COMPOSERS: Gilad Atzmon
LABELS: World Village
PERFORMER: GILAD ATZMON (saxaphone), THE ORIENT HOUSE ENSEMBLE
CATALOGUE NO: WV 450015
In the ten years since Jerusalem-born Atzmon formed his Orient House Ensemble (OHE), the London-based quartet has been lauded as one of the most exciting small groups on the European scene. Between dates with the OHE, Atzmon somehow also finds time to work with such diverse interests as Robert Wyatt and the late Ian Dury’s Blockheads, as well as write books and be politically active on Middle Eastern issues.
For latecomers this sixth album is actually a great introduction to the rich, ‘multi-kulti’ approach that sets Atzmon’s jazz apart. In these nine original pieces there are pungent Arabic melodies, swirling klezmer workouts, poignant boleros and even dark Berlin cabaret moments. And all these heady ingredients are channelled through an Ellingtonian melodic sensibility that makes the music stick in the mind.
Atzmon himself has a beautiful, heartfelt tone on all the reeds, matched with a technique that is honed by a frantic life on the road. He’s an international treasure. Garry Booth