Nima Collective - Songs of Strange Delight
review by Greg Howard
Nima Rezai - Grand Stick, AcouStick, santour, Stick-controlled synths, electronic drums
Jesus Florido - violin, viper violin
Dan Heflin - flute, soprano and tenor sax
Christopher Garcia - drums, shaker, clay drum, tabla, djembe, kanjira, frame drum
Adam Darling - electric guitar, classical guitar, electronic drums
Delton Davis - cajon, shaker, triangle, chimes, bongos, vibes, Darabuka
Brad Ranola - Pocket pandiero, ribbon crash, surdo, talking drums
Houman Pourmehdi - Daf, Udu, bass drum
Harry Scorzo - violin
Milad Derakhshani - Taar
John Zeretzke - kamanche
Michael Alvarez - cello
Kevin Goode- piano
Randin Graves - koto, guitar, ebow, didjeridu
Nima Collective is the new project from Bay Area Stickist and composer Nima Rezai.
Nima has expanded his Merge quartet into a full-blown world music orchestral ensemble, supplementing the core sound of Stick, drums, violin and saxophone with Persian string instruments (taar, santour and kamanche) koto, didjeridoo, and unusual percussion instruments like the Udu drum and darabuka, as well as synthesizers and electronic drums. With such a broad array of sound and musical traditions to draw from Nima collective spans not only the globe but also the centuries.
The orchestrations are deep. Each new listen reveals new sonic layers sounds. On some tracks, like the opener "Division", the mood shifts dramatically even with steady pulse — from mystical soundscape to ancient, percussion groove, through a contemporary World Beat melody and then into an "electronica" interlude, all in the space of five minutes.
Their version of what is arguably the first "world music" pop recording, the Beatles' "Norwegian Wood", takes its time, languidly laying the familiar melody over an "orchestra" of exotic acoustic and electric strings. Nima sounds out his roots on "Persia", with a majestic melody and an epic cadence that sounds like it could be have been played in Cyrus's court. The AcouStick prototype even makes a brief and powerful appearance at the center of "Memory On", which recalls John McLaughlin's foray into Indian music with the band Shakti.
Nima is a generous band-leader, letting violinist Jesus Florido and saxaphonist Dan Heflin assume many of the melodic and solo roles, but when it's his turn, as on the original "Three Steps", he lets loose with a dramatic and daring lead. He's just as adept at weaving his clean ACTV-2 equipped Grand Stick's tone among the edgier acoustic instruments, or laying down a delicious synth pad under his two colorful soloists.
VIDEO MONTAGE OF SELECTED TRACKS
There's a fresh interpretation of Sting's "Fragile" with Florido getting down into the deepest range of the violin for some soulful soloing. Fans of Bob Culbertson will recognize "Float", a tune he co-wrote with Rezai and Heflin, and there are some really catchy original melodies as well. The climactic Hendrix "Little Wing/Machine Gun" medley is perfectly answered by the coda track, "Take Me Down", with it's casual elecronic backing track and moving on melody.
Each track highlights the Collective's skill as arrangers, as well as Nima and Toby Rosen's excellent production. And while each cut is very complete in its own right, taken as a whole Songs of Strange Delight is really a pleasure to listen to, again and again.
All Weather Music Festival- Belgium
8 November 2003
When you book a group for your music festival, relying only on a demo, you take chances. It's usually safer to go to a live performance to assess musical skills….
Yet, in the case of the Californian group "Nima & Merge" I did just that. I booked them, after listening to a demo, and I have not regretted this decision. Their demo was so filled with enthusiasm and professional skills, that I didn't hesitate a second to book them for the sixth edition of the "All Weather Music festival". Then I received a confirmation from a jazz fan from Julich in Germany, who had heard the group perform at the local festival.
Merge offers a mix (merge!) of jazz, rock, ethnic music and performs with such passion that they give you the impression that each concert is their last chance to prove their value.
No impression could be more wrong. The members of the band make an excellent team and they perform on a professional level.
The instruments match the variety in their music: The Chapman Stick, the soprano and tenor sax, and the drums.
The idea behind the Chapman Stick is that you play the guitar and the bass simultaneously. In my opinion, you must at least be positive and eccentric to play this instrument. But Nima Rezai, Merge's Chapman Stick player, only needed half a song to capture the audience with his virtuosity and originality. Saxophonist Dan Heflin played both the soprano and tenor sax with such lyricism and timbre that the audience focussed and listened. His gift for improvising almost chained the listeners to the stage. Brad Ranola, the drummer of the group, plays with amazing 'drive'; he is powerful, rhythmic, and musical. Power, power, power!
