Title - 'Words Fail Me' [3CD]
Artist - Nick Beggs
For those not in the know, Nick Beggs is an English musician best known for playing the bass guitar in '80s band Kajagoogoo, the offspring from them Kaja, and more recently in his own band The Mute Gods.
Formerly also a part of Iona and Ellis, Beggs, & Howard, Beggs now plays in the band of Steven Wilson and has added the upright Chapman Stick to his playing repertoire.
Esoteric Antenna is delighted to announce the release of the new solo album by acclaimed musician Nick Beggs, Words Fail Me as a wondrous 3CD digipak.
Noted for his virtuosity as both a bass guitarist and player of the Chapman Stick instrument, Nick reveals all facets of this unique instrument on his new album.
Describing his new work, Nick says, "There have been many composers I’ve admired over the years, so I chose to represent some of their works as instrumental Stick versions."
"Here you will find a cross section of diverse studies chosen to show off the versatility of the Chapman Stick and the beauty of the compositions”.
Accompanying Words Fail Me in this set are two reissues of Nick’s earlier work on the Chapman Stick. Stick Insect was originally released as a mail order only album in 2002 and has been out of print for some years, whilst The Maverick Helmsman was issued in 2004 along the same lines.
Simply put, Words Fail Me is a wonderful collection of music and is a simply mesmerizing listening experience by a supremely talented and creative musician.
Words Fail Me (2019):
1. 'Blue Eyes'
2. 'Portrait Of Tracy'
3. 'Midnight Cowboy'
5. 'Night Porter'
7. 'Sheep May Safely Graze'
8. 'The Rainbow Connection'
Well, I have to say that I didn't expect what happened right from the off on this quite remarkable, simply musically breathtaking new album from Nick Beggs!
Seeing the opening song was named 'Blue Eyes' my mind immediately started to reflect back, and sing, the 1982 Elton John single of the same name. But then, and quite beautifully, once Beggs' song began playing you could have knocked me down with a feather as it was that very same Elton John track after all!
A version played by Beggs that you have to hear to believe, it then crossed my mind that there might well be more covers of the same ilk to be found here on the humorously entitled, yet spot on Words Fail Me.
And I was right for next up was Jaco Pastorius' achingly elegant 'Portrait Of Tracy' from 1976 and that is backed by the poignant plucking of John Barry's theme to 'Midnight Cowboy,' and then the sterner, more disciplined 'Katerina.'
I won't pretend to know if all the 8 tracks are covers, but as with the inching beauty of 'Night Porter,' the upbeat traditional Italian playful hipsway of 'Tarantella,' and both the soprano aria by Johann Sebastian Bach of 'Sheep May Safely Graze,' and then the engagingly darling 'The Rainbow Connection,' I think it's a safe bet to assume so.
Often his melody lines drift high into the sweet bluesy territory evocative of Stanley Jordan's art and style and that's perfectly fine. For just listening to this refreshingly enchanting new album proves, and without a shadow of a doubt, that you have a recording here that showcases the integral entity of an artist who loves what he does so much he simply cannot hide his devotion within his God-given artistry.
The Maverick Helmsman (2004):
1. 'All The Things You Are'
2. 'My Joy'
3. 'So Far Away'
5. 'The Maverick Helmsman'
6. 'The Vigil'
7. 'Your Letter'
8. 'The Meaning Of Everything'
9. 'When First We Met'
10. 'Highland Saunter'
11. 'The Darkness In Men's Hearts'
12. 'After The Wave'
On this second solo Chapman Stick album we quickly discover that Begg's consistent musical style and his approach to the instruments he plays combine perfectly to bring forth an album that beggars belief at just how accomplished, how fresh, how utterly mesmerizing all 12 tracks come to be as a whole.
Whether it be in live solo, or sometimes overdubbed within creative windows, or often backed by The Stick's MIDI triggered voices (including piano, orchestral strings, looped tabla, arpeggiated harp, and rolling surf soundscapes), this album contains totally original moods and inventive rhythms with humor, passion and general gusto.
Another all instrumental album, all 10 tracks were recorded completely live in the studio with minimal overdubs.
Stick Insect (2002):
1. 'Science Fiction'
2. 'The Reggae Man's Hair Do'
3. 'Tonto's Return'
5. 'Look At Us'
6. 'Down Stream'
7. 'Glass Slippers'
9. 'Celtic Yardies'
10. 'The Last Bitch In Hellville'
13. 'Death In Cleavage'
14. 'For All That's Lost'
15. 'In Memory Of You'
Opening with the pure ethereal majesty of 'Science Fiction,' this multifaceted album showcases Beggs' all encompassing love for the Chapman Stick perhaps the best.
The 15 tracks here on his debut Chapman Stick outing are embraced with such a sense of spacious wonder, complete with multiple twists and turns around most corners, giving the album a transcendent appeal for all the categories and genres it lovingly plies its trade within.
In what has been noted as being a "dedicated Stick album", written, arranged, engineered, performed and produced by Nick himself (with a polished final mastering by Greg Howard), in what is obviously a very elaborate production, it contains three prominent elements: It is ethereal in nature. It has some mighty rock and roll orchestration (via synth and electronic percussion). And it obviously contains Nick's very own personal and biographical inspirations.
Official 3CD Purchase Link
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