Nigel Clark’s US debut on Arkadia Records, “Grand Hotel Europa”, bridges the gap between straight-ahead Jazz and contemporary smooth Jazz, sure to please fans of both genres with his dazzling virtuosity, delicate touch, and unique sound.
“Clark is a facilitator of fine jazz music via his awe inspiring technique, graceful mode of execution and mood evoking sensibilities.” – Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz
Europe has been abuzz for the last decade about a stunning guitarist from the misty highlands of Scotland. Delighting audiences around the globe with his fiery yet smooth, fluid sound, Nigel Clark has emerged as one of Europe’s premier guitarists, having toured the world as a leader, sideman and accompanist. With the silky sound of the Spanish, nylon-sting guitar, Clark creates a new hybrid in the jazz melting pot, spiced with tinges of flamenco, Brazilian, Indian and other world musics. The lines Clark plays are more akin to Jim Hall or Django in their conception. The result is a true contemporary conception, planted deeply in traditional roots.
Nigel Clark has performed and toured with highly regarded artists such as Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Jan Akkerman, Spanish guitarist Ximo Tebar, as well as legendary Scottish vocalist Carol Kidd. Some of the striking originals on “Grand Hotel Europa” show the influence of Nigel’s complete world sensibility. Unlike your typical Jazz recording, the album is a celebration of the different sounds that have informed Nigel Clark s music throughout the years; from the Far East, to the smoky clubs of New York, and on to the hot summer nights of Brazil.
The Spanish nylon string guitar is unusual in mainstream jazz (its use in contemporary music is more widespread), but Blended with the silky sound of the nylon strings, Clark creates a new hybrid in the jazz melting pot.
|1. East of the Sun||(Brooks/Bowman)||4:45|
|2. Grand Hotel Europa||(N. Clark)||5:57|
|3. Dolphin Dance||(H. Hancock)||7:08|
|4. Sakura Samba||(N. Clark)||6:04|
|5. Once I Loved||(A.C Jobim)||7:37|
|6. In Another Moment||(N. Clark)||4:31|
|7. Island Dance||(N. Clark)||6:28|
|8. Caso de Verao||(N. Clark)||5:18|
|9. How Deep is the Ocean||(I. Berlin)||4:55|
|10. You Are Too Beautiful||(Rodgers/Hart)||8:29|
Nigel Clark: Nylon string guitar
Ewan Vernal: Bass
Mario Lima Caribe: Bass
Mike Bradley: Drums
Guy Nicholson: Percussion
Produced by: Nigel Clark
Executive Producer: Bob Karcy
Total Time: 61:12
About Nigel Clark:
Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1957, Nigel was drawn to the guitar in the early 70s, along with the rest of his generation. Influenced by the rock music of the day, Nigel was also exposed to the gypsy genius Django Reinhardt, who made a big impression. His natural talent was honed on many tours through the highlands, the UK, France, Holland, Germany and others, playing fusion, Celtic Rock and with Gaelic singers.
In 1987, Nigel joined the jazz/pop band Hue and Cry, opening for such arena rock artists U2, Madonna and Simply Red. The band also employed some of the biggest names in jazz on their recordings–Ron Carter, John Scofield, Tito Puente, Michael and Randy Brecker, to name a few. Treading the line between pop and jazz, the band occupied an artistic triumph that is rarely reached: crossing over. Nigel’s visibility in the pop world led to high profile collaborations with Maire Brennan (the singer with Clannad and older sister of Enya), singer-songwriter Carol Laula, and started a lasting musical connection with legendary Scottish vocalist Carol Kidd.
In the 90’s, Nigel performed with Carla Bley and Steve Swallow at the Glasgow International Jazz Festival, appeared with Jan Akkerman and Spanish guitarist Ximo Tebar at the North Sea Jazz Festival, and in Cannes, performed with Akkerman and Norwegian Terje Rypdal, and with a big band that featured 11 guitarists! The decade also marked adoption of the nylon string guitar as his primary instrument. The Spanish guitar engaged Nigel’s imagination, and set forth a multitude of artistic possibilities for the instrument, which ranged from the Brazilian style to the gypsy tinged sounds that were laid early in Nigel’s mind through the influence of Django Reinhardt.
The 11 guitar spectacle in Cannes was witnessed by Arkadia CEO Bob Karcy, who was immediately struck by Nigel’s deft playing. Karcy remembers “Nigel’s fluid, improvised lines and note selections were so natural? I was very impressed, and he stood out from all the other guitarists.” Over the next several years, the two kept in contact, ultimately leading to an exclusive recording contract with Arkadia Records.
So far, Nigel has recorded two highly acclaimed albums for Arkadia Records. The first was “Grand Hotel Europa”, followed by “Nigel Clark in Concert: Live from Scotland”, which is available as a set with both a DVD and CD.