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Watercolour 2014 CD $12.
Jim Meyer - Grand Stick
Arbutus and Jade 2009 CD $12.
Jim Meyer - Stick
Mike Michalkow - drums and percussion
Don Schiff - NS/Stick and GuitarVol (bowed guitar) on Downshift 405
Zoran Todorović - Synths on Morning Light, Camucia and The Berrypatch
Boris Dražić - The Eggman
These eleven original instrumentals are presented in a mainly Stick/drums duet format, with some additional colors added by percussion, synths and a wide array of effects on Meyer's Stick as well. Some have a straightforward "rock" feel, while others are more progressive, with intricate shifting polyrhythmic layers.
Jim's ACTV-2 bass sound isn't "heavy" but rather clean and articulate, like a big baritone guitar, interweaving accompaniment arpeggios with Mike Michalkow's driving drums. He uses many familiar melody colors, like the whirling, distorted organ effect on the opener, "Ignition", and soaring distorted lead sounds and growly overdriven rhythm parts.
"Downshift 405", a mid-tempo rock ballad, introduces some great sounds from guest artist Don Schiff including a fretless-sounding NS/Stick bass part and sliding fuzzed-out lead, and the enigmatic bowed GuitarViol.
After three fairly straightforward tracks comes "Jade", a "conversational" piece that changes direction and feel many times, with all the themes relating to each other nicely.
Several of these tracks find Jim really "rocking out", his bass strings in tight lock-step with Michalkow's drums. Other's are more laid-back, like the lush "Camucia". Jim is clearly influenced by other contemporary instrumental composers (Pat Metheny and Tom Griesgraber come to mind), but his voice is definitely his own: energetic, emphatic and lyrical.
Boris Dražić, who honed his mixing skills in the underground studios of the former Yugoslavia, has blended things perfectly, setting the stage for Jim to make his entrance. Even though the drums have a big rock sound, Jim's Stick grooves and leads are clear as a bell.
Track Listing (all songs by Jim Meyer)
3. Downshift 405 (featuring Don Schiff)
6. Morning Light
9. Georgia Straight
10. The Berrypatch (for Little Adele)
11. Galiano Wood