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Edgar Meyer

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Album Review

It's a rare thing when a performer is able to accurately write his own review, but Edgar Meyer has done it succinctly in the liner notes for this eponymously titled solo album. "This music is an indulgence of sorts," he writes, "combining elements of expertise with exploration and occasional moments of pure naïveté." That just about sums up this one-man show. Conceived in the sparkling-new music room of the multi-talented instrumentalist's Nashville home, Meyer plays all the instruments himself, centering on grand piano and double bass but also tackling a variety of stringed instruments (mandolin, dobro, guitar, banjo, gamba) mostly borrowed from his celebrated colleagues. Meyer makes no pretensions about virtuosity on anything other than the double bass, which gets the most difficult parts and growls and plunks impressively in the mix. His piano scarcely rises above the new age standard of soft-focused meditation, and his work on the other instruments is just deft enough to get the modest job done. Some of the music is pre-composed. Some of it is made up on the spot, layer upon layer. All of it falls inconveniently within the cracks of several American and European genres of acoustic music — as has been Meyer's habit in past projects. Little of it makes any connection with an attentive listener on anything beyond an ambient level. Throwing together a bunch of instruments in an informal home setting is something that a gifted melodist like Paul McCartney has engagingly pulled off, but Meyer's project just sounds like aimless self-jamming in the living room. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi


Born: 1961 in Oklahoma City, OK

Genre: Classical

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The masterful skills of Edgar Meyer -- whether as bassist or composer; in bluegrass, classical, or a mix of genres -- earned him a MacArthur "genius grant" in 2002, but that is not the only accomplishment of this remarkable musician. Meyer always credits his father, a high-school string music director, as his first teacher, and picked up his first real bass -- which had previously served as a flower planter -- at the age of five. He would go on to study at Indiana University and the Aspen Music...
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