Every album is like a traveling adventure going from a different state in parts of the United States or across the ocean’s view by ship and traveling through parts of Europe, which makes you relax and enjoy the voyages and seeing the dolphins jumping up and down in the cool salty ocean while watching the sun going down and landing in to a different land at the right time at the right place. One of the most virtuosotic musicians to come out of Israel is a performer named Meir Shitrit, whose debut album, Way, is a laid-back and cooling release that he released last year.
There are 12 arranging and compositions on Way and there are various styles of music ranging from; middle-eastern, Jazz, World, and New Age music that he had brought to the table to get the vibe and atmosphere that he wanted to create while working on his first album. And he stayed true to it and track by track, is almost an adventure that you, the listener, will embrace and embark on, that will take you by surprise from the moment you listen to this from start to finish.
Not to mention six centerpieces to make you understand the work of Meir Shitrit. Opener, Shepherd’s Melody, starts off with percussion along with the droning noise of the sitar and Meir’s bluesy and jazzy melodic guitar lines before kicking off into full gear with a pastoral feel as it resembles Camel’s The Snow Goose-era as he pays homage to John McLaughlin and Andy Latimer that sends shivers and goosebumps down your spine. Elsewhere, the Brazilian-Tropical Islands come in with a full swing on Waves, as you can imagine the dancing vibes kick in as Meir goes into some wonderful movements on different time changes on his instrument and the harmonizing vocals captures the essence of enjoyment.
Spirit of India begins with an ambient violin introduction before the slapping and groovy shaking vibes come in on the acoustic guitar while the waves crash in, setting the beautiful surroundings of the country as the sliding sounds and the middle-eastern atmospheres helps out with the percussion and Meir just going into town creating these magical wonders on his instrument. Then you have both the guitars and violin going into a dual mode playing different melodic variations that creates some tension and dynamics that is unexpected and astonishing and have a classical symphonic finale.
Then, all of a sudden, you have a wonderous sound of Raga-Rock coming into town on Jaffa Nights. Now Jaffa is located in the oldest part of Tel Aviv in the state of Israel and it has some Israeli Folk touches coming in thanks to the violin and Meir’s Fusion-sque lines coming from the town he was born in and you can imagine it with a beautiful sunny afternoon walking into that area and just having a wonderful time as Meir takes you into the soundtrack of your life.
Playin’ Around has this bizarre combination of Funk and Swing. However, it works well as it has this dancy moves and at times psychedelia before the Monk-like piano sounds come into the void to capture the scenes of late ‘30s/early 1940s as if you were time traveling and landing into a Jazz club at that time period and having a blast dancing till the wee hours of the morning while the closing track, Taqism Square, is a fast-driven Fusion Israeli Pastoral Rockin' climax.
This is where Meir takes full control as all the instruments come into full swing as it becomes a roller-coaster ride as some of the time signatures become frantic and difficult as he and goes up a notch and just pulls it to give it another rumbling and powerful electrical vibes. From a Stop-and-Go voltage, to a Violin Hard Rock atmosphere and at times, Spaghetti Western, if you will to show the love of the Italian Westerns of the late ‘60s of the Man with No Name trilogy that is a perfect closer to end the album off with a bang.
Way is one of the most-listen to albums that you need to check out from Meir Shitrit. He will soon be one of the most influential artists to come out of Israel alongside Aviv Geffen, but his virtuosity will take Jazz-Rock and World Music listeners by storm. So if you admire Frank Zappa, John McLaughlin, Ottmar Liebert, and Andy Latimer, check out Meir Shitrit’s Way. An album that will be an amazing journey that you’ll experience and expect the unexpected.