In just a few short years UK-based Swiss guitarist Nicolas Meier has carved a reputation out as one of the UK’s most original guitarists. Drawing on a love of Turkish, Eastern music, Flamenco, Tango all mix with jazz, Meier has developed his own unique sound with his regular group (latest release was his eight album with his full band.)
London based Swiss guitarist Nicolas Meier is one of the stars of a vibrant British jazz scene, his trademark sound, as heard on his MGP Records and Naim albums, a mixture of Methenyesque jazz and spicy Turkish and world music rhythms.
While in 2006 Meier and his band won the prestigious Grand Prize Of The Jury and 1st Prize Jazz Guitar at Jazz a Juan Revelations 2006: A competition open to the finest new jazz musicians and bands in Europe and run by the legendary Jazz A Juan Festival. He has become increasingly well known in his adopted country where his Nicolas Meier Group featuring some incredible musicians (listed below) has toured extensively for the last 8 years.
Meier draws on a multitude of influences: Jazz, Flamenco, Latin and middle-eastern music are all passionately explored in a series of heartfelt acoustic modern jazz originals and all represent part of Meier’s musical and personal world. His wife Songul is Turkish and he has spent time there and in Spain and ‘Orient’ draws on the melodies and rhythms of both countries. Writing in the Guardian, John Fordham described Meier as” elegant in tone and bubbling with ideas… his originality as a writer, a player and a team leader dispatches any doubts” and described his debut album Orient as ‘a seductive balance of strong themes, inventive improvising and dynamic variety’.
Meier who was born in 73 first picked up the guitar when he was 12. His parents, both art lovers, had wide-ranging musical tastes and he was exposed to classical, jazz, Latin, flamenco, rock and pop. And it was an early gift from his father of Joe Satriani’s legendary ‘Surfing with the Aliens’ and Tony MacAlpine’s Maximum Security (major intelligent rock guitar-god albums) that first really convinced a young Meier to get practicing. Perhaps his old man was worried because he was subsequently taken on a family outing to the Montreux Jazz festival (in what would become an annual pilgrimage) where he heard Carlos Santana with special guest Wayne Shorter. And later that summer Meier was blown away when he saw John McLaughlin’s trio in Antibes (Trilok Gurtu and Jeff Berlin). In fact Mclaughlin’s album Live at the Royal Festival Hall would be a major influence on Meier with its mix of many styles.