These Americans were the revelation of All Weather Music 2003. They were friendly, professional and (important!) " down to earth".
All weather Music
Sea of Tranquility review
Blending world music with jazz and progressive rock, Nima Collective bring together ideas, styles and instruments which wouldn't normally be found together, with didgeridoo, taar, santour and kamanche sitting comfortably alongside drums, violin, saxophone and the "stick" of band leader Nima Rezai.
It is Nima's precision stick work that leads much of what is on offer during this excellent voyage through eclectic, meandering moods and vibes called Songs Of Strange Delight. However the ethnic instrumentation is never swamped, or for that matter, added for effect, with the beautifully poised opening track "Division" setting the scene perfectly for the rest of the album. Didgeridoo heralds the song into life, before violin and hand percussion take on the mantle of moving forward the plaintive, but captivating story that the instrumental music relays. The intricate orchestration which becomes the signature of this album is always busy, while never being too clever for its own good and it is easy to imagine devotees of world music fully appreciating this aspect of the album, while the more adventurous jazz fan, or progressive music follower will be startled by the skill, dexterity and insight shown in this music.
Wonderful moments like the pulsating "Fragile", or the singing, electro-beat driven "Take Me Down" are compelling both in their ability to intertwine styles and moods, and the ease in which they draw you in to their complex, yet accessible themes. The trick isn't quite so successful on the version of The Beatles "Norwegian Wood", which ever so slightly tumbles into twee territory, although the version of the Hendrix classics "Little Wing/Machine Gun" is one of the most moving pieces on the whole album. That said the thumping beat and singing mixture of stick, saxophone and xylophone of "In Time" is simply stunning, being not only the outstanding highlight of this album, but one of the most beautiful, moving pieces of music your liable to be lucky enough to encounter.
For anyone looking to broaden their horizons into world music, then Songs Of Strange Delight comes highly recommended and for sheer beauty, clarity and eclecticism this is an album of rare class and poise.
First impressions of the music is that of an exotic dish never been tasted before. The music is diverse sounding and full of many different flavors: folk, jazz, pop, heavy rock, far eastern, middle eastern and other world elements. The music borrows influences from the major pioneers of fusion, like Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return To Forever, Eleventh House, Jean-Luc Ponty and Weather Report.
The band’ s essence and identity is traced to the Chapman Stick and it’ s virtuoso Nima Rezai. The Chapman Stick is the core of their sound. It is what separates them from their many influences and allows them to retain an original sound and own voice. The Australian Aboriginal instrument didjeridu makes some strong spots as well. The didjeridu, a drone instrument, is used to this affect in favor of synth chords that are common in fusion. The didjeridu comps melodic lines and solo spots by Chapman Stick, sax, flute, guitar or fiddle. What a sound!
The band easily navigates through their complex and original brand of music. They have the dynamic range to easily shift between the powerful and the delicate places of music. Their excellent chemistry dates back to their school days, when they started playing together.
Nima & Merge are onto something unique and original. With the Chapman Stick playing a prominent role and the didjeridu also making a strong impact, Nima & Merge represents new music from other worlds. Just take a look at their cover art and album title. Nima & Merge can potentially push the Chapman Stick instrument, and quite possibly the didjeridu also, into the mainstream. Separate Worlds is a very impressive and unique set of music, highly recommended if not essential for fans of and Chapman Stick players. Fusionados and prog-rockers will want to give this disc a whirl as well. All of Nima & Merge’ s music is available at iTunes.
Bill Milkowski - Legendary jazz critic
Trio Enchants Crowd-performance at PCC
The Performing and Communication Arts Division presented Nima Collective, which performed for music students on Thursday in Harbeson Hall.
The band's music consists of various genres like classical, Latin, rock, Persian, jazz, African, North, South Indian, and fusion, which makes it hard to fit them into one specific genre, except "merge" as the band calls it.
The instruments were one of a kind. "This looks like a normal violin, but it's not. The wood is from 1840 and only three people have it in the country," said band member Jesus Florido.
An instrument called the chapman stick also awed the students. "What you have here is a lot of notes in common. It's also a very young instrument. It's only 37-years-old," said Nima Rezai.
