John Niems | Niems Nine - A Mountain Of Music

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Niems Nine - A Mountain Of Music

by John Niems

Music that spans from the early 70's to today with SMOOTH JAZZ, POP, ROCK and MORE on it! You will be singing along on every song!
Genre: Pop: Beatles-pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Breezin' By
3:57 $0.99
2. 401 KO
3:38 $0.99
3. 90 Years
4:30 $0.99
4. Sweet Mary
3:20 $0.99
5. Hey There Baby
4:56 $0.99
6. The Only Thing That Matters
3:47 $0.99
7. She's Loving Me
2:44 $0.99
8. Woman You Better Go
3:09 $0.99
9. Time To Be With You
3:01 $0.99
10. You Really Fooled Me
2:07 $0.99
11. I'm Coming Back
2:44 $0.99
12. Don't You Remember
3:59 $0.99
13. Gonna Be O.K.
2:58 $0.99
14. Jason Wellington
4:11 $0.99
15. 90 Years (Niemstrumental version)
4:28 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A MOUNTAIN OF MUSIC is really A MOUNTAIN OF MUSIC when one considers that the music spans from 1972 to 2009! I wrote the 8 tracks from the 70's when I was at Valparaiso University from 1970 - 1974. I recorded 8 of those tunes ( I figure that I wrote close to 100 tunes in that period) in 1976 and 1977 at Gary Loizzo's PUMPKIN STUDIOS in Orland Park, Illinois. I had to have the MASTER tapes baked in the 8 hour process to restore them and then it was time to re-sing them with my 24 and 25 year old self on harmonies. ( ONE TUNE I LEFT THE ORIGINAL VOCAL) I must say that the songs surprised me in many ways. First: I did not change the lyrics as much as I thought I would as I am a much better lyricist today and Second: The songs were fun to sing and held up very well after all this time! The tracks that precede the 8 from the 70's are all written in 2009! The first two BREEZIN' BY and 401 KO are SMOOTH JAZZ NIEMSTRUMENTALS as I love to write just music sometimes and let the music take the listener on a journey. They are two of my best ever. Then I have two tracks dedicated to my parents LEE and MARY and the NN - AMOM is dedicated to them as I have had the most supportive parents in the history of parents.LOL My DAD'S 90 YEARS is very STEELY DANISH and my MOM'S SWEET MARY is very DAVID GATES and BREAD LIKE! I follow those with a GRATH BROOKS type HEY THERE BABY that is probably the most fun I ever had on a song and it sounds like it! Track 6 THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS is my very first time I have a rapper in one of my tunes! It is also taken from a motto that I have lived by all my life: IN THE END THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS THE WORK YOU LEAVE BEHIND! With my NIEMS NINE I now have 9 releases that I am so very proud of and will put them against any ARTIST or BAND in terms of quality music with great lyrics and melodies! Of course this is my unbiased opinion! LOL But you the listener please give all my kids a listen because I know you will like what you hear! Thanks - JN



to write a review

R. Rodriguez

A Mountain of Audaciously Inventive Music
Niems Nine is the latest full-length release by independent singer/songwriter/ multi-instrumentalist John Niems. Subtitled A Mountain of Music, Niems isn’t kidding: the album clocks in at fifty-three minutes spread over fourteen compositions (plus one repeat). This might seem to be too much to take in all at once, but for fans of smooth jazz/pop, Niems Nine is an engaging excursion into heartfelt romanticism, heavy on melodies and accessibility—so much so that the journey is over well before the grooves wear thin.

Niems is abetted on this sojourn by sax player Tony Q, as well as female vocalists Edwige Bingue and Parris Lane, plus the rhythm section of Louis Ocadiz and Benny Madrid on bass and drums, respectively. The clear, uncluttered production comes courtesy of Ocadiz, whose crisp attention to detail provides a solid, sympathetic backing to John’s pleasing tenor.

