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    "A formidable improvisational array...a local jazz giant steadily drawing himself up to his full height..."-John Fordham, The Guardian

    “…Atzmon is an astonishing musician.”
    John Lewis, Metro, September 07

    "Atzmon is surely the hardest-gigging man in British jazz..." The Times

    "Atzmon is a loose cannon: a larger than life figure with an almost overpowering musical personality... it's as perfect a jazz marriage as you could wish for" Phil Jonson, Independent on Sunday

    “A revelation, a multi-reed man of enormous talent.”-Tony Richards Musician Magazine

     “Atzmon sends his soprano sax and clarinet soaring over complex rhythms from all points of the globe with a poetry that never forfeits control.”- Nina Caplan, Metro

     “Audiences are clearly bowled over with Atzmon's whirlwind approach ... dynamic, charismatic and ... exasperating!”-Brian Blain, Jazz UK

     "His flow of ideas and coherent marshalling of them makes for solos that are as exhilarating as they are impassioned  fantastiK" The Herald Sunday Tribune

    (Photo By David Sinclair)

    Sunday
    Aug212011

    Jeffrey St. Clair on Gilad Atzmon's In Loving Memory of America

    http://www.counterpunch.org/stclair08192011.html

    Gilad Atzmon: In Loving Memory of America (Enja / Germany)

    For his latest recording, the acclaimed London-based saxman (and sometime CP contributor) Gilad Atzmon turns his attention to New York in the 1950s, probably the most innovative era of America music. With a judicious mix of standards and original compositions, Atzmon recreates the mise-en-scene of an after hours jazz club. The legend being served here is the titanic Charlie Parker, but Atzmon reimagines Bird on his own terms, with spiraling and plaintive sax and clarinet solos that swirl like helixes encoded with the sounds of Harlem over the refined shadings of the Sigamos String Quartet. This is noir jazz, the insidious music that breaks out while the empire sleeps.

    Monday
    Feb282011

    The Tide Has Changed, German Press Feb 2011

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung:

    Arte TV

    Cinesoundz ****

    Clarino Magazine

    Falter

    Fono Forum ****

    Jazzpodium

    Pforzheimer Zeitung (interview)

    Pforzheimer Zeitung (review)

    Jazzpodiun

    Zuritipp

    Jazzthetik (portrait)

    Jazzthing

    Spiegel  ****

    Monstersandcritics ****

    Sono

    Stereo ****

    DiePresse Austria 

    Audio

    Badische-Zeitung

    DIE SÜDOSTSCHWEIZ Switzerland 

     

    Dates in Europe this month:

    Europe

    March  6,  su        Vienna/AU                   Porgy & Bess   

    March 7, Mo         Paris/Fr                        Libraire Résistances (talk & concert)

    March  8, tue        Redange/Lux                L'inouï

    March  9, we         Frankfurt/Ger               Kulturfabrik      

    March 11, fri         Klosters/Sw                  Kulturverein      

    March 12, sa         Chur/Sw                        3 Könige 

    March  13, Su        Freiburg/Ger                  Cafe Palestine (a talk)

    March 13, su         Freiburg/Ger                   Jazzhaus          

    March 14, mo         Pforzheim/Ger                 Domicile             

    March 15, tue         Saarwellingen/Ger           Jazzclub             

    March 16, we          Zürich/Sw                       Moods         

    March 17, thu          Karlsruhe/Ger                 Tempel  (Talk & Concert)                            

    March 18, fr             Köln/Ger                       Altes Pfandhaus      

    March 19, sa            Heilbronn/Ger                Jazzclub 

     

     

    Thursday
    Feb102011

    The Tide Has Changed First German Reviews (4 Stars)

    M&G: The Tide Has Changed von Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

     

     

    Von Rainer Molz

    9. Feb 2011, 13:14

    ****

    Seine Musik ist wie eine Offenbarung. Als gefeierter Musiker der Jazzszene Großbritanniens, lässt er nun auch verstärkt Deutschland in den Genuss seiner Kunst kommen. Mit „The Tide Has Changed“ begibt sich Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble auf ein Bebop Terrain voller spannender Momente. Geprägt von nahöstlichen Klängen, schwebt die Musik in einem Dialog voller explosiver Augenblicke unaufhaltsam durch Raum und Zeit. Turbulent!