Even the drum set, also called "el monstro," was different. "The sizes are actually bigger than normal. They're only 100 years old," said percussionist Christopher Garcia.
The program included four original compositions, with the exception of one by Jimi Hendrix.
"Reng" was one of the tunes that Florido was engrossed in every moment of. The song was upbeat with a little bit of rock and Florido bobbed his head to the rhythm as he played. The song ended with low chimes, almost like a whisper.
"Float" was the most fast paced song of the program, besides "Fragments." It had a lot of bass in the background and even the musicians thought it must have been too loud. "Is the level okay out there?" asked Florido. In response, he got a loud cheer from the audience.
In "Road To Hana," Florido played two different instruments. The rhythm was more dramatic compared to the other songs.
The last song, "Little Wing," was the most soothing and tranquil. The only thing that changed it was the drums and the chapman towards the end.
London JOTS Festival
Director of London Jazz on the Streets Festival
You are in a very good musical direction, with all the elements of ethnic jazz rock with a very personal and modern sound. Your work in the stick is really impressive.We know a lot of bands trying to make creative music , but for me is one of the best!!!
I received very good comments about your material by friends and people from the audience.
VM: November 20, 2005
Prolusion. MERGE was formed some a decade ago and is the brainchild of Nima Rezai, a Persian musician and composer living in the USA. The band's discography is comprised of three releases to date: "Merge" (1998), "Live in London" (2004) and "Separate Worlds" (2005, coming as Nima & Merge), the first studio album to be viewed here.
Analysis. I'd like to begin with the track, which has nothing to do with the rest of the material. This is Canopy, the strange 1-minute 'experiment' of eliciting sound effects from a modern synthesizer. Overall, the music on the eponymous Merge debut album is Jazz-Fusion, which, in their case, is rooted in the domain of a traditional swingy Jazz, whose open manifestations, though, reveal themselves not that often; they can be found in places on about a half of the tracks. There also are Persian and Kurdish tunes on a few tracks, but only the opening one, Intro, is just Oriental music, in a general sense. That said, there is nothing but the distinctive solos of Ney, which is a sort of flute widespread in West and Central Asian countries: from Turkey to Iran and beyond, e.g. Uzbekistan and the other former USSR republics located in Asia. From Within, another track featuring Ney, is also abundant in Oriental colorings and patterns, but here they are intermixed with European Art-Rock textures and those of Jazz, whose motherland is surely America. This is the most diverse and compelling track on the album, which I sincerely consider a masterwork. On the other compositions the flavors of music of Nima's land either appear episodically, such as on the second track Reng, or are just barely perceptible, at best. (Which is just a remark, not criticism of course!) While done within the framework of the album's overall style, this very Reng is inferior to any of those so far unnamed, at least from a progressive standpoint, as it's poor even in quasi improvisations. Although original and beautiful, this is instantly accessible stuff with numerous repetitions and a rather misplaced drum solo closer to the end. The refined melodies are mostly at the fore on Fragments, too, but this is a fully cohesive composition, in spite of what the title may suggest. Save the aforementioned Canopy, all the other compositions are good, at least, the short Noise Compliant included. For all that the band at times appeals to jazz standards, their music is distinctly original and is closer to Jazz/Prog-Fusion, as they also have Art-Rock-like arrangements and time signature changes that are more typical of Symphonic Prog, the amount of composed improvisations always exceeding that of those done on the spur of the moment. The pieces: Float, I Left Behind and Resistance well suit the picture I've sketched above, while Tap Space, From Within and Motion each features also intense jams, the saxophone improvisations being at times greatly impetuous and positively wild. That said, saxophonist Dan Hetlin and Nima Rezai himself are the primary soloing forces on this album, shining with mastery and inventiveness throughout. Chip Webster's keyboards are remarkably diverse on Tap Space, Motion, From Within and Resistance, the latter featuring even a kind of a piano-meets-strings postlude.
