There is no more fitting name for Nima Rezai's group than Merge. It's
all about mergers. Merging musical styles: jazz, world music,
progressive rock. Merging instruments: Nima plays Stick with MIDI'd
synth sounds, Dan Heflin plays saxophones and Brad Ranola provides
drums and percussion. Merging musical cultures: North American, Eastern,
West African, South American.
Under many circumstances, all those elements converging into a single
space would lead to confusion and cacophony. Not so for the Los
Angeles based Nima and Merge. Their music transcends the sum of the
individual influences, creating a fresh, exciting, unique and engaging
Merge's latest album Live in London has received rave reviews. The trio
recorded the disc at several different venues around London during the
2003 Jazz on The Street Festival. The sound is full of the raw energy
of highly skilled improvising musicians. René Meuris of All weather
Music writes, "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."
Their third CD, Separate Worlds, is scheduled for release in November.
The three core members are there, augmented by Randy Graves on guitar,
fretless guitar, and didgeridoo, Mas Koga on the flute and alto flute,
Ali Shayesteh on saz and bouzouki, and Jesus Florido on 7-string violin.
Merge is hitting the road in 2005, with performances scheduled for the
Palma Music Festival on the Island of Mallorca, the Aachen Jazz Festival
in Aachen, Germany, the Zitadellen Jazznacht in Julich, Germany, Veneto
Jazz Festival in Venice, Italy, and a return engagement at the Jazz on
The Street Festival - London, UK.
For more information, tour dates, pictures and music, check out