Pete Oxley and Nicolas Meier ‘The Colours of Time’ 2CD (MG) 4/5

Following up on their well received 2015 duet album, ‘Chasing Tales’, comes a double album that once again pairs the duo together, but this time with an extended quartet formation on the second CD including acoustic and electric bassist Raph Mizrahi and drummer Paul Cavaciuti. In fact, the latter CD has more of an expansive Pat Metheny group feel to it, with the layered sound of the opener, ‘The Followers’, illustrating the empathy that flows organically between the two guitarists. On the intimate ballad, ‘Looking West’, the jazz tradition is recalled with both Jim Hall and Pat Metheny evoked. A personal favourite of this writer is the samba shuffling drum pattern by drummer Paul Cavaciuti on, ‘Chasing Kites’, with intricate guitar work from Oxley.
Medieval music sounds greet the listener at the very beginning of, ‘Tales’, but this soon gives way to inventive polyrhythms as bass and drums enter collectively. The first CD demonstrates beyond all doubt that the two guitarists are capable of complimenting one another and are best showcased on delicate numbers such as, ‘A Piece For Peace’, presumably in tribute to Bill Evans. Gypsy jazz and even a Brazilian undercurrent collide and then fuse on, ‘Waltz for Dilek’, and make for a fascinating contrast.

The duo have been performing extensively at UK dates throughout March and continue through April including Norwich, Nottingham and Oxford. Well worth the effort of checking them out live since they are both virtuoso performers, though always with musicality at the forefront of their minds.

Tim Stenhouse