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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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PETE OXLEY and
NICOLAS MEIER

Chasing Tales

MPG RECORDS MGPCD016

 

 

  1. The Followers
  2. Looking West
  3. Tales
  4. The Bridge
  5. Serene
  6. Chasing Kites
  7. Riversides
  8. Compass Points
  9. Breezin’ On
  10. Libra
  11. Bluster
  12. Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayim

Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier (guitars)

Recorded November 2014 at MGP [66:23]


This is the second disc from the Oxley-Meier pairing – Travels in the West came out back in 2011. The two guitarists make an impressive team, their lines dovetailing and interlocking with formidable virtuosity, not least on the album’s opener The Followers. But their muse also takes them in more romanticist directions, such as Oxley’s Looking West which is a deftly supple piece. The music is complemented by the recorded sound which is warm and very sympathetically balanced. With tempi ranging from fast to leisurely – Serene is a perfect example of the latter – the two guitars are sometimes joined by synthesised sounds that provide a shimmering commentary on the richly voiced soloists and add some colour to the proceedings. Stylistically the twosome take the occasional geographical detour – Riverside, despite its rather domestic title seems infused with elements of North African music, as it twists and coils its way through four-and-a-half-minutes of sonic interest.

Breezin’ On is a funky little opus, droll and witty, with the synth adding its apposite voice too. Like everything it’s splendidly arranged – the multi-tracking is never intrusive. There’s a walking-bass to Bluster which summons up the Blue Note vibe and naughty quotations can be heard too. The only non-original piece is the last, Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayim, Asik Veysel’s music bringing out an exotic Turkish vibe from the duo.

The digipak is scrupulous about identifying which of the two solos when and who plays what – whether, nylon, steel or acoustic guitar or indeed something else, such as glissentar, baglama or fretless instrument. This is a really enjoyable and communicative album.

Jonathan Woolf



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