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Thursday, November 14, 2013

CD Review: Nicolas Meier Trio+ Kismet

Nicolas Meier (acoustic nylon guitar, glissentar & jazz guitar), Kevin Glasgow (bass), Laurence Lowe (drums), Demi Garcia (percussion) + Lizzie Ball (violin), Bernard Gregor-Smith (cello) & Cenk Erdogan (acoustic fretless nylon & electric guitar)
(Review by Russell)
Kismet, the title track, is placed third of nine on Nicolas Meier’s new album released at the beginning of next week (Monday 18 November). An original composition of Meier’s, inspired by a Turkish folk tune, it encapsulates what this recording is all about; a fusion of Eastern cultural elements, the brilliance of  Flamenco musicians and the nonchalance of the Manouche guitarists past and present. Meier’s relaxed approach and imperious technique make this new recording one for students of the guitar and for those appreciative of a beautifully realised project.
The UK-based Swiss bandleader has recruited a wonderful group of musicians capable of playing the music so expertly. Cenk Erdogan’s guitar playing contrasts and complements Meier’s and the bandleader is fortunate to have the Turk on board. Erdogan’s tremendous solos on Kismet and Horizon are a match for Meier. The Swiss himself dazzles throughout; Giant Steps and Nuages offer fresh interpretations of classic tunes and October in Ankara embraces change in tempi and mood with ease. Bassist Kevin Glasgow’s musicianship is outstanding throughout the recording. His solo on the closing track Not For Me (a bluesy, swinging, snorter of a track recalling Sco’s Piety Street Band) is as good as it gets. Drummer Laurence Lowe, like Glasgow, of the new generation, has it all at his fingertips. Percussionist Demi Garcia peppers the CD with infinite rhythmic patterns. How do these guys do it? String players Lizzie Ball (violin) and cellist Bernard Gregor-Smith add earthy hues to Meier’s compositional palette making Kismet an excellent addition to this year’s many new releases. Nicolas Meier takes it on the road in the coming weeks. Kismet the CD (MGPCD010) is available on MPG Records from November 18. The album launch at The Forge, London follows on November 22. North east gig goers should make sure that they are at the Lit & Phil, Newcastle on December 6. That’s when Nicolas Meier will be in town.            
Russell.         

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