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Songbook by Jerry Rojas and Peter A. Schmid

Jerry Rojas and Peter A. Schmid seem to be very competent musicians. However, this album appears to do little to truly showcase the talents of either artist. The direction of this album is unsure, the melodies sometimes apparent but often without much definition, the tunes are often uninspiring and self-indulgent. Heavy distortion, fun with harmonics, and power chords mark Rojas’ playing and obvious rock influence. That might have been o.k., except that the resulting sound was not at all impressive. It sounds as though his amp(s) are straining, his chords are too muffled, and the distortion is far too distorted.

Bass clarinet, heavily distorted rock chords, and vague direction are not exactly my idea of a real marriage made in Music Heaven, at least not from a jazz, R&B, blues, or even rock perspective.

As a rule, I look for a feel, a soul, a direction via defined melodies and structure in music of any kind. Unfortunately, I did not find that here.

Still, all is not lost with this project. On track 11, "Tarablues" (there are 16 tracks in all), we hear some well-defined, well-played (what else?) blues. I especially like the clarinet’s role here. We hear some definition again on the last track More of this, and my whole take on this production could have been quite different. I do hope that their next project truly reflects the composing talents and versatility of these two fine musicians.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jerry Rojas and Peter A. Schmid
  • CD Title: Songbook
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Creative Works Records
  • Musicians: Jerry Rojas (electric guitar), Peter A. Schmid (bass clarinet, A clarinet, taragot)
  • Rating: One Star
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