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World On a String

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Album Review

The music of nylon-string acoustic guitarist Paul Meyers isn't easily classifiable, as it has elements of several Brazilian styles, along with both straight-ahead and contemporary jazz. His rhythm section includes two Brazilians, pianist Helio Alves, and drummer/percussionist Vanderlei Pereira (who is also a fine guitarist, though he sticks to drums in these sessions), plus saxophonist Donny McCaslin, and electric bassist Leo Traversa. For example, the opener, the chestnut "I've Got the World on a String," alternates styles and rhythms in an eclectic setting, ending in mid-phrase. The Beatles' "Because" is not commonly heard in a jazz setting, but Meyers' unusual reharmonization makes it work, without being weighed down by its bland lyrics. The remaining tunes are all Meyers' originals. The infectious "Panama" was recorded in 1989 by Gary Burton with Pat Metheny, in this new interpretation, Meyers adds a guitar synth pickup for a portion of the piece. Meyers' chops are best displayed in the trio setting of "Plum," which blends his intricate solo with the constantly shifting bass and drums. World on a String is in essence, Brazilian music, but with a decidedly personal twist.

World On a String, Paul Meyers
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