Conclusion. This is a good debut effort, though the album's second half (starting with the sixth track) is compiled almost exclusively of excellent works. VM: November 20, 2005
KW: December 2, 2005
Analysis. Intro opens with a sense of mystery, low swirling (almost growling) chords from the keyboards, overlaid with the Ney, a Persian end-blown flute, which has a distinctly Mid Eastern sound (played by Hafez Modirzadeh). Nima Rezai, imbues much of the music of Merge with sounds of the Mid East, truly a merging of east and west. Overall, the music of this debut CD is Jazz-Fusion meets Prog, with World Music flavorings. Soprano sax takes center stage for most of Reng, as it does through much of the album. It is a flowing and melodic piece that comes close, but doesn't quite cross the line into a Smooth Jazz format. What makes the Merge sound particularly identifiable is the marriage of sax and Chapman Stick. Throughout the album much of the rhythm is created not only by Gusseck's drum set, but the syncopation of Rezai's Stick playing. Tap Space is anchored by the distinctive tonality of the stick, setting the syncopated rhythms in tandem with the drums, played with a certain looseness, yet maintaining a very determined tempo. Canopy is something of an anomaly within the established framework of the album, consisting of a brief minute of synthesized tones and rhythms, serving as an interlude to Motion, the opening measures of which could easily have come from a Jean Luc Ponty album. The keyboard figures more prominently into this track. Float is a gentle waltz with a pleasant, lilting melody. Noise Compliant is a short stick solo (which I'd like to hear much more of), bridging to From Within. This track is full of energy and complex rhythmic structures and, I get my wish, as Rezai's Stick is much more prominently featured here as a solo instrument. The music is playful and full of life. I Left Behind is one of the quietest tracks on the album, but full of drive and sense of purpose, beginning with Stick, which has an almost harp-like quality here. About midway, the sax comes in and is joined by keyboard. Resistance twists and turns, full of interplay between the instruments. The theme has a sense of mystery and urgency, which could serve as a detective theme. The ensemble work here is some of the most interesting, paying attention to the various things that are going on, the music at times loose and fluid and then pulling together into a tight structure. The drumming is particularly unrestrained, yet never drawing undue attention. Resistance is an excellent closer for the album.
Conclusion. "Merge" is a strong album of melodic Jazz-Fusion that should appeal to those who like ethnic seasonings to their music. Truly, this is part of what I find so enjoyable about this album, the merging of styles. It is energetic and upbeat from beginning to end. Those who like The Yellow Jackets, Weather Report or Jean Luc Ponty would be likely to be pleased by this album. If you are not a lover of sax music, though, this album might not be for you, as sax figures so prominently in the mix, generally being the vehicle for the melodies.
Nima & Merge are a trio consisting of Nima Rezai (Stick player & composer), Dan Helfin (saxophone) and Brad Ranola (drums). They are joined by many guests musicians to help flesh out the sound. Their sound is basically a mixture of world music, jazz, progressive rock, fusion and rock. Picture a Discipline-era Crimson combined with Mahavishnu Orchestra and you get the framework of the band’s music. It’s so much more and one has to experience the music of Nima & Merge. Another band that comes to mind for comparison sake is Systems Theory.
I must admit that Separate Worlds requires several listens, especially a listener such as myself that is a newbie to the more eclectic side of progressive rock. If this is your thing then due yourself a favor and pick up a copy today.. Oh and if Nima & Merge comes to your town to play, I urge you to see them
Headed up by Nima Rezai on stick and stick synth, the core group includes Dan Heflin on soprano and tenor sax, Brad Ranola on drums and percussion and Randy Graves on guitar and didjeridu. According to Rezai the members are old school mates, “We all sort of moved down here to LA at different times and kept pursuing it. The formula has been that I have been the bandleader and the composer and everybody else kind of chips in their part of it to create the sound that we have.”
Originally the band was know simply as “Merge” but during one tour in Germany the band discovered there was another band already named Merge over there so they modified the name to Nima and Merge to avoid confusion and it stuck.
Now after two years in the making, the new studio album is complete. Composed, arranged, and produced by Rezai with selections co-written by Dan Heflin, Randy Graves, and Bob Culbertson, and engineered and mastered by Toby Rosen. With special guests Mas Koga on flute & alto flute, Ali Shayesteh on sax & bouzouki, Jesus Florido on 7 string violin, & Alex Postelnek on tables, the CD has an incredible mix of international sounds that create a new sound that is the signature of Nima and Merge.
Separate Worlds is the group’s third CD, the first being Merge's debut CD that featured the original ensemble's intense blend of world and rock music with a jazz-fusion aesthetic. Composed by Rezai with selections co-written by Dan Heflin on soprano and tenor saxophone - with Murray Gusseck on drums, and Chip Webster on keyboards & percussion.
