The Greatest Fire, a well-orchestrated indie-pop / alternative masterpiece, is comprised of many moving parts. Each track contains a unique combination of guitar, bass, percussion, brilliant background vocals, and an occasional appearance from instruments suited for a symphony. ... This is an album created for those of us who are tired of the same old indie-pop productions playing over and over again.
His voice has the sound of a polished Thom Yorke (...) but there is more to Bass, as displayed throughout The Greatest Fire. The nimbly picked guitar of Trees For The Forest ... and final song, We Will Be You, (are) perhaps the finest example(s) of what he is capable of. Both stark and epic, there are pockets of space which fill with the sound of mourning guitars and piano, an ideal accompaniment for the yearning vocal performance. This is his sweet spot, one which suggests he really can bring together all of his influences to create something that is his alone.
-Songwriting Magazine, UK
The most striking thing about the upcoming new album by Brooklyn-based artist Jeremy Bass is his adept and powerful lyrics. ‘The Greatest Fire’ contains numerous turns of phrase that are completely world-class.
The Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter bursts out of the gate with clever poetry, witty imagery, and engaging guitar work... Following two EP releases in 2015, The Greatest Fire finds Jeremy Bass propelling himself forward both musically and lyrically, blending folk and rock, traditional and newer influences together to craft a many-layered identity that is all his own. His new single is simultaneously personal and universal, a multi-faceted roadtrip through evocative melodies and colorful metaphors that stick their landing every time.
The ten song project The Greatest Fire showcases not only the classically trained (in Italy and Spain) guitarist's beautiful arrangements, but his powerful lyrics filled with astute observations, self-awareness, and hope....
...While Bass’ voice can be described as a mixture of Paul Simon, Jeff Buckley, and Thom Yorke, you’re now as likely to find walls of distorted guitars and stacked keyboards in his arsenal as you are to find a blend of banjo, ukulele, acoustic guitars and mandolin. And while his sound bears little resemblance to one of his heroes, Bass relates wholeheartedly to this Tom Waits quote: “I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things.” The songs on The Greatest Fire take this idea as gospel, both in ideology and practice.
“I thrive on the interplay between what people think they’re hearing, and the actual content beneath,” Bass explains. “I think that’s where the best songwriting happens.” Bass mentions Hank Williams and Merle Haggard’s outlaw output as examples of this juxtaposition.
A more contemporary songwriter who was a master at this, as well, was Elliott Smith. In fact, The Greatest Fire’s Trees For The Forest opens with a short picking run that immediately brings to mind the opening of Smith’s Either/Or classic track Angeles, and contains a lyric that could have come from Smith’s canon: “But you know those people who never get lost, never learn how to find their own way.” It's a fine example of Bass’ ability to lay it on the line, as if playing some kind of musical rope-a-dope by weakening his audience with pretty sounds before landing a truth punch.
-The Daily Country
Considering Jeremy Bass’ new LP, The Greatest Fire, boasts contributions from Nick Luca and Jacob Valenzuela, there probably was little doubt it would draw comparisons to Calexico. ... (Though) Bass, it turns out, is at his best when he is casting off the chains of the Calexico and Iron & Wine molds, and venturing into more rough-hewn terrain.
While the single Trees for the Forest calls to mind Calexico’s cover of All The Pretty Little Horses, Bass is smart to lend it details that distance the song from homage: country-and-western tinged bass scales, for example, or the occasional burble of an organ.
...The bluesy, sometimes-sparse Like Flowers For A Funeral calls to mind less Joey Burns than Tim Buckley. (So Glad) Everyone’s Happy, with its plucky bass, imagines the affect of a weepy Talking Heads. And then there’s 1,000 Yrs - this is the stuff great ballads are made of -- emotive vocals, shuffling acoustic guitar, swelling strings, the occasional punctuation of electric guitar and bass. The track, in its finer moments, could even be a contemporary of Cat Stevens. It’s far and away the best song on the LP and reason enough to hunt this thing down.
Winner of the 2015 John Lennon Songwriting Competition for Best Jazz Song, and Runner-Up for Best Folk Song, Jeremy Bass has made a name for himself with the release of two fan~funded EPs: Winter Bare and New York in Spring. The albums feature members of Iron and Wine, Calexico, Neko Case, Dr. John and Zappa Plays Zappa, and received critical acclaim from Guitar World, Acoustic Guitar, BBC Radio, and many other blogs and magazines.
The music of Jeremy Bass sounds ready made for television shows, motion pictures, video games, anything that has to do with media; Bass would be the guy you’d want to rely on ... If you like the work of Jack Johnson, you may enjoy the vibe of New York In Spring, where you’ll hear someone with the kind of spontaneous-yet-strict arrangements not unlike some of the best music Elton John has created in the last 45 years. ... Jeremy could easily be just your friend hanging out on the couch, playing whatever he feels at any given time, but who then comes forth is someone who knows how to execute it and make it work with structure from beginning to end. ... Bass creates the music that you not only desire, but that becomes what you need.
-This is Book's Music
Jeremy Bass has a Tim Buckley-like purity to his voice, and there’s a warmth and grace to the production here that does justice to the quality of the music. Winter Bare is a stunner!
In Winter Bare, hope can be heard shining through on the soft piano and acoustic guitar-driven title track. Female vocal harmonies, mandolin and peppy percussion add some extra brightness throughout.