    1963 wurde Gilad Atzmon in Jerusalem geboren. Im Jahre 2000 gründete der Holzblasinstrumentenmusiker die Formation The Orient House Ensemble. Nun gilt es in 2011 ein 10jähriges Jubiläum zu feiern. Zu diesem Anlass veröffentlicht das Quartett eine aufregende Produktion „The Tide Has Changed“. Eine ganz besonders ergreifende Mischung von Kultur und Tradition. Die knalligen Improvisationen versprühen Charme und leben vom schrägen Humor des Bandleaders. Im Dialog der Verspieltheiten – Bebop trifft auf nahöstliche Klänge.

    Prägend dabei vor allen Dingen das raffinierte und eindringliche Spiel Gilad Atzmon. Der Multiinstrumentalist – er agiert an diversen Saxophonen, an Klarinette, Sol, Zurna und an Flöten – brennt vor Energie und verströmt unbändige Spannung.

    Brillanz, Leidenschaft, Intensität und Wärme – das ist „The Tide Has Changed“. Zeitgenössischer Jazz in unterschiedlichen musikalischen Stilen zelebriert und verpackt. Empfehlenswert!

    Line Up: Gilad Atzmon (Multiinstrumentalist), Frank Harrison (Piano, Xylophon), Yaron Stavi (Bass), Eddi Hick (Drums).

    Ebenfalls vormerken: The 2011 Spring Tour: 06.03. Wien (A), 08.03. Redange (L), 09.03. Frankfurt, 11.03. Klosters (CH), 12.03. Chur (CH), 13.03. Freibrug, 14.03. Pforzheim, 15.03. Saarwellingen, 16.03. Zürich (CH), 17.03. Karlsruhe, 18.03. Köln, 19.03. Heilbronn. Weitere Informationen unter www.gilad.co.uk

     English translation

    Gilad Atzmon: "The Tide Has Changed" (World Village)

    His music is a revelation. As a celebrated musicians of the jazz scene in Britain, it can now also used increasingly in Germany to enjoy his art. With "The Tide Has Changed" goes to Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble on a terrain full of exciting moments Bebop. Influenced by Middle Eastern sounds of floats, the music in a dialogue of explosive moments inexorably through space and time. Turbulent!

    1963 Gilad Atzmon was born in Jerusalem. In 2000 founded the woodwind musicians group The Orient House Ensemble. Now it is in 2011 a 10th anniversary celebration. At this event, the quartet is an exciting production of "The Tide Has Changed". A particularly poignant mix of culture and tradition. The bright improvisations exude charm and live off the quirky humor of the band leader. In the dialogue of playfulness - Bebop meets Middle Eastern sounds.

    Influential here, above all, the refined and haunting play Gilad Atzmon. The multi-instrumentalist - he acts on various saxophones, clarinets, sol, zurna and flute - is burning with energy and exudes unbridled power.

    Brilliance, passion, intensity and heat - this is "The Tide Has Changed". Contemporary Jazz celebrated in different musical styles and packaged. Recommended!

    Line Up: Gilad Atzmon (multi-instrumentalist), Frank Harrison (piano, xylophone), Yaron Stavi (bass), Eddie Hicks (drums).

    Also Mark your calendar: The 2011 Spring Tour: 06.03. Vienna (A), 08.03. Redange (L), 09.03. Frankfurt, 11.03. Klosters (CH), 12.03. Chur (CH), 13.03. Freibrug, 14.03. Pforzheim, 15.03. Saarwellingen, 16.03. Zurich (CH), 17.03. Karlsruhe, Germany, 18.03. Cologne, 19.03. Heilbronn. For more information www.gilad.co.uk
    

    Spiegel: Gilad Atzmon- The Tide Has Changed (World Village) 

     

    http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/kulturspiegel/d-76655001.html

    Gilad Atzmon: "The Tide Has Changed" (World Village)

    Seine Saxofon-Soli sind von Charlie-Parker-hafter Intensität und zeigen einmal mehr, was für ein Super-Jazzer der Musiker ist, den viele vor allem als Politaktivisten kennen. Atzmon nennt sein Quartett nach dem Jerusalemer Hauptquartier von Arafats P.L.O. The Orient House Ensemble und ergreift auch als Schriftsteller Partei für die Palästinenser. In seiner Musik verbindet der nach England emigrierte Israeli orientalische und westliche Klänge. Atzmons Agitation geht unter die Haut!

