Jeff was such a cool guy, and Pipeline is a beacon for independent music in the region. We’re from Portland, Maine, and it was hard to not feel a little provincial whenever we tried to make inroads into the Boston scene, but that was never the vibe with Jeff. He had been playing our music for a few years before we went down to play on air, and when we finally got to meet him the whole in-studio experience was almost too good to be true. He also gave us excellent tips on the best spots to grab a late night bite between Boston and Portland.
appearance: Nov. 6, 2018
(Jeff plays typewriter with Purple Ivy Shadows on March 23, 2014, at the Columbus Theatre in Providence, RI.)
During the early 2000s, Jeff was always there. If it was a show in New England, Jeff would inevitably show up. He was so supportive and open to what was going on with DIY post-punk music scene. He supported Cerberus Shoal with his Pipeline! show, as well as when he was writing for the Northeastern Performer magazine. It was so obvious how turned on by music Jeff was, and he supported everything I did: Fire on Fire, my solo stuff, and SNAEX. He was also a bit of an enigma as I had hung out with him on many, many occasions and I never really knew much about him. It wasn’t until recently that I figured out how awesome the Typewriter Orchestra is and how committed Jeff was to that project. Successful music scenes depend on people like Jeff Breeze. Without Jeff, so many connections would never had been made. He was a soul.
Continue reading “Chriss Sutherland”
Breeze liner notes (from Bandcamp): While the drive to Portland really isn’t very far, I mean it can be done in under two hours if there aren’t any traffic snarls, the first thing I usually do is find a place to get out of the car and find out what is going on. That meant my first stop for a long time was at Buckdancer’s Choice, the music shop on the west end of the peninsula. Jonathan Balzano-Brookes worked there and it was usually the only place anyone could ever wrangle him, and if he wasn’t around Todd Hutchisen was (occasionally they both were around even). Continue reading “Crystal Canyon”
“Jeff Breeze, friend to the entire New England music community, passed away unexpectedly on Monday. He was the host of WMBR’s Pipeline! radio show. He was gracious enough to have us on that program more times than I can count. He had a big impact on me personally, and I was shocked at his passing. I was supposed to put James to bed the night he died, but Hilary knew I was bummed out and she took care of it. I used that time to whisper this song together for Jeff.” — excerpted from the song’s Bandcamp page
I have been listening to the tributes and have been deeply moved for the love Jeff inspired in so many.
Music is the one thing we cling to in these times, especially when the person who is lost had such a life in music.
With that, I can attest to the power of that message, as it has so many times transmitted through my basement radio, covered in dust slow to warm up but somehow always tuned to WMBR. I am transported on a Tuesday night to a basement in the Walker Memorial Building of MIT to a tiny room where a local band I have never heard of before gets ready to rock live on the air. This to me has always felt like freedom. The Joy of feeling the raw energy of a live broadcast where anything can happen. Anything can go wrong. Every thing can go right. The promise of youth dancing on the airwaves. The gentle giant working from the other side of the glass. Time to go. Thank you, Jeff, for being the man behind the glass making me feel free. Continue reading “Dana Colley”
I met Jeff in 2003 outside the Montague Bookmill after a Death Vessel show: “the best Death Vessel show ever,” he called it in an email. I was similarly blown away, and as we got talking we bonded over other Maine musicians we dug, like Micah Blue Smaldone.
Later I sent a copy of eau de ambiguity, by my band The Ambiguities, to Northeast Performer, hoping for a review. I got an email reply from Jeff saying he’d given it to a reviewer, the review would be in the next issue of NP, and could I send one more copy for them to listen to at the office?
Jeff was the biggest supporter of live music I’ve ever met. His passion for it drove everything he did. And it showed. There’s no substituting that or hiding it. I’m not sure there’s anyone else in Boston who can fill the void he leaves behind. But hopefully his passion can continue to inspire us. I remember when he took out the typewriter during our last session. Was totally unexpected and unannounced. I just went with it– such an odd and beautiful moment. I wish the world had more people in it like Jeff.
appearance: Sept. 17, 2019