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Jazz Rock/Fusion • United States

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Nima & Merge biography
NIMA & MERGE is a fusion of progressive rock, jazz, and world music. The group consists of composer Nima Rezai on Chapman Stick and synth Stick, Dan Heflin on saxophones, and Brad Ranola on drum set. The three musicians generate an unusually expansive sound which their compositions demand. The result is a truly unique and powerful sonic experience.

NIMA's Persian origins find their way into compositions through traditional elements of various eastern music systems. Combinations of West African, South American, Western rhythms and melodies from the other players intertwine to produce a sound that is fresh. While much of the group's original material is based around these world influences, the musicians strive to keep the music open to new expressions. Improvisation has always been an integral part of the music-making process for this group. This is evident through their mixture of musical styles in this idiom 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.

Fans of progressive rock will appreciate the progressive rock influences and attitudes of MERGE: 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. The uniqueness of the group's sound begins with the instrumentation: Chapman Stick, an amplified 12-stringed instrument with which rhythm, melody, and bass are played simultaneously, soprano or tenor saxophone, and drums. The combination of different elements within the music brings forth a style that audiences find intriguing but, as of yet, has no standard definition. With their third album just released, this eclectic band is headed upward and outward.

I recommend this band for all fans of fusion, jazz and instrumental music.

Why this artist must be listed in :
These guys are exciting. The use of a full chapman stick and effects gives Niam Rezai the ability to fill in the rolls of bass, guitar and keyboards. These guys have a great prog feel with a strong Jazz influence with a dash of world music thrown in. Very COOL!

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NIMA & MERGE discography

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NIMA & MERGE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.17 | 5 ratings
4.08 | 6 ratings
Separate Worlds
4.33 | 3 ratings
Songs Of Strange Delight (as Nima Collective)

NIMA & MERGE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Live In London

NIMA & MERGE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

NIMA & MERGE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

NIMA & MERGE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

NIMA & MERGE Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 Separate Worlds by NIMA & MERGE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.08 | 6 ratings

Separate Worlds
Nima & Merge Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Garion81
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Once in a while a group comes along and demands your attention. Nima and Merge is that group for me this year. I actually saw the band play before I heard any of their CD's and have been blown away with everything they do. I love the other two CD's but this one completely blows the other two away.

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!

 Merge by NIMA & MERGE album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.17 | 5 ratings

Nima & Merge Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Garion81
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars This is the first CD to be released by the group with all compositions written by Chapman Stick player Nima Rezai. If you are unfamiliar Nima uses the tap method on his stick using one side of the stick as a bass and the other as a guitar/keyboard type of mix. He also uses a synth stick for even more color.

Lyrical but with no singing but not mired in traditional jazz either this CD simply flows from one great melody and passage to another. The second number, "Reng", really gives you a special feel of what the band is about. Great percussion mixed with Sax melodies that are sweet. Intense in parts without being overly loud the composition convincingly displays the complete talent the band possesses. This music can be listened too in so many ways. It works well in your headphones as you listen intently to it or it can be a background sound. It is also versatile as the piece "Tap Space" demonstrates. The piece starts out almost as a standard Jazz piece but about half way through becomes almost a space rock sound then bursts into a be-bop segue with some great sax. Underneath it all is Nima's great stick work.

The rest of this CD just builds from there. I think this a CD I could pick up 5 years from now and still enjoy. The sound is timeless. Enjoy!

Thanks to garion81 for the artist addition.

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