    English translation

    Gilad Atzmon: "The Tide Has Changed" (World Village)

    His saxophone solos of Charlie Parker-like intensity and shows once again what a super jazz musician, whom many know primarily as a political activist. Atzmon calls his quartet to the Jerusalem headquarters of Arafat's PLO The Orient House Ensemble, and also as a writer takes sides with the Palestinians. His music combines the Israeli who emigrated to England Eastern and Western sounds. Atzmon agitation gets under your skin!

    

    

    Tuesday
    Feb012011

    In review: Life's a Cabaret

    In review: Life's a Cabaret

    Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

    http://wholemusicexp.blogspot.com/2011/02/in-review-lifes-cabaret.html
     
    The Tide Has Changed
    World Village

    Israeli Jewish multi-instrumentalist Gilad Atzmon and The Orient House Ensemble wake the senses with the album The Tide Has Changed. On the opening track I expected Liza Minnelli to appear working up a rendition of Cabaret. But this cabaret feel is short lived as the band launches into the saxophone-lead titular track. And Atzmon’s saxophone, like so many saxophones these days, raises John Coltrane’s spirit from the dead. This shouldn’t surprise anyone since Coltrane delved into the Far East exotic even performing Arabic modes on his horn and the UK-based OHE marries Middle Eastern music with American-style jazz.

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Nov302010

    Nostalgie gegen die harte Welt: Sudest Presse

    Gschwend.  Eigentlich hätte man gern politisch Brisantes von Gilad Atzmon vernommen. Vielleicht war der Einsatz von softem Streichersound aber auch politisch zu sehen: als der Versuch einer Flucht in die Nostalgie.

    Mit der Eröffnung der Jazz-Reihe beim Gschwender Musikwinter war man irgendwie ein bisschen auf das Konzert mit dem Saxofonisten Gilad Atzmon, seinem "Orient House"-Ensemble und dem Sigamos String Quartet gespannt. Nicht zuletzt, weil der diesjährige Musikwinter ja mit einem mit dem Jazz durchaus bestens vertrauten "Sirius String Quartet Domine" eröffnet worden war.

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Nov302010

    Der Virtuose gibt sich witzig-smart

    http://www.gmuender-tagespost.de/524088/

    Gilad Atzmon ist zu Besuch beim Gschwender Musikwinter und beweist Entertainer-Qualitäten

    Zwei Quartette traten auf beim Jazz-Abend mit Gilad Atzmon: Zu der Jazzband hatte sich ein Streicherquartett mit vier jungen Damen gesellt. Was die wohl zusammen anstellen, hatte sich mancher gefragt. Mit Neugier wurde eine provokante Mischung erwartet.

    Das Konzert begann eher ruhig, beschaulich. Manchem war es zu ruhig. Das britisch-deutsche Damenquartett Sigamos String mit Ros Stephen an der ersten Geige fiedelte ganz fidel und sorgte für einen fast klassisch anmutenden Klangteppich. Gilad Atzmon, der Tausendsassa auf den Blasinstrumenten dirigierte die Streicherinnen und forderte sie zu einem Frage-Antwort-Spiel mit dem Saxofon heraus. Ein virtuoser Bläser auf dem Alt- und Sopransaxofon wie auf der Klarinette. Ein Energiebündel, das kraftstrotzend über die Bühne tänzelt. Und dazu noch ein witzig-smarter Entertainer, der das Publikum auch mit Worten zu unterhalten verstand. Kein Wunder, ist er doch auch ein Literat, der mit provozierenden Thesen das gesellschaftliche Establishment seines Landes Israel gereizt hat. Der 47-Jährige lebt und arbeitet heute in London.

    Click to read more ...

    Wednesday
    Nov242010

    Record Collector, Christmas 2010 (4 stars)

    4 STARS
     
    “Another top notch saxophone-led set…by the prodigiously talented Gilad Atzmon and his band…By turns provocative, wistful and pugnacious, it bristles with intrepid invention and convincingly demonstrates that Atzmon’s definitely at the top of his game right now.”
    Charles Waring, Record Collector, Christmas 2010
     

    

    Tuesday
    Nov232010

    Chris Searle, Gilad to be free-The Morning Star (albums review)

     

    ...For The Ghosts Within (Domino WIGCD263) – Gilad Atzmon And The Orient House Ensemble (World Village 450015)
    Tuesday 23 November 2010

     

    Israeli sax master Gilad Atzmon's collaborations remain as fluid, complex and competent as ever

    The Tide Has Changed is the sixth album of the Orient House Ensemble, led by the Israeli altoist Gilad Atzmon, formed a decade ago and named in honour of the headquarters of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem.

