Nicolas Meier - Journey (4 stars)

Nicolas Meier - Journey

(MGP Records)

Having produced three fine records on Naim Jazz, London-based Swiss guitarist Nicolas Meier turns to a new label for this highly satisfying album. And ‘album’ it is – in these days of single-track downloads, Meier has opted to create a concept album based around the idea of a journey, with each of the tracks flowing seamlessly into the next. It is a well thought out scheme, moving from an evocative ‘Sunrise’ to the brief closing ‘Sunset’ by way of a series of varied, strikingly colourful stopping points en route.

There is a strong Turkish influence running through the music, including his use of two Turkish instruments, glissentar and baglama, alongside his nylon and steel strung guitars. Gilad Atzmon is a towering presence on clarinet and saxophones, Uruguayan pianist Jose Reinoso makes a powerful impact, bassist Pat Bettison doubles on harmonica, and Asaf Sirkis is his usual masterly self on drums.

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