allowed me the freedom to explore sounds and play the kind my interest alive in the performance. The final result was a truly satisfying with each listen captivates my interest as not only a player but as a listener fun music!"
There is a lot of give and take between Keaggy's guitar and Giering's keys work, on his synthesizer which builds some fantastic very different songs on this CD, making it sound all so easy, which it is not! All the musical characteristics such as dynamics, a variety of moods, that were always hopeful, interesting compositions with components and skills all come together and highlight the talent and inspiration of the instrumentalists featured here; truly a huge enhancement to their efforts that were recorded here.
No matter how intricate, and musically colorful Phil and creative Jack infuse their talent together in composing efforts, John Stefano always comes up with just the perfect rhythm drum accompaniment in his own creative style, that holds it all together;( IN MY ARMS.) . John Sferra always provides a steady beat that keeps all the creativity and inspirations together in the same meter, and tempo; which is no small feat, and he too makes it sound so easy!
John also takes his turn in creating music, and treats the listener to interesting drum solos in intros, such as in TOPSEY TURVEY PART 1. This is one of the songs that John Sferra started, and sent on to his fellow trio members. Love his drum intro and intermittent drum solos throughout the song. Another one of the songs that was inspired by John was the song, FOREST GREEN.
I highly recommend this collection of expressive instrumental songs as an inspirational tool to keep oneself in a positive frame of mind, as music to sooth and encourage, and well as invigorate! Each song is uniquely different in composition and mood, melody and rhythm sure to please a wide audience. Each cut on this CD provides a great journey into the musical world of these three talented musicians, inspired by the Holy Spirit to provide great inspirational music in their own unique genre!
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ABOUT THE SONGS:
Title Song: COSMIC RUMPUS - Information surmised from Jack Giering: This title song had originally started off with the title: "A Walk on the Cosmic Path." While Jack started his creative process, letting his "mind wander on the keys", his two puppies started a "raucous play fight," that Jack temporarily stopped. When he turned back to composing, the puppy children began again. Jack at this point decided to go with the flow and atmosphere. Jack changed the title and wrote "Cosmic Rumpus" instead! (LISTEN)
Title song, Cosmic Rumpus offers something completely different, grooves along in a tight intricate package of complex rhythms in both the melody and counter rhythms, creating a musically interesting and very entertaining listening experience. Doted note rhythms and syncopated rhythms flawlessly played are quite impressive, both in the melody and counter-melody.
Keaggy once again offers just the right jazz rift melody. Begins with Jack's peppy piano inspirations, giving a great intro to main musical themes and rhythms that are so important to this blended genre of sounds. At the height of the song, Jack is energetically playing his syncopated melody and Phil is having equally as much fun cookin' away on the guitar.
The result, along with John's fantastic drum work, the energy level is smoking with feeling and preciseness; made to sound so easy, when it takes quite a lot of skill and experience to pull it off! Drums and percussion were perfect as usual, as John Sferra applies his gifts to the song at hand. This composition really captures the wild energy of two romping puppies!
GABBY'S TUNE - Jack started this song at 4 am in the morning, after awaking suddenly from dogs barking. He was sitting at his table, "in a pinwheeling mix of pain and confusion from my surgeries and sudden awakening -trying to gather thoughts. I see the sweet picture of Gabby and think, 'Why?'"
Then, He began to hear a melody, "far back in the recesses of my mind. 'Well dummy, He sent another tune. ' " Jack went to the keys; played it, recorded it that week! It was a song of hope for his beloved Gabrielle.
A POIGNANT, hopeful, beautiful jazz tune melody with an inspiring, heart-felt group effort, inspired by a dear one's hard adventure. It is another well-composed song with great, full-sounding melody support by Jack Giering, that blends so well with the soulful guitar solos by Keaggy, with Jack's interesting synth affects. Jack also does a wonderful, expressive performance presenting the melody on keys. Especially love the beginning of Keaggy's first solo that sets the tone of the song so well; being a very comforting and uplifting melody that soars! His variations of the first statement of the melody are also quite inspiring, and lifts the spirit of the listener.
