266

Nicolas Meier: Journey

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Nicolas Meier: Journey Swiss-born, UK-based guitarist Nicolas Meier dedicates Journey to his wife Songul, for sharing "this beautiful life journey" with him. Thematically, the eight tunes can readily be viewed as representing such a journey—but it is equally successful in evoking a single day's walk through a beautiful and mysterious landscape, with Meier's band members as fellow travelers.

Meier's production achieves a fine sound quality, enabling all of the instruments to show their individual voices, while his playing is uniformly excellent across the eight self-composed tunes ("Sunrise" and "Sunset" are co-written with Songul). He has a fluid and precise touch, whether playing slow and delicate lines on the glissentar—an 11-string, fretless, instrument inspired by the guitar and the oud—during "Promenade in the Lantern Garden" or fast and driving single note solos on "Silent Lands" or "Marble Dance." His approach is undoubtedly influenced by Pat Metheny and John McLaughlin as Meier acknowledges, but the additional influence of Turkish folk and pop tunes lends his playing a distinctiveness that ensures he is no mere copyist.

Gilad Atzmon, one of the finest instrumentalists around, adds a touch of genuine adventure and aggression to the music whether he is playing sax or clarinet. His solo on "Summit" is a fine example of his emotive and exciting playing. Atzmon's long-time playing partner Asaf Sirkis is not to be outdone, and follows on with his own driving percussion solo to bring the tune to a close.

Pat Bettison's harmonica playing is another key feature of this album. At first, the instrument may seem somewhat out of place on a recording that is so heavily influenced by Eastern themes and styles, but in fact its addition works beautifully. On "Promenade in the Lantern Garden" Bettison's harmonica takes a central role, while on "Sunset" Bettison trades lines with Atzmon's clarinet before playing a brief and plaintive phrase that leads on to Meier's lovely closing solo.

Journey is a distinctive album—even the packaging, featuring the art of Songul Meier, is a treat. Each musician adds their own unique perspective to Meier's writing and playing to create an original and engaging work.


Track Listing: Sunrise; Journey; Mountain Baba; Silent Lands; Summit; Promenade in the Lantern Garden; Marble Dance; Sunset.

Personnel: Nicolas Meier: guitar, glissentar, baglama; Gilad Atzmon: clarinet, soprano sax, alto sax; Pat Bettison: bass, harmonica; Jose Reinoso: piano; Asaf Sirkis: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: MGP Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "This Is Where I Live" CD/LP/Track Review This Is Where I Live
by James Nadal
Published: June 20, 2016
Read "Som før" CD/LP/Track Review Som før
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "When In Moscow" CD/LP/Track Review When In Moscow
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 12, 2016
Read "New World" CD/LP/Track Review New World
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 9, 2016
Read "Mujo" CD/LP/Track Review Mujo
by John Sharpe
Published: July 16, 2016
Read "Return" CD/LP/Track Review Return
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!