STEVEN MEYER – Choice Selections for Solo Guitar
Steven Meyer has taken up residency at the Restaurant Magnus, holding down the Sunday-night slot. His live performances there are more adventurous but Choice Selections for Solo Guitar is an enjoyable representation of his playful talent. Subtitled JazzPop/Bossa Nova/Classical, Fingerstyle Performances for the Modern World, the album reflects these styles, sometimes within the same arrangement. All the performances here are on nylon string and are beautifully captured by Steve Gotcher from Audio for the Arts. There is nary a string scrape or fret buzz to be found throughout and all of Meyer’s performances are done straight to Pro-Tools with no overdubbing. The result is a pristine and lighthearted recording that works well.
The recording has four traditional old-world songs, which are bookended by some current pop renditions, three selections from fabled bossa nova composer Antonio Carlos Jobim and a few classical pieces. Some of the selections chosen are a bit obvious: “Greensleeves,” “Norwegian Wood,” the Spanish ballad “Romance,” and “The Girl from Ipanema.” Meyer manages to improvise through many of these in places, however, which makes for a nice personal statement. Especially catchy is his rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time after Time,” perhaps the most unlikely choice of the lot. He also lends Sor’s “Study No. 5 in B Minor” a dotted-note feel, giving a standard etude a modern and worldly interpretation. Much the same is given to Tarrega’s “Variations on a Theme: Receudos de la Alhambra.”
Choice Selections for Solo Guitar is a pleasant addition to the local music canon, which is surprisingly spare in this area. It makes for great morning or brunch music, but to hear the real Steven Meyer, head over to Magnus on a Sunday evening.