FIRST BASS - Jack was inspired by thoughts of his favorite funk group. "One of my favorites, Sly and Family Stone. Gee - Imagined how they would have sounded in the 'Big Band' era."
REVIEWER'S Comments: Syncopation plus!
A 2 beat, peppy and upbeat creation with a zippy melody, and lots of colorful jazz rifts in both the guitar and keys, melody and counter melody with just the right rhythmic soup and precision. Jack got the ball rolling and bouncing with his intro. John's drum work were light and precise, a great keeper of the rhythm. Thoroughly enjoyed Phil's creative efforts of both propelling the melody and as melody support. Jack's rhythmic counter melody offers great support to Phil's inspiring melody wanderings. Once again it is all kept together by John's well-done drums and percussion, offering the beat that guides all the creative playing.
BLUE CAYMAN - Jack says that this song had Phil's Jew's harp debut - At the very beginning of the song.
Blue Cayman - A song that floats along in a river of an easy lightin' bluesy beat, that supports nicely the bluesy jazz smooth melody that begins with Phil Keaggy and his magical guitar, with nice chordal support from Jack's keys. 2nd round, Jack holds forth with the bluesy feel wave on his keyboard, then Phil comes in for the 3rd. John Sferra always comes up with just the right drum/ percussion complement of his own creation that works so well with whatever Phil and Jack create musically. (LISTEN)
WHATEVER BECAME OF YESTERDAY'S SMILE -
Jack Giering shares the thought, "Life is truly what happens while we try to do something else."
Jack had composed a segment of it showing how he was feeling; kind of rough, when he awakens in the morning; "Kind of like the rebuilt 'It's Alive!' monster of the old horror movies." After Keaggy and Sferra added their inspirations, Giering also became more upbeat creating a more positive feeling, yet still a little sad, and bluesy and memorable.
REVIEWER'S Comment: Whatever became of Yesterday's Smile? - Yearning, hopeful, a little mournful in a minor key, with a memorable, melodious melody, solid chordal supports, nice bluesy jazz segments built into the strong, poignant melody from both guitar and keys, with interesting rifts from both piano and guitar. Drums take a back seat, but maintain the underlying beat and rhythm. Ends with the rifts of guitar and piano taking turns. All of it is played with great feeling about life's struggles with body and attitudes. It brings a peace to calm the nerves after a stressful day.
TOPSEY TREME PART 1 - Information from John Sferra: - This song was inspired by, and a musical salute to to Coxy Cole.
(Coxy Cole an innovative 1930s and '40s, 50's and 60s' jazz drummer who left his mark in much of the recorded jazz of these eras. His career skyrocketed in 1958 with a recording of big-band remake of the Edgar Battle/Eddie Durham/Count Basie, drum-based tune "Topsy", that soared on the R & B and Pop charts,which opened even more doors to Cole for performing, recording and teaching. )
Topsey Treme part 1 - Is drum driven, and spirited, adding funk and jazz together, with a lovely melody in the chorus, that provides an interesting mix of sounds. Lots of dotted notes in both the rhythm and memorable melody in the chorus. Rifts are both played in a catchy rhythm yet smooth, which is another interesting combination that gives the song some umph and color. Jack really shines on the keys, along with Keaggy's wonderful rifts! It is hard to not dance around the room to this one! John shines on the drums, and his spirited performance provides both an interesting yet steady beat, as well as some kickin' drum solos.
FOREST GREEN - Described by John Sferra as being a drum-propelled journey down a river, with Phil's guitar and Giering's keys providing the scenery! John shared on the CD cover, "Forest Green was inspired by a drum track that I had recorded that had a primal feel to it."
Forest Green - Is a peaceful, smooth flowing jazz song with an interesting calypso like beat, that supports nicely this musical boat trip that floats right along on a smooth river of jazz that is both interesting and calming. Great to listen to, and is another great way to de-stress before or after a difficult event, like a surgery or a competition. Nice swirling synths and chordal work with a few embellishments along the way are nice surprises. Smooth jazz guitar carries the memorable melody along. Lovely, bright chorus is brought to life by Phil's guitar.
