This new EP entitled Revisit by Malaysian guitarist Nazrin is something I’ve been waiting to listen to for awhile now. The album is a trio project with Nazrin on guitar, AMR on drums & two bassists (Icco Elnoel & Anep). Recorded and mixed by Jurazuan & mastered by Rozhan Razman, this album presents a contrast to Nazrin earlier EP which was an acoustic guitar instrumental release.
This EP features 5 tracks that showcases Nazrin as a composer, guitarist & improviser. The EP opens with Glass – a lyrical optimistic melody driven guitar track with a late 90s GRP-era harmonies. The guitar solo is a mix of neo-soul flavours, rhythmic phrases and runs leading to a chordal bridge before resolving back into the main theme. The guitar is clearly the focus in this track with the drums and bass supporting Nazrin’s leads.
The 2nd track, Ramble begins with a moody chorus effected theme lightly accompanied with brushes and then the bass. The mood is more Americana influenced with spacious Frisell-influenced lines and rock blues implied melodies. After the solo, the track goes quickly into the theme with a development section that changes the mood ever so slightly.
The next track, Lightbulb features volume swelled chords over a bass riff played by Icco Elnoel. Nazrin’s melodic sensibilities are featured in the relaxed clean guitar section before he goes rockier with the distortion guitar solo & an ostinato build-up that moves back into the theme. Icco also loosens up more here playing more fills that help build the drama. The short bass feature towards the end of track is quite nice.
Old Soul features classic R&B guitar with Nazrin playing Hendrix-style chordal embellishments ala The Wind Cries Mary. The track is rather brief at just 2 minutes and 29 seconds making me wish for perhaps future live versions with Nazrin and trio stretching out more.
Good Times I’ve Had closes the EP with a blues with a B section that reminds me of the kinds of harmonies Babyface would use in his 90s R&B hits. The guitar solo in this track sounds the most expressive with Nazrin going out with rock blues phrases and building drama with repeating licks. The solo ends with a jam-session-ish vibe before the band builds the closing section from scratch with implied New Orleans Second Line grooviness.
In conclusion, this EP is a good document of Nazrin’s musical abilities both as a composer and guitarist. It goes in 5 different directions almost with all the 5 tracks which can be confusing for a new listener but is a good indicator of what Nazrin can do in the future. I personally look forward to seeing Nazrin develop as a leader over the years and mature as an important figure in the contemporary music scene. Not a lot of people record and release original instrumental music in Malaysia so what Nazrin is doing is important & on the right track. As my jazz composition teacher Greg Hopkins used to say, “More notes!”. I look forward to hearing more notes from Nazrin.
[Revisit Album Credits]
Nazrin – Guitar
AMR – Drums
Icco Elnoel – Bass ( Glass, Revisit, Lightbulb)
Anep – Bass ( Old Soul, Good Times)
Jurazuan – Recording, mixing
Rozhan Razman – Mastering
Kishern Durai Rajah – Photo
Aizat Amir – Design
TLDR: For fans of tasteful melodic instrumental guitar, check out this new EP by Nazrin. Limited physical copies of the CD are available so do get yours before the first edition runs out.
You can get your copy of Nazrin ‘Revisit’ for RM35 at
Chops Music: https://www.instagram.com/chopsmusic.school/
Jovis Music: https://www.instagram.com/jack_tyroneguitars/
Muhammad Nazrin is a guitarist/composer from Kuala Lumpur who was known for his work for singers of various styles in the local diverse creative scene in Malaysia. As a musician that loves to dabble himself in blues, R&B, soul, jazz, and fusion, he has worked with Atilia Haron, Airliftz, Julian Chan’s Jazz Orchestra, Evelyn Feroza, Qsound, Russell Curtis, and WVC Malaysian Jazz Ensemble. One of his highlights is joining John Thomas Trio for Thundercat’s opening act in Kuala Lumpur.
He has released his first EP ‘Homecoming’ back in 2017, an acoustic guitar instrumental album and has recorded for various artists and projects in Kuala Lumpur. ‘Revisit’, his upcoming release with his trio project showcases his ideas of compositions that were inspired by multiple genres and guitar-bass-drums outfit that he loves.
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