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Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier - 2017 - "The Colours of Time"

(118:07, MGP Records)



CD1 - Duo
1. The Key of Klimt 8:05
2. Meeting Dewa 5:39
3. A Piece for Peace 7:02
4. Waltz For Dilek 6:02
5. Princes' Islands 6:27
6. In Restless Repose 6:00
7. Song for Z.T. 6:09
8. Sahara 5:43
9. Bosphorus 4:26
10. First Day of Spring 7:58

CD2 - Quartet
11. The Followers 6:10
12. Looking West 7:23
13. Chasing Kites 6:46
14. Riversides 5:13
15. Tales 5:19
16. The Purple Panther 8:08
17. Breeze 8:23
18. Fethiye Crossroads 7:14 

Pete Oxley - guitars
Nicolas Meier - guitars
Paul Cavaciuti - drums (tracks 11-18)
Raph Mizraki - bass (tracks 11-18)

Prolusion. UK artist Pete OXLEY and Swiss, UK-based guitarist Nicolas MEIER are both renowned names in the world of music, Oxley with a number of different projects from the early 1980's and onward, while the younger Meier started out around a decade later, and has his own jazz band, have played with the likes of Jeff Beck and also has a side career as the guitarist and leader of nu-metal band Seven7. The two guitarists started cooperating a few years back, and have so far released three albums featuring their collaborative efforts. "The Colours of Time" is the most recent of these, and was issued through UK label MGP Records in 2017.

Analysis. On this double album, composers and guitarists Oxley and Meier gets to showcase two different but also related aspects of their respective repertoires. The first CD showcase the guitarists alone, while the second CD showcase their abilities within a band context. Which, presumably, should be a field day for fans of their instruments in general as well as those with a soft spot for the music explored on this rather extensive production. When two guitarists cooperate the results can of course end up on a number of different levels and styles, but in this case the focus appears to be on jazz and world music. Especially the first CD features a number of compositions that gives me associations towards the legendary Django, and while I surmise that the inspirations may well come from other artists that has his style of music one or more levels removed as far as direct inspiration is concerned, those familiar with jazz and guitar will know pretty well what to expect I guess. Elegant, wandering and often plucked guitar soloing is the order of the day, the occasional scale oriented movements, and a good balance between material sporting clear lead and support instruments and those that feature both guitars in semi-dominant, more harmony based roles. The occasional excursions into world music, mainly by way of Middle East and Asian tones and timbres if my perception is correct, adds a nice degree of variation to a CD that might have become a bit too one-dimensional without them. That being said, there is a great deal of variation in pace, intensity, mood and atmosphere throughout. Perhaps not at the level where those without an interest in jazz or guitar music would notice, but most certainly at a level where those with an existing interest will take notice of this and add it to the list of positives. The second CD expands the canvas ever so slightly, with some compositions featuring more of a jazzrock experience - if not in full then at least in part. Several cuts does strike me as being purebred jazz creations though, but others would fit in nicely among the more jazz-oriented parts of the jazzrock universe. The guitar-work stays mainly on the same pastures, being elegant and filled with natural motion, and the roles of the guitarists are distributed in pretty much a similar manner as on the first CD. Backed by bass and drums the total experience gets to be a bit more interesting at times though, as the additional musicians pretty much match the high quality of the guitarists here. At best this adds an additional dimension to the proceedings, elevating the end result ever so slightly in all the different incarnations and variations of jazz explored here. Personally I did find some of the more world music oriented creations to be the most intriguing, perhaps because these compositions features tones, scales and timbres I do not encounter all that often. In sum, I find this second CD to be just a tad more interesting than the first one, probably because I generally find a proper band to be more rewarding to listen to than a duo.

Conclusion. If high quality music delivdered by high quality musicians is something that you have a general interest in, this double feature by Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier is one worth taking note of. Especially if you tend to enjoy guitar driven jazz of course, and in particular if you enjoy such excursions to be elegant, flowing and with a liberal amount of plucked and firm yet delicate solo and harmony movements leading the way. In addition, this is also one of those albums that could be an eye opener for people that so far in life have had the notion that jazz isn't a form of music they will be able to appreciate. The world music oriented cuts on this double album in particular contains the quality and appeal to possibly convert a few people into becoming interested in the vast expanses of the jazz universe for the first time.

Progmessor: December 27th, 2018
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Pete Oxley

Nicolas Meier/a>

MGP Records


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