333

Nicolas Meier: Silence Talks

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Nicolas Meier: Silence Talks Like the saxophonist/flautist Gilad Atzmon, guitarist Nicolas Meier is a British-based musician exploring the rich synergy between jazz and Middle Eastern folk musics. Atzmon's synthesis is primarily shaped by Israeli music, but includes the traditions of neighbouring Arab countries. Meier's focus is Turkish, and also extends to neighbouring countries, particularly to the Balkans, with added flecks of Spain.



How Swiss-born Meir's exposure to Turkish music came about is unknown—whether it was via his Turkish wife, or whether the couple met during one of Meier's frequent visits to the country. Either way, Meier's acculturation is deep: inside and at ease with Anatolia's distinctive rhythms and melodies, and eschewing the manufactured, cod-dervish "trance" thrashes to which European/Turkish fusions are prone.



Atzmon is a regular Meier collaborator, and the compelling Silence Talks is the third Meier album on which he's been featured, following Orient (Naim, 2005) and Yuz (Naim, 2007). Also featured on all three albums are Asaf Sirkis, the drummer in Atzmon's Orient House Ensemble, and bassist Tom Mason.



All seven tracks are originals and most owe as much to Turkish music as they do to jazz. Meier's rhythms and harmonies are generally within an Anatolian paradigm, as are the variations in tempo and dynamics which are features of his arrangements. The music moves gracefully back and forth between Europe and Turkey. Only the improvising aesthetic is predominantly jazz-based, with Meier and Atzmon, the key soloists, forwarding motivic rather than reiterative lines.



Meier's technique is phenomenal. Dextrous and vigorous, favoring giddily-fast fingered, serpentine single note runs, it is musicianly in the best sense of the word. Atzmon, no technical slouch either, is the more intuitive and emotional player. He wears his heart prominently on his sleeve whether on a wild dance tune like "Dance in the Rain," the Pat Metheny-esque, flamenco-flavored "Deja Vu," or a gently-paced ballad like "Deniz's Love."



Mostly, Atzmon plays warm-going-on-hot vocalized saxophone, but he contributes a lovely clarinet solo to the delicate title track. Guest clarinetist Giorgio Serci shines as brightly on the closing "A Rose in the Pyrenees." Sirkis and Mason stoke the fire with weight and laser-precision.



A rewarding listen for anyone who doesn't think jazz stops east of the Hudson or west of San Francisco bay.


Track Listing: October in Ankara (Ankara'da Ekim); Silence Talks (Sessizlik Konusuyor); Turquoise; Deja Vu; Dance of the Rain (Yagnurun Dansi); Deniz's Love (Deniz'in Sevgisi); A Rose in the Pyrenees.

Personnel: Nicolas Meier: acoustic fretless, fretted and steel guitars, baglama; Gilad Atzmon: soprano and alto saxophones, clarinet; Giorgio Serci: clarinet (7); Tom Mason: acoustic bass; Asaf Sirkis: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Naim Label | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

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 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 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 "Being Playing" CD/LP/Track Review Being Playing
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: April 24, 2016
Read "Suite Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Ellington
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 26, 2016
Read "Hungarian Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Hungarian Noir
by James Nadal
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "East West Daydreams" CD/LP/Track Review East West Daydreams
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Garden 2nd Set" CD/LP/Track Review Garden 2nd Set
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 2, 2016
Read "Texas Times" CD/LP/Track Review Texas Times
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 14, 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!