Chasing Tales – Nicolas Meier & Pete Oxley – review

Review – Jahloon, September 2015

Chasing Tales CD
Chasing Tales front cover

Like Nicolas’ previous albums “Journey” and “From Istanbul to Ceuta with a Smile”, his wife Songul created the artwork, and like the previous albums that artwork subtely reflects the musical content.

As not all the tracks from Nicolas are played fretless it is tempting just to review those fretless tracks, but that would not do justice to the overall feel of the album. The track progression is smooth and fluid, something a lot of artists miss, which makes the overall listening experience very comfortable.

Weaving what at first seem like simple melodies into complex expressions of virtuoso playing the duo seem very at home with the music, complex progressions in the music lead in unexpected directions, you never really know the way the music will take you, and that is its beauty. You might think you have nailed the direction of the album and than along comes track 4 “The Bridge” with some synthesised guitar that makes you reconsider everything. The album is peppered with little surprises, sounds and styles suddenly pop up without warning, and I’m not putting in any spoilers here, you will just have to go listen yourself! When would I play this album? Late at night, by candlelight, driving through the countryside in autumn.

Fretless aficionados should check out Nic’s glissentar solo on track 7 “Riversides” and the final track “Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayim” Nic playing Baglama and it is a real treat.

A lot of people say “I want to hear something new in music” well here it is, you would not class it as “World Music” you might class it as a form of jazz. You might be best classifying it as a fusion of styles Jazz / Latin / Turkish / Arabic, something a lot of folks have searched for and thought it impossible. Well this album has hit the mark, and I do recommend Chasing Tales.

Nicolas Meier & Pete Oxley
Pete Oxley (left) Nicolas Meier (right) Baglama (extreme right)

These two players have a great affinity of one another as indicated on the sleeve notes for the album:

Nicolas would like to thank Pete for being always an inspiration and a great musical partner and for doing a beautiful job with the mix. Pete would like to thank Nicolas for being ever uplifting and inspiring as a player and for making the recording process as stress-free as can be imagined!

 

nicolas meier glissentar
Nicolas Meier, with Glissentar

Nicolas plays fretless on Tracks 4, 7, 8 and 12. The Glissentar (pictured above) is used on “The Bridge” and the Baglama (a couple of pics up) is used on “Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayim”.

Tracklist and credits:

1. The Followers:
Pete – jazz guitar (1st solo)
Nicolas – nylon (2nd solo), steel & acoustic 12 string guitars

2. Looking West:
Pete – nylon string guitar (1st solo)
Nicolas – nylon string guitar (2nd solo)

3. Tales:
Pete – nylon & electric 12 string guitars (2nd solo)
Nicolas – nylon (1st solo), steel & acoustic 12 string guitars

4. The Bridge:
Pete – synth (solos), steel, slide & nylon string guitars
Nicolas – glissentar (solos) & steel string guitar

5. Serene:
Pete – nylon string guitar (1st solo)
Nicolas – synth, nylon (2nd solo) & acoustic 12 string guitars

6. Chasing Kites:
Pete – nylon string guitar (1st solo)
Nicolas – nylon string guitar (2nd solo)

7. Riversides:
Pete – nylon & electric 12 string guitars
Nicolas – glissentar (solo), nylon & acoustic 12 string guitars

8. Compass Points:
Pete – nylon string guitar (2nd solo)
Nicolas – nylon string guitar (1st solo)

9. Breezin’ On:
Pete – synth, electric & nylon string guitars
Nicolas – fretless (solo), steel & nylon string guitars

10. Libra:
Pete – nylon string guitar (solo)
Nicolas – steel & nylon string guitars

11. Bluster:
Pete – nylon string guitar (2nd solo)
Nicolas – steel string guitar (1st solo)

12. Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayim:
Pete – nylon string guitar
Nicolas – baglama, nylon & fretless nylon (solo) guitars

Recorded in November 2014 at MGP by Nicolas Meier
Mixed in December 2014 and January 2015 at
Precision Mastering UK, by Jeremy Paul Carroll and Pete Oxley
Mastered by Jeremy Paul Carroll at Precision Mastering UK
Painting by Songul Yilmaz-Meier www.songul-paintings.com
Photography by Dominique Meier
Design by Nicolas Meier
Produced by Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier
Release date: February 2015
Label: MGP Records (UK), mgpcd016

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