    "Ten years ago I realised that beauty is the way forward", Atzmon writes in his sleeve notes. And listening to his solo work on the title song after the hokum of the introductory track, you recognise too how the sheer beauty of his sounds - a unique amalgam of Hebraic, Arabic and jazz traditions - has gained authority, sonic unity and huge emotional depth during those years.

     

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Nov092010

    The Jazz Breakfast: CD review: Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

       

    CD review: Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

    The Tide Has Changed
    (World Village 450015)

    The Orient House Ensemble, named with Gilad Atzmon’s usual challenging flair, after the Palestinian people’s headquarters in Jerusalem, is ten years old. The only other original member of the band is pianist Frank Harrison, but the band’s music – a winningly compulsive mix of the Middle Eastern and jazz influences – has remained consistent from the start.

    Consistent, but constantly developing and becoming more finely interwoven.

    Listen to the 11-minute title track of this disc and those elements are there, the Middle Eastern ones especially in Atzmon’s saxophone articulation with its microtonal phrasing, but its just so cohesive now. And is there a saxophonist working in the UK today, or a band in fact, that is able quite to work up this kind of intensity?

    But there is also such acute attention to the gorgeousness of the sounds. As Atzmon adds that growl, and launches into those lightning runs, followed by high, held screams at the top of his instrument, Harrison, bassist Yaron Stavi and drummer Eddie Hick churning beneath, so are added rich, held chords of Tali Atzmon’s voice. And then we are back down to a funky bass and drums for Harrison to start building up the tension all over again.

    There are heaps more joyous moments like this on this album, including a great version of Ravel’s Bolero, or Bolero At Sunrise as he calls it, Atzmon bringing a fresh lyricism to this most familiar of melodies against a lovely, sinuous groove.

    And So Have We shows Atzmon’s rich tone on soprano, while London To Gaza features the multi-layered pleasures on its melodic statement of Atzmon’s saxophone line shadowed by his own accordion with Stavi’s bowed bass underneath, before it morphs into a measured and Coltraneish slow-burner, Atzmon again stressing that Middle Eastern saxophone tone and articulation. It’s a saxophonic tour de force.

    And of course, humour is never far away from the seriousness – from the MC-led opening to the oompah madness of We Laugh.

    The band, surely one of the hardest working in jazz, is currently nearing the end of a three month tour and comes to the Live Box at The Drum in Birmingham on Sunday evening. It starts at 7.45pm, and you can find out more at www.the-drum.org.uk

    

    Monday
    Oct252010

    The Tide Has Changed-John Bungey , The Times , October 23

       



    All that gigging helps account for the collective energy of the band... and this is jazzy, freaky, potent stuff.
    

     

    

    Monday
    Oct252010

    At The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock, Shropshire (4 Stars)

    REVIEW

    Gilad Atzmon, “Gilad With Strings”, The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, 23/10/2010

    http://www.thejazzmann.com/reviews/review/gilad-atzmon-gilad-with-strings-the-edge-arts-centre-much-wenlock-shropshir/

    Reviewed by: Ian Mann

    Live Review

    Gilad Atzmon, “Gilad With Strings”, The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, 23/10/2010

    This was a great way to herald in the new era at The Edge.  

    Gilad Atzmon-Gilad With Strings

    Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble with the Sigamos String Quartet

    The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, 23/10/2010

    This concert was the first in the newly constructed building at the thriving Edge Arts Centre in Much Wenlock. First impressions of the new hall were highly favourable, particularly with regard to the acoustics. Atzmon and his fellow musicians sounded excellent throughout.

    The London based Israeli musician Gilad Atzmon is celebrating the tenth anniversary of his regular working band the Orient House Ensemble and is currently in the middle of a huge nationwide tour in support of the quartet’s latest album “The Tide Has Changed”. The tour is sprinkled with dates featuring an expanded line up with the OHE joining forces with the members of the Sigamos String Quartet who had worked with Atzmon on his previous album “In Loving Memory Of America”, a project inspired by the “Bird With Strings” recordings of the great Charlie Parker. This evenings performance included material drawn both from the “with strings” project and from the OHE’s regular repertoire.

