Melt Music Catalogue
Gary Meek - Good Friends
Saxophone

iTunes

Good Friends

In October of 1995 I received some of the worst and best news of my adult life simultaneously. I was informed that my wife, whom I had been with for seven years, and married for five, was moving out and wanted a divorce. I was also informed the same week that my record company B&W music had agreed to pick up their option to do a second record with me. This was the best news I could possibly receive as far as I was concerned. It allowed me for the next four months to dive into writing, arranging, producing, and playing music which is my main purpose for being here on earth. It also probably saved my sanity.

 

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Gary Meek - Live At Ronnie Scott's
Jazz - USA

iTunes

Live At Ronnie Scott's (BNET005)

Recorded at Ronnie's during their 1995 European tour, this album marks the debut of the Gary Meek Quartet and here is one man's subjective opinion of the show:
'Jazz history is full of gifted, respected interpreters of other people's work who contented themselves with doing just that. The eighties "jazz revival" moved the goalposts, driving record companies to look for new young stars, and the growth of cheap and accessible independent recording also opened doors previously kept shut until a lot of dues-paying had been done. The result has been a busier, higher-profile jazz scene, but with a good many player-leaders who maybe should have thought about it longer. Gary Meek (is) the gawky and energetic saxophonist and flautist who has regularly performed in Britain with Airto Moreira and Flora Purim... His technique is dazzling but his music still unformed, hopping between airy Latin street-dance themes on the flute, stuttery tenor sax funk and rather bland ballads, with all the music sporadically shot at by a battery of percussive synch effects. But Meek is in the premier league as a soloist, which makes his act an ambivalent business. His toying with short, blurted phrases as springboards to new figures recalls both Wayne Shorter and Sonny Rollins, and his soprano sound on slow music has a glowing ripeness rare for practitioners of the instrument.'
John Fordham, The Guardian, 13.3.95

 

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Gary Meek - Time One
Jazz - USA

iTunes

Time One (BW057)

After four years as one quarter of Fourth World with Airto Moreira, Flora Purim and José Neto, Gary Meek left to pursue a solo career, but very much with their blessing, as their contributions to this album demonstrate. José plays guitar on most tracks and has written a song, while Airto contributes a number that only he could have written. The result is a smoother, silkier sound, but with the distinctive Meek hallmark of outstanding musicianship and the Fourth World knack of finding the right driving rhythm to keep the music well clear of the middle of the road. This unique array of eclectic music, performed by some of the best musicians in contemporary jazz, represents a calling card for Gary Meek's musical diversity and ability across a range of instruments. But it is Meek's saxophone work that is the chief highlight of this set.

 

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Iain Ballamy - All Men Amen
World Music

iTunes

All Men Amen (BW065)

Iain Ballamy's first solo album since Balloon Man for EG Records in 1988 picks up from where the last track on that collection - 'All I Ask Of You' - left off. Acclaimed for its loving re-interpretation of the work of a West Virginian monk, 'All I Ask...' acts as an early signpost toward Iain's fully-realised version of English jazz lyricism. The spiritual cadence is there from the opening, with tenor sax and horn creating an ambient chant. This ends and Django Bates' piano and Iain's sax re-enters reflectively, with Steve Watts' warm acoustic bass underpinning the melody and Martin France's drums building layers of subtle tone before the track subsides into wistful piano and a final sax cry.

 

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Johnny Fourie
Jazz - Africa

iTunes

Album

"Johnny Fourie is one of the greatest guitar players of our epoque"
John Mc Laughlin


ONCE UPON A TIME

Recorded in 2003 as chronic emphysema took its toll on Johnny’s lungs and stamina, one detects an element of peace and dignified acceptance that this music may be a swansong of sorts. The pieces are bathed in a gorgeous dappled light. There is an ego-free, unhurried respect for the composition in each change and modulation. Some notes are attacked and others caressed over waves of rich, layered harmony, which often suggest or conjure up mirages of chords that seem audible, yet are not actually played. And always, there is the immaculate note selection breathing fresh vitality into the venerable tunes.

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Jose Neto - In Memory of Thunder
Jazz - Brazil

iTunes

In Memory of Thunder (BW056)

"This Brazilian world rock experience tells the story of the great spirit of Thunder that surrounds this planet, giving us energy and inspiration," says José Neto, the brilliant Brazilian guitar virtuoso who has been described as a natural and worthy successor to Jimi Hendrix.
"We tracked all the music live at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA, capturing many moments of true expression and spontaneous improvisation. On this recording, we kept to a more 60s or 70s style, using mostly analogue resources. Keeping overdubs to a minimum, we tried to retain that special essence of live performance, so that In Memory Of Thunder represents the sound of our hearts."
'Neto is most remarkable for his startling textural variety and close attention to the details of timbre and tone, but his extended wah-wah solo on the album's stand-out track, 'Silvia' will delight all who still fret about finding a successor to Neto's chief inspiration, Jimi Hendrix.'
Chris Parker, The Times, 9.8.96
'Flowing, percussion drenched grooves easily prove Neto's strongest platform, allowing him to accelerate his springy Hendrix/Santana thrust into a simmering head of steam without the usual cliché traps of this idiom.' ?Tower Records Top Magazine

 

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