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Nicolas Meier World Group — Magnificent / Live / Stories
(Bandcamp MGP, 2021, 3CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-11-26

Magnificent / Live / Stories Cover art

In 2019, the Nicolas Meier World Group made their recorded debut with the studio album Peaceful, an amazing blend of jazz, pan-Mediterranean, and gypsy styles arranged for guitar, violin, bass and percussion, and what a tasty musical encounter it was. Today, as it was then, the group members are violinist Richard Jones, bassist Kevin Glasgow, percussionist Demi Garcia, and Meier on all manner of guitars (fretted and fretless nylon, 12-string, glissentar, and more). But how does one follow up something as conceptually perfect as Peaceful? What worked then still works today — eight new Meier-penned studio cuts working the same style, and adding to that a full disc of live material recorded at the Golchester Arts Centre Club in the UK on February 16, 2020, probably one of the last dates that a live show would have been possible before live music was suspended due to the pandemic, featuring much of the material from Peaceful. (The live set was also filmed, so that may be available in due time.) Additionally a third disc of Meier playing fourteen solo guitar pieces, a mix of originals and some more familiar numbers, caps this set off nicely. Magnificent (referring to the studio group disc) was recorded between December 2020 and June 2021, and as a result there is no overlap between the studio and live disc in the set. From the solo disc (titled Stories), which was recorded at the end of 2020, Meier presents five of his own numbers (including “Stories from the Garden” (also presented in a full group version on disc one), along with instrumental covers of recognizable tunes like “The Godfather Theme,” “La Vie en Rose,” “C’est Si Bon,” “Mona Lisa,” “Blues for Alice,” “My Foolish Heart,” and others, all given a more jazzy makeover without the influence of the group players. All taken, on any of these three discs, never a minute goes by when the listener will not be completely amazed at the brilliance and beauty of the music this group conjures; Meier and his World Group have truly outdone their 2019 debut.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Nicolas Meier

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