The second CD was “Live in London”, recorded on their tour in 2003. This first live compilation showcased the trio's raw and full sound featuring Rezai on Stick and Stick synths, Dan Heflin on saxophones, and Brad Ranola on drums. Recorded by Toby Rosen throughout several venues in London during the 2003 London JOT Festival including: Trafalgar Square, Soho Square, and Golden Square.
The group can’t help but be original and unique. Their sound centers around its instrumentation – the Chapman Stick, an amplified 12-stringed instrument with which rhythm, melody, and bass are played simultaneously, soprano or tenor saxophone, and drums. The stick is a relatively new instrument created by Emmett Chapman some 30 years ago. An amazing and versatile instrument only a few have actually mastered it as a lead instrument. And Nima is one of those.
When asked what attracted him to the Chapman Stick Nima credited his long-time teacher Bob Culbertson, ”He is one of one of the greatest players I have ever seen on the stick. I saw him play when I was about 17 or 18. I was pretty fascinated by it. And that sort of prompted me to start it.” In the beginning it still wasn’t his primary instrument like the bass guitar, but some physical limitations started creating problems for him where the bass was concerned. “I started realizing that my physical problems actually didn’t effect me that much when I played the stick. So that was a way for me to continue playing.”
“This instrument like any other instrument has its pros and cons. I wasn’t really a fan of the sound of it - sort of being on the fence in the beginning. So that is one of the things I really spent a lot of time on - trying to make a better sound and at the same time trying not to mimic a bass player. I wanted to make it sound like an original instrument. I saw my teacher doing that as well. I saw that he wasn’t trying to do bass on one side and melody on the other. And I always saw him interacting in such a way, almost as a harp player would do. And that’s what fascinated me. He is a solo player - most stick players are solo players, but I always liked the interaction of being in a group. That’s one of the reasons I got a stick. I’ve sort of taken a different approach to it and try to fit it around the group and try to really use it primarily as a compositional tool.
And that is what makes “Separate Worlds” such a delight to listen to for any music lover. There is literally something for everyone. As in all their music, the Chapman Stick and Nima’s Persian origins find their way into much of the group’s music. His compositions take advantage of many traditional elements of various eastern music systems. Listening to the CD it is easy to hear the many combinations of West African, South American, Western rhythms and melodies from the other players intertwining to produce a sound that is fresh. Much of the group’s original material is based around these world influences, but the musicians strive to keep the music open to new expressions in the jazz tradition.
As a jazz offering, “Separate Worlds” spans the whole spectrum through its mixture of musical styles, ranging anywhere from straight ahead to avant-garde. Smooth phrasing and intense musical moments make for a somber yet compelling experience. Through this combination of dynamic contrasts and musical elements, the group has the flexibility to be at once intimate and powerful.
Reaching out to progressive-rock fans this CD offers up samples of this style of music enough to satisfy even the most avid prog-rock fan. Power chords, elaborate drum fills, and virtuosic soloing find their place in compositions that contain a wide variety of movements, time signatures, and associated visual imagery - ultimate and original mood music. Simply put, Nima and Merge are a hybrid of jazz, fusion, progressive rock and world music and a group worth the attention, and “Separate Worlds” is a must for any CD collection..
The Nima and Merge experience has to be understood in that they are very acoustic but rarely do you find yourself thinking that. They get so intense at times I am reminded of Shakti with John McGlaughlin. If the first two songs from this CD, Fire Eyes and Road to Hana, do not grab you then you will never like this band. How can I describe the talent in Nima Rezai? I can only say is put on Road to Hana and listen to the man. The man actually finds a way to mix a bass guitar, Lead guitar, and keyboards in his playing the Chapman stick. I am sorry that I cannot describe the complex melodies he creates and holds. If Nima weren?t enough Brad Ranola on percussion and drums is one of the best new drummers I have heard in a while. He reminds me a bit of Bill Bruford and Louie Belson mixed together. When the song hits around the 3:30 minute mark Nima pulls off a great bass and guitar line on the stick off of the intro that culminates in an incredible solo from Dan Heflin on the sax. That is just one song! There is the 4 song ?Separate Worlds Suite? that starts with the 9+ minute "Driven" and ends with the fantastic Kurdish Dance that highlights the CD. I haven?t been able to change this CD yet today. Track number 9 "Reng" adds a total world sound adding Randy Graves on didjeridu and clapsticks. I also have mention how well the tracks flow from one to another. The production is perfect with every note clear. This is a solid, solid CD. No filler, no junk.
