CD REVIEW: Meir Shitrit - Way
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: Meir Shitrit
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Worldly-Jazz- Fusion/Crossover Jazz
Sounds Like:, Spiro Gyro, Weather Report, Al Di Meola, The Mahavishnu Orchestra
Technical Grade: 10/10
Meir Shitrit is an Israeli based guitarist who just released his latest CD entitled Way in 2012. At a very young age Shitrit started playing classical guitar. He studied under Kalman Bash started teaching me classical music, all kinds of works of Bach, Fernando Sor and many more. Shitrit began to study at Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem for BA degree. There he studied jazz, composition, contemporary music and musical theory. In those years he also studied at Berklee College of music in Boston. Shitrit went on to audition and won a 10.000 dollar scholarship. Other contributors to this CD include: Meir Shitrit - Guitars, Pavel Levin - Violin , Hagit Yaso - Vocals, Eitan Hadad - Bass & Vocals, Ran Levi – Harmonica.
The CD wastes no time getting g off the ground with "Shepherd’s Melody" an intoxicating intro piece that flows and ebbs its way through to musical fruition serving up impressive fretwork and guitar exuberance against impressive Tabla, string accents and worldly-jazzy vibe that gently leads you by the hand to Track 2 “Blue” is a peaceful follow up that serves up impressive acoustic guitar driven ballad against fluid acoustic guitar and more earthy jazz overtones. Track 3 “Waves” presents a more hypnotic melody with it's methodical intro, meshed against mesmerizing melody and mystical groove. The CD makes a great first impression providing 3 solid musical experiences in a row. Musical textures reminiscent of the typical Gold Standard Jazz, but there is an undeniable Fusion “full tilt” Worldly flair to these songs as well. As the CD slowly unfolds you will notice most of the songs are quite dynamic reminiscent of Spiro Gyro, Weather Report, Al Di Meola, The Mahavishnu Orchestra. Each piece possesses crystal clear high end clarity, solid low end punch with chops that will make your head spin. The production delivers much in the way of Instrumentation as well as a bone crushing line-up of players mentioned above. Along the musical journey one will experience well-placed Percussive accents, horns, strings, impressive Flute, Harmonica, sizzling solo segments, Jazz vocal accents, solid rhythm section and world percussive accents and drum virtuoso. Now turning our attention over to Shitri.t As far as his playing ability let me just go on record to say he brilliantly fuses all of the aforementioned musical styles via his guitar. This is not just World Class Fusion but a fusion of many different types of playing styles built upon a traditional Jazz foundation. To me this CD is primarily Jazz based. Shitrit navigates through each piece flawlessly. If that’s not a compliment I don’t know what is. He clearly knows how to fill the sonic space with amazing playing that flows across the ears like fine wine. At times can be passionate, aggressive and tenacious, other times fluid and flowing. Shitrit is a brilliant player and composer. The music itself goes down smooth and fills the atmosphere with what I would describe as peaceful Worldly Jazz Tranquility. All in all the CD has some truly impressive moments showcasing impressive playing, world class songwriting, amazing rhythmic, chops and dynamic grooves all rich in melody and flavor. From melodic “Way” to methodical “Spirit of India” to uplifting “Jaffa Nights” to jumping “Playin’ Around” to grooving “Noise” dynamic “Song of Search” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 12 “Taqsir Square” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
After spending some quality time with Meir Shitrit iit's hard to find any solid weaknesses worth mentioning. Instead as the CD progressed I became more and more impressed with the production as a whole. What I like most about the CD is it refuses to try too hard and covers many impressive musical styles while being primarily Jazz based. Way is an impressive musical production from start to finish. There’s not really a weak song on this entire catalog period! The songs are infectious, catchy and cover a wide range of musical styles. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. Way by Meir Shitrit will show you the way.