Jeffrey Moon
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Jeffrey Moon

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Americana Adult Contemporary

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"“All ten songs are clever and original compositions. Magnificent album.”"

Recently, singer and songwriter Jeffrey Moon finished the recordings of his debut album in Austin, Texas and he now shows us the results with a certain measure of pride and dignity. "Conscious Pilot" is an intelligent mix of jazz, alt country and pop music. The singer and guitarist is supported by Michael Hynes (bass), JJ ... See MoreJohnson (drums, percussion), Kullen Fuchs (horns), Stefano Intelisano (piano, keyboard) and Kim Deschamps (pedal steel, guitar).

All of the ten songs are clever and original compositions in which Moon could rely on the excellent performances of the musicians in the studio.
The inspiration for his first album Moon got from Donald Fagen, Peter Gabriel and Nick Drake, among others. The CD consists of two parts: songs of passion, fire and rich compositions on the one hand; and songs filled with melancholy, modesty and measured play on the other. From the jazzy opener "Wait to Leave" until "Say you Will" the listener is carried along a range that varies from intimate and slow to expressive and up-tempo songs, always with sublime ensemble playing.

The little rhythmic and melodious variations are an enrichment of the music. The more modest, second part of the CD has a slower pace, with the songs "Ladybird" and "Carry Joseph", while a feeling of warm humanity dominates ("The Wedding"). This magnificent album ripples along towards the end with a few easy listening songs. - Johan Schoenmakers, altcountryforum.nl


""Moon fulfills his promise of bringing something fresh to the songwriter tradition not only musically, but also lyrically.""

The existentialism movement in philosophy strongly influenced popular culture in the 1960s and maintains relevance to this day. Its emphasis on the subjective experience of what it is to be a human being piques the interest of artists of all trades, whether they be those who convey their art through a canvas, a camera, pages in a book, or lyricism and instrumentation. Sartre, a purveyor of the movement, emphasized consciousness as the most important aspect of our existences, saying that it gives us radical freedom to either choose to accept our future possibilities as up to us or delude ourselves into believing in some set of facts (facticity) that decides our futures for us. “Conscious Pilot,” the title of Jeffrey Moon’s debut album, puns the name of Pontius Pilate, who claimed to have no choice in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Christian Savior. Pilate’s claim, to Sartre, mistakes facticity for his radical freedom. Pontius Pilate is a “Conscious Pilot” of his future, as Moon deftly observes.

Released during the summer, the album exhibits an existential journey not only through lyrics, but also through the music itself, containing discernible influences that ranges from jazz to country and touches on almost everything in between. He’s not one to pigeonhole himself. Moon’s unassuming voice results from his philanthropic background. Besides his rigorously comprehensive musical prowess, which spans twenty years of composition and performance, he has a Master’s degree in Clinical Social Work, with which he created a non-profit agency at the age of 22 that paired artists with foster-care children. This altruistic dedication must have influenced his lyrical perspectives of optimistic introspection.

The album opens with the song “Wait to Leave,” a tense exposition about waiting overnight until a decision is made about a fight precipitating over “too much wine.” Its stratified sound, thematic of the album, results from each instrument synergistically supplementing Moon’s nylon-stringed guitar, with punchy percussion clarifying the Latin-jazz influence from which the song derives. The song “Say You Will” offers a jazzy flair more in the American tradition, with slowly undulating lyrics that contrast with a quickly moving 3/4 time signature.

The title track paints a science-fictional picture of the world in which “the price of spaceships went down / people exploded into space / leaving nothing behind / tethered only to our faith.” Choice in perspective and acknowledgement of future possibilities play an important role, lending to the album’s existential theme: “Just tell me the moon is cheese and we’re one big cracker.” Some of his melancholic songs, like this one, match the musical tone with the introspection of the lyrics and call for such changes in perspective. The melancholy never sits alone in his songs, but rather seems to be treated as some catalyst for change. In “Ladybird,” Moon uses the colloquialism “on the fence” and adds that “you’re on the runway” as well. This changes the perspective from “being torn between two sides” to “being at the point at which one decides,” further evidencing Moon’s categorical optimism.

If Moon’s voice carried a Southern twang, “Sheba,” the antepenultimate song on the album, might fool another for being a bonafide country and western/folk song with its harmonic duet, slide guitar, and gospel-like organ in the background. “Carry Joseph,” though, is probably Moon’s most interesting choice in style, as the melody and tempo resemble those of a Christmas hymn. It’s an ode to the start of a long workday in which the subject must climb “up the hill to market” where “your new day has just begun.”

Collectively, “Conscious Pilot” leaves the listener feeling contemplatively buoyant and constructively existential. His wide range of influences coalesce in ways that make the final product something completely his, always being built on elegantly simple riffs on his guitar. Moon fulfills his promise of bringing something fresh to the songwriter tradition not only musically, but also lyrically, conveying the same existential themes through a variety of mediums, be it the science fiction of “Conscious Pilot,” the relational issues (being-for-others as Sartre penned it) of “Wait to Leave,” or the allegorical and hymn-like “Carry Joseph.”
- Aaron Walther, Jupiter Index


""His CD plays beautifully, melodically and captures the listener in its sweet simplicity.”"

Moon is a sing-songwriter. But he’s also a bit more than that. He primarily uses a nylon-string guitar and ‘no picks’ approach while interweaving vocal and guitar lines. His sound is soft and his voice generates a bit of the old Cat Stevens with a range to match. His CD plays beautifully, melodically and captures the listener in its sweet simplicity. - Hux, AustinDaze


Discography

Consequences for Cadences EP, 2006
Conscious Pilot, 2010

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Bio

Austin-based musician Jeffrey Moon brings a fresh approach to the singer-songwriting tradition. Primarily using a nylon-string guitar and a 'no-picks' approach, Jeffrey's interweaving vocal and guitar lines lend a unique contribution to the Austin scene and the songwriting genre. With over 20 years of gigging and composing, Jeffrey combines his love of many genres into a collection of songs released in June 2010, named Conscious Pilot.

Moon's past has brought him a wider range of experiences than the 'musician' moniker implies, and it shows in his lyrics and compositional maturity. More than an artist, Moon has dedicated years on the pavement working with people from a wide range of backgrounds, earning a Master's degree in Clinical Social Work before his transplant to Austin. Always the entrepreneur, Jeffrey launched a non-profit agency pairing artists and young adults in the foster-care system when he was 22, and now helps runs a small boutique software design company in Austin, Texas.

All of these experiences, coupled with a wide range of musical influence, make for a collection of songs compelling and deceptively simple, with earnest lyrics that reveal the beauty in sadness and the common roots of our Human experience.