“Keep on hanging in there, and when you got tunes, my ears are always up for a listen.” This is the opening sentence of an email Jeff Breeze sent me on November 2, 2020, six days before his passing. This was Jeff to me. He cared about people and he cared about music. The former was something you could just feel and the latter was something that is, of course, written in stone in the archives of Pipeline!, the articles he wrote in The Performer, and in Jeff’s own musical output.
Whistle Jacket was fortunate to play Pipeline! twice; we appeared on the show in 2013 and 2017. We also were featured in an article that Jeff wrote in The Performer. Jeff made us feel like our music was special enough to be heard by others. He did this for so many bands, so many artists, and for so many years. You can certainly quantify this in terms of the amount of bands he played on his show and the length of time he ran Pipeline! Still, such numbers don’t speak to the true impact Jeff had on the New England music scene because they can’t measure the enthusiasm, curiosity, and openness Jeff had for music.
I cannot write about Jeff without talking about his sense of humor. His was the kind of humor that could come with laughter but it could also come with Jeff delivering a slight but satisfied smile. In our exchanges there seemed to be a joke around the corner that Jeff seemed to subtly lead the conversation to.
In addition to introducing me to so many bands through Pipeline, Jeff also turned me on to Harry Nilsson. It makes sense that Jeff was a Nilsson fan; Nilsson’s songs have so much heart, humor, and quirkiness–top-notch traits in my book. Jeff had them all. — Michael Leyden
appearances: Nov. 5, 2013 and Aug. 22, 2017