I want to so badly give this CD a 5 but I won't. It hasn't stood the test of time. I also think it needs more people listening and reviewing. I will leave that 5th that star to them. I will sum this up this way: Do you like Jazz? Do you like fusion? Do you like a touch of world music? Are you a fan of Improv and instrumentals? Do yourself a favor click on WWW.MergeMucic.Com and put in a order for this today! You will not regret it.
4.75 Solid stars
Separate Worlds album review
After being completely captivated by the newest release from the Nima Collective, Songs Of Strange Delight (never has an album been so aptly titled), I've taken the plunge and investigated further, taking in both of the Nima & Merge albums, Merge and Separate Worlds.
With Separate Worlds, the mixture of World Music, Jazz, and Progressive Music (Rock doesn't quite cover it) that so captivated me on SoSD isn't quite so strong, however the jazzy flavours, which are beautifully poised are still produced by a huge array of unusual instruments. This factor in itself makes for a hugely entertaining and intricate journey through tightly constructed time changes and emotional highs and lows, while at the same time bringing a remarkably focused drive to the songs.
The likes of the Asian infused "Driven", the deeply atmospheric "Reng" (a reworking of a song from the band's debut album Merge) and "Kurdish Dance" where the clash of musical cultures comes strongly to the fore are carefully woven musical statements, which hit home subtly, but memorably. The album however builds towards its four part closing track "To Be Free", where the lilting themes and soaring melodies take you on a varied journey through music from all over the world, almost transcending genres and styles as it does it. Few acts can merge (excuse the pun) disparate themes and approaches so skilfully, blending them so effortlessly, but it all sounds so natural for Nima & Merge.
Separate Worlds is an evocative album that paints wonderfully bright pictures through its music, leaving you feeling refreshed and alive at its conclusion.
Live in London
Soprano sax and drums with Stick was always my favorite combination too. Please pass on my compliments to Dan and Brad for just the right amount of improv versus themes, fire versus discipline, and for the incredible variety of rhythms, moods and orchestral textures. It seems a perfect interplay of three-way virtuosity and a "meeting of minds".
Nice "payback" to your teacher on the first song "Hana", complete with Bob's variable left-hand motor rhythm from the late '70s. Also, I love all the passionate Latin rhythms and Flamenco harmonies.
Now I'm listening to bombastic track #8 with the alternating accents of 3 and 4 and Dan is finally "letting it all hang out" on tenor sax.
I hope you can sustain this band and that events will work in your favor.
Best Regards, Emmett Chapman.
Inventor of the Chapman Stick.
Debut album review
By Steven Reid
Merge was the debut offering from Persian "Stick" player Nima and Merge, which was followed up by the album Separate Worlds and the Nima Collective album Songs Of Strange Delight - which are both reviewed elsewhere on this site. This first effort from the band finds a musical gathering which blends cultural styles, through mixing both genres, instruments and ethnic musical outlooks. There's no "searching for a sound" on this debut album, in fact the complete opposite is true, with Merge being as assured and confident an album as you could hope to find and I personally also think that it eclipses the album which followed it, Separate Worlds.
A prime example of the assured approach on this album comes in the shape of the slowly building tones of "Reng", which finds the stick hammering out little bursts of melody, which allow the other instruments to dance and whirl over that backing to wonderful effect. "Float" on the other hand sounds very much like an Asian, vocal-less version of something that Clannad could have come up with. Obviously the lack of vocals on this song makes that an unusual comparison, but the flow, mood and vibe are very similar, if the actual execution is not. This album also has little quirky moments which catch you unaware, such as the "Canopy", where the whispers and shuffles flit rapidly from channel to channel, making for a melody less and unnerving diversion from a strongly musical album, while "Noise Compliant" comes across in a similar way to a Joe Satriani track where uneasy harmonics continually pull at your attention. That said it is the more obviously musical moments which truly captivate here, with "From Within" creating a merry jazzy dance and the wonderful "Tap Space", where the stick is again very much to the fore being the strongest tracks on show. The latter of which actually sounds like a precursor to the glorious "In Time" from the most recent Nima Collective album and as such becomes a song that I have never tired of listening to.
If you are looking for an artist who can blend musical styles such as jazz and progressive music with more traditional world music, then look no further than Nima. Personally I'd start with the recent Songs Of Strange Delight album, however Merge comes in a very close second.