IN YOUR ARMS -
Can be described as being snappy with pizazz! Begins with a blast of energy supplied amply by a dynamic intro of rock beat drums, spirited piano and support guitar on downbeats, as it rolls into the first verse. Has a driving peppy beat, fun, lively melody, sustained by Sferra's catchy drum work, and carried in a delightful playful, manner by Jack's improvisational keys. Phil's inspiring guitar creates a magical addition of jazz and funk embellishments to the melody, that complements the already peppy sound and vitality of the composition. It will be hard to feel down after listening to this hopeful, positive song a few times!
Strong, rhythmic piano intro that is right on beat, with intricate upbeat drum support yet light throughout. Phil takes the first verse with the warm, bright, hopeful melody supported by syncopated rhythm of piano keys, before going into an intricate rift that goes back to the main melody beautifully. Jack works with the rhythm, offering an interesting counter melody in bridge. Syncopation interlude between verses is enjoyable. Strong melody is never overshadowed by the jazz rifts or drums. It is all an intricate package that ends with three key changes in guitar line, guitar slides and more of Jack's key magic.
Slide sound, bluesy synths and singing, mournful guitar can be heard in the long intro, supported by soulful synths.; all done in a minor key, with no percussion. Sound washes over the listener. Music breaks into a funky, upbeat melody, full of joy, with Jack holding forth, supported by John's interesting rhythm support, that cooks right along in an irresistible, hopeful mood. Jack Giering takes first verse with piano/keys on his synthesizer, with Phil working with the rhythm, offering great bass guitar work with an interesting counter melody in bridge. John is right there as well offering an interesting rhythm that drives right along with the other two voices. Synthesizer carries forth to chorus. Phil's guitar takes over, giving the listener a big treat. Phil has a fantastic turn with the lead, soaring expressively as only he can do, with Jack playing the original melody as a secondary voice.
BIG HUGGER -
BEGINS with a guitar ditty intro with keys background that sets the stage for this zipped up bluesy jazz, with a funky /rock beat, courtesy of John, that makes it hard not to dance around the room. Jack jumps in after the intro, burning up the keys and segs into a more poignant guitar melody before popping back into the bluesy jazz yet active theme. Bass guitar get a workout in pumping rhythmic support, while Jack holds forth. Chorus is interesting and more melodic and then jumps back into the other theme. 2nd time through the chorus, Jack provides the more melodic tune. Bridge is very funky in rhythm/percussion and is done in unison. Song ends with the same guitar ditty.
Begins with a synths slide, easy blues beat, started in Jack's keys and Phil's bass and lead guitar ditties that work well together that all segs into an easy, two beat meter. This peppy yet laid back jazz tune that has an intense energy, features two very different guitar tracks, and a smoking keyboard that both offer a lively jazz melody and counter-support . One of the moving guitar tracks carries the jazz melody, while the other provides an intricate counter balance. Jack provided interesting counter melody and a variance of chordal support, in the style presented. Toward the end, the musical line uses a series of 3 pronounced 1/2 steps to flow into the last segment of the song, that slowly and creatively comes together to end the song. John just keeps giving a steady rock beat that holds all the rifts and melody wanderings expressed in rifts and ditties together.
MEMORIES OF MIKE KEAGGY -
Phil Keaggy tells a little bit about his older brother, Mike, who is 13 years older. "Back in the mid-90's, my brother came for a visit to our home. While hereon that visit, I recorded his voice as he recalled the days of his youth, and spoke of his love for music, and more importantly family." Mike's memories are the stars of this cut, with very nice, poignant music as background support.
REVIEWER'S Comments: Cosmic Rumpus CD ends on a poignant song, with the voice of Phil's older brother, Mike telling some stories about his life. Mike's memories are the stars of this cut, with very nice, poignant music as background support. It is great to honor a beloved loved one before they pass on, and this is a great way to do it.
LISTEN TO A JACK GEIRING TRIO SONG
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by Julie Carr for ChristianMusic.com