Since my introduction to the world of guitarist Nicolas Meier came to me last year with his collaboration with Pete Oxley on Chasing Tales, I always was fascinated by the teamwork that they did with the classical and flamenco influences that struck me of their virtuosity. Nicolas has been a busy man with The Jeff Beck Group and Dwiki Dharmawan to name a few. This year he’s released his new album entitled, Infinity on Steve Vai’s label Favored Nations Entertainment.
The origins of the album came when he was on tour with Jeff Beck ten years ago when wrote a composition entitled, Yemin which means “Pledge”. He wanted that Turkish vibe with a dosage of Fusion into the style. And with help from Drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and Bassist Jimmy Haslip, and guests including Violinists Richard Jones, Sally Jo, and Lizzie Ball, and Gregor Carle on Guitar, you can expect something special is about to happen.
For Meier, to be on Steve Vai’s label, it’s for me like winning a scholarship. And with six centerpieces on here, you can imagine yourself being in the studio with Meier and his crew, work as a team. JB Top is dedicated to Billy Gibbons. It’s done in the style of the early ZZ Top sound while Nicolas was on tour with them in Texas and it has this Hard Rock approach thanks to Gregor Carle’s heavier sound.
Rose on Water is Lizzie Ball’s Bach influence in the style of the sections from Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major. With these haunting beautiful melodies between Lizzie and Nicolas, you can imagine the two of them performing this at Carnegie Hall to a stunned and well-approved audience while Kismet takes you into these Greek melodies from the Mediterranean Sea.
With great tightness between him and Richard Jones’ playing, Vinnie’s drums in the midsection, sound almost like a clapping beat which is on the snare drums and following the speeding train section of Nicolas intense guitar run through the frets as if he’s Jackson Pollock painting like there’s no tomorrow. The gentle stream through the lakes on Riverside, sees Meier at the narrow sections through the rhythms and leading moments in the classical textures on the strings.
As for Legend, it’s his nod to Jeff Beck. It shows his admiration and accomplishments that he’s done while being on the road with him. And then there’s Tales. It starts and ends with a Flamenco-Folky Jazz atmosphere as Meier delves into the dance sections on his guitars. He is walking us through the various landscapes of the different paintings of an art museum as if they were moving forward quickly from one area to another.
I can imagine the influences of Jimmy Page, Robby Kreiger and Ottmar Liebert throughout the entire composition that he does to pay nod to. I had an amazing time listening to this album whilst I was going for my morning walks yesterday. It’s another accomplishment from the mind of Nicolas Meier. And I hope to hear more from him to see what he will think of next on another brainstorming ideas he will come up with.