Guitarist and composer Rex Shepherd will be releasing the third instalment of the “Never Buy My Self” series digitally on June 29th. The first two volumes, released in 2014, featured Shepherd playing solo and in various duets, and volume three continues the series with a new set of all solo music consisting of both improvised and composed pieces. The new release features four new compositions and ten more improvised tunes that demonstrate Shepherd's musical range from thoughtfully written jazz ballads to fuzzed out guitar mayhem including one piece in which Shepherd again uses the Theremin for self accompaniment.
Says Rex, “I released a solo set in 2016 called 'Meditations,' and doing a new solo thing runs the risk of repetition but 'Meditations' was done in just a few sessions and was textural and harmonically focused and the new stuff returns to my tendency to play and write in a linear melodic way and the music on 'Never Buy My Self, Volume III' reflects that way of thinking, and it's also different in that it was recorded over a span of about two years and, like volume I, it includes one particular composition that is very personal and is only for me to play. I have aspirations for new projects with larger ensembles and to return to the No End of Now jazz rock thing too so this will probably be the last solo thing I do for a good while, and given the current socio-emotional environment these days I don't want to come off as a narcissistic anti-social type. So I hope people enjoy and connect with this music and, as always, much peace, happiness, and music to all people, everywhere.”
Guitarist Rex Shepherd also recently released three albums digitally: “Ohio”, “Sonority” and “Duets”. Combining elements of jazz improvisation and harmony with an approach to guitar playing heavily influenced by diverse players such as Jim Hall, Robin Trower, Fred Frith, and sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar, Rex Shepherd has forged a niche for himself with original music that typically lies somewhere just outside the usual genre labels but is still music that is approachable.
Says Rex, “This new music was recorded in my personal studio, much of it with other musicians in duets, and at various times throughout the last few years. The past several years have delivered to me a greater understanding of the fleeting nature of this lifetime, so I decided to release much of what I had accumulated, in part to satisfy my own need to communicate musically with the world outside of my little sphere of existence, but also I wanted to honor the musicians who played this music with me. It is these musical and personal relationships that are at the heart of creating music, whether composed or improvised, and for the people who listen to it I hope it also creates a connection between us. Much peace and music to all people, everywhere.”
Having been described as “Robin Trower meets Miles Davis”, Shepherd's music spans from full on instrumental jazz rock tunes to traditional jazz compositions with a good dose of free improvisation and sound experimentation using “prepared” and effected guitar sounds and instruments such as the “oceanharp” and the Theremin.
Shepherd's band, sometimes going under the name No End of Now, employs a revolving cast of the most creative players he can find who are willing to take part in a project that is often arranged while playing and with no limitations on the players' expression of the music. The compositions are also a blend of influences, from Wayne Shorter to John Cage, and most often are directly inspired by people, literature and other art forms, and experiences that hold significant meaning in Shepherd's life.
Previously released albums:
“Ohio”: With the exception of “Desire”, a ballad Rex wrote several years ago, the music on this recording is all improvised. The songs consist of duet recordings captured in his studio after he had returned home to Ohio for a short time. https://rexshepherd.bandcamp.com/album/ohio
“Sonority”: This recent recording features a set of improvised tunes that were arrived at after John and Rex conducted their usual pre-roll discussions about the state of current affairs in the U.S. https://rexshepherd.bandcamp.com/album/sonority
“Duets”: Except for the improvisations “Etude #2” and “April 9th”, this release features compositions by Rex that have existed anywhere from 15 years, in the case of “In the Shade”, to just two days before being recorded like “Happy Little Trees”. https://rexshepherd.bandcamp.com/album/duets
To purchase Rex Shepherd's “Never Buy My Self Volume III” visit www.rexshepherd.bandcamp.com