Label: Self Released
Website: Victor Nesrallah
When you listen to Victor Nesrallah speak it's an education, when you listen to this album the teaching goes further, he has immersed himself in many cultural styles of music from a very young age, and this release is a wonderful showcase of his journey so far. Not only a multi instrumentalist with a mastery of the guitar, he is a sought after producer and has worked on many independent releases in the Folk, Jazz and World Music genres, an award winning singer / songwriter he has been entertaining audiences with his unique blend of Roots, World Jazz and Blues Fusion at festivals and small venues winning new fans along the way.
Placing tracks on an album is an art form in itself, and I can only imagine the depth of thought that must have gone into this project, with a dozen recordings to date there was a wealth of material to choose from, Victor wanted to give a broad spectrum of the varying styles of music that he has composed and in my opinion he has struck the balance brilliantly on ' Collections ', he has to be highly commended for that.
Influences growing up included middle eastern ensembles, jazz collectives, folk music right through to rock and roll and the Beatles, he played woodwind and brass instruments at school, going on to obtain a degree in Jazz performance which have all shaped his journey
Stand out tracks are many, I am highlighting three that are all different, but fit seamlessly into the collection of fourteen tracks, and that in essence, demonstrate the beauty of the recording.
' The Hills Of Liban ' is a song that reflects an experience of a visit to Lebanon, it's also a commentary on the state of the country, it references historical and geographical places, honest thoughts on the political and religious ideologies that have left the country in turmoil throughout the ages, realizing that everyone is not free in such a bountiful country.
' Forgive and Forget ' is a fingerstyle composition which captures well how Victor performs live as a soloist, it has a rock steady bass string beat throughout which is hugely compelling to listen to, his vocal style is mesmerizing creating a superbly crafted track.
' Blood From The Stone ' is an ensemble piece with beautifully arranged orchestrated parts
featuring some amazingly talented Arabic musicians including virtuoso violinist Rabih Yazbek from Beirut.
I am in wonder at the way this album crosses many musical boundaries yet nothing is lost or out of place, it truly is a fabulous collection of music, Victor Nesrallah continues to educate the more I listen, I'm sure there will be other recordings to come and I personally can't wait, but until they do I am perfectly happy to press repeat on this one, Victors music certainly knows no boundaries.