One thing clear about the album as a whole is that Niems is an intensely romantic fellow. Presenting his music with in such an earnest, open-book manner at a time of prevailing cynicism such as we live in is an act of courage in the best Lennon tradition, laying his heart on the line for all to accept or reject. Thankfully, his direct lyrics are far more apt to provoke empathy than derision.

The album starts out with a bang with “Breezin’ By.” Niems’ gentle melodicism, enhanced by Q’s soprano sax, is on full display, as is the band’s instrumental prowess. This tuneful, wordless composition might be typed as “easy listening,” but only in the best sense of the term. It catches you up in its irresistible hooks, and before you know it, you’re strapped in for the ride.

It’s followed by another “Niemstrumental,” the funky, sax-driven “401 KO.” Though largely hidden from view on this album, Niems is fully engaged in topical concerns (as evidenced with other releases). Thus, the title’s economic pun.

The two numbers that follow may comprise the emotional heart of the collection. Here, John pays tribute to both his father and mother, in that order. “90 Years” describes the debt owed to his Dad, who—even at this advanced age—is apparently a formidable presence in the artist’s life. John presents him as the greatest man he’s ever known—something I suspect every Dad longs to hear from their child. Though the lyrics are quite specific, the feeling as a whole is quite universal.

“Sweet Mary” continues the loving tribute as John offers his thanks to his mother, who apparently is the figure that inspired by encouragement and example his musicality. Again, the words are direct, but no one with parents cannot listen to these songs and escape hearing what they know they too would be well advised to convey, should they be fortunate enough to have that option. Not to belabor gratuitous Lennon comparisons, but it’s worth noting that Niems too can offer sentiment without sinking into gooey sentimentality.

The album swings over to romance, where it mostly stays for the remainder of the songs, with the playful “Hey There Baby.” This is immediately followed by “The Only Thing That Matters,” John’s statement of purpose. Music’s essential role in his life is described, and as he offers the view that what we leave behind in the world is the point of our existence, his words are merely stating what is implicit within the collection as a whole. As an artist, Niems is all about serving his muse; what listeners are taking in is what he is fully aware will one day be his legacy. (Alone among all the songs, this one features Chris Carillo with an “inspiration rap,” underscoring the message.)

“She’s Loving Me” puts us back into the romance mode, with its breezy melody and engaging harmonies. Worth noting is that John’s love songs have an authenticity to them, as though we’re witness to a happily fulfilled guy. Lots of people produce songs in this idiom but most sound exactly as though they were churned out to order; not here. “Woman You Better Go” is a lament on the downside of love, though it isn’t so dark that we actually believe Niems is undergoing any romantic trauma. It’s followed by “Time To Be With You,” a slow- tempo ballad with strings.

“You Really Fooled Me” and “I’m Coming Back” are uptempo tunes, the latter featuring a nice piano solo. “Don’t You Remember” expresses gratitude to a romantic partner, while “Gonna Be OK” typifies the undimmed optimism inherent within John’s songs. This one also features a fine guitar solo and a driving rhythm.

The next song, “Jason Wellington,” is a rather singular departure within the collection. It’s a topical tune depicting the demoralizing effect experienced by the title character after his job is outsourced. Even with the strong resonance the song may have in today’s world, Niems’ optimism and encouragement are on display. Some driving bass and adroit shifts in tempo keep the performance chugging along.

Niems Nine ends with a reprise of “90 Years,” this time as a mostly instrumental (the backing vocals are present). It serves to tie the album together as a completed journey and not necessarily as a theme. Here, the musicians (the sax player in particular) are given space to stretch a bit. Without lyrics to shift one’s focus, John’s inherent melodic gifts occupy the spotlight.

John Niems projects confidence and security with his own artistry on this album. Someone fewer in years might have trafficked more heavily in doubt or needless drama, but the songs here display reflection and an adult perspective on life. As though having survived the ups-and-downs of the human experience and come away with a firm grasp of what’s really important, John’s songs here convey that everything’s gonna be alright. Coupling the personal with endless musicality and invention—Lennon and McCartney all in one, without sounding faintly “Beatlesque”—Niems Nine is an engaging release that rewards repeat listenings.