There are many standout tracks that show off Bass’s harmonic intelligence. The brilliant “Lift Me Up” has a gentle epic quality to it, again enhanced by great harmonies, tasty piano fills and uplifting trumpet playing. The title track has Bass harmonizing beautifully with Annie McCain, backed by the understated marvel that is his band. “One More Cigarette” sounds like a forgotten track from The Band’s Music from Big Pink. A life affirming keyboard descent leads to a chorus that already sounds like a classic. “Coming Back Home” perfectly opens with an a cappella verse before the fantastic band joins in.
Ultimately, New York In Spring is both the companion bookend to Winter Bare and the turn of a musical corner that Bass wished it to be. Where Winter Bare’s sound shows off Bass’ love of Merle Haggard, Tom Waits, and Johnny Cash, New York In Spring is an album of Bossa nova-inspired tunes featuring Bass’ live band, and influenced by the great Bossa nova composer Jobim and Brazilian guitar masters Luis Bonfa and Baden Powell.
Many of the songs on New York In Spring come from deep in Bass’ catalog, written when he was still exclusively playing nylon stringed guitars, a remnant of his early days as a classical guitarist trained in the academies of Italy and the flamenco bars of Spain.
-Band of The Day (app)
The signature of a good musician is one who can find the proper balance between his or her voice, the accompanying music and the emotion they weave into their creations. Jeremy Bass is playing melodies that seem to float of their own accord, he gives himself over to his musical talents. He is a master storyteller, and his voice wavers in the arena of John Mayer with the instrumental talents of Cat Stevens. He plays softly with the utmost control; there is nothing out of place in Tenant's songs. Each piece seems to glide along, with natural effort. The songs are ballads that wonderfully capture the Human Experience; he is able to share the idea that we are tenants in a much larger overall apartment building of Life. Everything - the voice, the lyrics, the instruments - is light-spirited, and though the songs often skirt the fringes of country music, they escape the gravitational pull of specific genre conventions. This is truly his album.
Bass sees a shine in all emotional elements: he makes love and loss a little easier to carry. Even better, his music reflects that. It is controlled and even and streams away from the hills and valleys that so many songs push us through as they channel the same emotions. In essence, always the sign of an adept and able artist, Bass has the maturity and skill to mold the emotions to his songs versus the other way around.
From start to end, Jeremy Bass has infused himself into every track. The songs are good. The lyrics are good. His voice is good. He is able to use his talents to paint pictures that we can all appreciate. He takes his time to share his vision and to take the listeners along on his journey. The lyric of one song tells the listeners that “if you want to see the sun you better learn how to shine.” Mr. Bass, put on your sunglasses.
His vocal harmonies are soothing and his music is reminiscent of the calm mood of Tom Waits. His use of instruments, such as using brass instruments at the end of the track, show the talent of this young musician and what he wants to bring to the world.
The latest album to amaze us is Tenant by Jeremy Bass. It’s a daring, brave set of songs that strips away the mind’s trickery of camouflage and crutches, and bares the truth of an individual through words and music. It’s touching, relevant and excellent.
Bass is a bi-coastal singer/songwriter, published poet and literary critic, and his stunning lyrical and language skills are perfectly framed and beautifully displayed. His ability to paint pictures with words and music is simply superb, and he takes the listener on journeys that are elegant, deep and seemingly endless. There’s a whole world lensed through the shimmering window of this album.
Singer/songwriter Jeremy Bass isn’t the first musician to channel his personal pain and sorrow into art, nor will the Brooklynite be the last one to do so. In remarkable new EP “Winter Bare,” however, Bass has emerged from the darkness of personal hardship with a record that absolutely deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.
-Pittsburg In Tune
Jeremy Bass got his start as a classically-trained guitarist and trained at prestigious academies in Italy and Spain. He’s also a widely published poet and gained some acclaim as bandleader and musical director of the OBIE award-winning variety show “The Secret City.” He has expanded his musical palette even further with the release of his album.
In addition to his skills as a guitarist and wordsmith, Bass shows off an ear-pleasing tenor throughout an 11-track release that was the very definition of ambitious. ... This is an enjoyable effort from a talented artist that deserves to be on your radar.
-Jeffrey Sisk (Pittsburg In Tune)
The two albums couldn’t be more different. On Winter Bare, Bass has recorded his version of alt-country, inspired by Merle Haggard and Tom Waits. That’s worlds away from New York in Spring, where the mood is lighthearted, the melodies buoyant, and the lyrics all about possibility: finding hope in flowers, birds, and the million ways to make the city your own, set to the lilting sounds of Big Apple bossa nova. It’s a tribute to the lasting inspiration of Luiz Bonfá, Antônio Carlos Jobim and Baden Powell - that ’60s generation of Brazilian guitar masters - crossed with the lyrical storytelling of Bass’ two other guitar heroes, Nick Drake and Paul Simon.
Beatles covers are a dime a dozen these days. The originals are so iconic it can be difficult to put one’s own stamp on them. Most covers stick too close to the originals, but then the braver attempts at dramatic reinterpretations fail ten times as often as they succeed. It’s hard to win. - On his new version of “Julia," classically-trained guitarist Jeremy Bass finds a nice middle ground. He reworks the song into a tender bossa nova rhythm for his new album New York in Spring, finding a new beauty in the melody without veering off into novelty Beatles Go Brazil!-type territory.