Chuck Greenberg: Shadowdance

4 Sep

Shadowfax's Magic Theater

Shadowfax's 1994 release Magic Theater

Remembering Shadowfax’s Chuck Greenberg on the anniversary of his death in 1995.

Greenberg was one of the founders of the group Shadowfax nearly 40 years ago; if you don’t know the group and the name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you read J.R.R. Tolkien’s novels. Shawdowfax was the name of the wizard Gandalf’s horse.

The origin of Shadowfax’s music is harder to pin down. Its sound was unique — if you liked the group it reminded of Oregon; if not, you probably thought it was too much fusion and reminded too much of Spyro Grya (we’re in the former camp).

“We’ve always just tried to do music that we liked, without making any concerted effort to become a commercial success,” Greenberg told the Los Angeles Times.

Shadowfax had some of the latter and some acclaim, too — its 1988 album Folksongs for a Nuclear Village won a Grammy (new age) and its 1992 album Esperanto was nominated for the same.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the paper’s Leonard Feather called Shadowfax’s sound, “American, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, European, incorporating classical, rock, folk and (minimally) jazz, variously acoustic and electric.”

Greenberg was a big part of all that — he played the sax, the lyricon and various other woodwinds, and did much of the production.

Greenberg was 45 when he died of a heart attack while vacationing with his family. The band disbanded after his death.

sources: Latimes.com, bittersuiteband.com, wikipedia.org

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One Response to “Chuck Greenberg: Shadowdance”

  1. eves3 September 8, 2011 at 8:27 pm #

    It’s nice to see this write up. I’ve been a big fan of Chuck’s since the early 80’s. Along with his friends and family, I am an admin of his facebook page. Check it.

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