A very generous three-CD set that shows the impact of the pandemic on yet another artist releasing music at the moment. Multi-talented guitarist and composer Nicolas Meier took time over the lockdown to edit and mix the eclectic range of material presented here.
It’s a huge opus that explores a range of styles and influences, and the more you listen, the more you wonder if there is anything Meier couldn’t turn his hand to musically with a guitar on his lap.
From the pulsing, complex and driving sounds on Magnificent to some lovely solo work on Stories, Meier reveals he is completely at home with world music influences including Turkish and Middle Eastern vibes, flamenco and tango. He adds to that a natural gift for jazz rhythm and improvisation.
Including imaginative takes on The Godfather theme, Mona Lisa and My Foolish Heart among others, the solo performances on Stories are amongst the most engaging I have heard in some time – up there with the direct and accessible performances of Ulf Wakenius.
At 76 minutes, the live album packs a lot of material in, and finds Meier ably supported by Glasgow, Jones and Sabat. Extended versions of Meier’s compositions in a live setting perhaps run on a bit at times, but there is certainly an awful lot here to enjoy.
CD1: [Magnificent] (1) Mesudive; Semur’s Bridge; Hip; Stories From The Garden; Sous Le Ciel De Fribourg; Villa Olivio; The Pond; Under An Olive Tree (54.53)
CD2: [Stories] (2) La Vie En Rose; Blues For Alice; The Godfather; Kismet; Mona Lisa; Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Brush With The Blues; My Foolish Heart; October in Ankara; Nothing Else Matters; C’est Si Bon; Sous Le Ciel De Fribourg; Night And Day; Stories From The Garden; Esmeralda (51.13)
CD3: [Live] (3) Manzanita Samba; Besiktas Café; Caravan Of Anatolia; City Of The 3 Rivers; Riversides; Princes’ Islands; Water Lilies; Tales; Adiguzel (73.46)
Meier (g, elg) with:
(1) Kevin Glasgow (b); Richard Jones (vn); Demi Sabat (pc). Slipway Studios, December 2020 – June 2021.
(2) Meier solo. MGP Studios, October – November 2020.
(3) as (1) Colchester Arts Centre, 16 February 2020.
MGP Records MGPCD25