    The evening began with the four members of the OHE taking to the stage to perform the title track of their new album. Joining Atzmon on saxophones and clarinet were original OHE member Frank Harrison on piano, long serving double bassist Yaron Stavi and the OHE’s latest recruit, drummer Eddie Hick. “The Tide Has Changed” proved to be a stunning opener, a classic example of the group’s unique blend of Middle Eastern musical motifs and jazz improvising, this time with the band’s wordless vocalising adding to an already heady mix. Atzmon and Harrison delivered dazzling solos on alto sax and piano respectively with powerful yet intelligent support coming from a highly flexible rhythm section. Hick has stepped admirably into the void left by the departure of former drummer Asaf Sirkis and the two performances I’ve seen him give with the OHE confirm his growing reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting young musicians.

    For the next number Atzmon called the four smartly attired ladies of the Sigamos String Quartet, led by violinist Ros Stephen, to the stage. Besides her instrumental skills Stephen is also a formidable arranger and has worked with Atzmon in the group Tango Siempre as well as collaborating on the “In Loving Memory Of America” project. More recently the pair have collaborated with the great Robert Wyatt on the recently released and highly acclaimed “For The Ghosts Within”, a recording that The Jazzmann will be taking a closer look at in due course.

    The SSQ commenced the next number with pizzicato plucking before taking up their bows to produce a remarkably, full lush sound. The volume they were able to generate from just the four instruments (violin x 2, viola and cello) was remarkable and they were never drowned out by their scruffier, jazz playing male colleagues. A word again here for the acoustics of the room and credit to the sound engineer for achieving an almost perfect sound balance. The eight instruments blended together superbly well to produce rich ,colourful, consistently interesting textures, themselves a tribute to Atzmon and Stephen’s arranging skills. With Stavi also employing his bow judiciously there were moments when we essentially heard a “string quintet” as on “Everything Happens To Me” which also featured Atzmon on Parker inspired alto, his pure tone soaring above the lush backdrop of the strings.

    Atzmon is also an engaging interlocutor between tunes, his announcements a bizarre mix of political comment and and surreal humour. A champion of the Palestinian cause and an avowed Anti Zionist his politics inform but do not overwhelm his music. Nevertheless his verbal ramblings ensure that a Gilad Atzmon show is never dull or predictable. His humour involves mangling song titles, thus Monk’s “Round Midnight” becomes “Round Midland” but the punning wordplay can’t detract from the ability of the playing with Atzmon and Harrison at their most lyrical. 

    “If I Should Lose You” (Atzmon alters the pronoun to “we”)  is more frankly into musical humour experimenting with atonality and sundry jocular musical devices around which he structures a powerful, wailing alto sax solo.

    Turning again to the new album “The Tide Has Changed” the octet played a blistering version of the tune “London To Gaza”, a tune originally written for the 2008 film “From Gaza To London”. Things began quietly with Harrison’s brooding solo piano intro, this forming a dramatic contrast with Atzmon’s impassioned improvising on soprano saxophone. The power and fire expressed in his playing left no doubt about his sentiments. This was essentially a protest song without lyrics.

    From the Gilad with Strings album “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” temporarily brought an air of calm back to the proceedings with the SSQ prominent in the arrangement and with features for Atzmon on alto and Harrison at the piano. However when Atzmon picked up his clarinet and Hick laid down a vigorous drum groove things quickly gathered momentum as Atzmon delivered a slippery clarinet solo and traded Middle Eastern sounding licks with the string players who were clearly enjoying every minute of it. Another change of direction saw the leader switching back to alto for a Latin/Salsa inspired outro during which he introduced the members of the band. For all his verbal wanderings off piste Atzmon’s shows are actually very well programmed and inevitably contain elements of his highly individualistic brand of showmanship. The Edge crowd loved it and gave the octet a rousing half time reception.

    The second half began with “Call Me Stupid , Ungrateful, Ambitious and Insatiable”, a brief piece for clarinet and strings only that offered a real opportunity to appreciate the lustrous nature of the Sigamos’ sound. However for all the sweetness the SSQ are never overly lush or cloying. It’s a feature of modern classically trained musicians that they’re no longer frightened of other genres of music or indeed of improvisation. The level of interaction between the OHE and SSQ in this concert was revelatory, the string players were an integral part of the creative process and their role far more than merely “playing the notes”.

    The next (unannounced) piece saw Hick establishing a funk/hip hop groove which combined well with the sound of the SSQ’s plucked strings. There was even a brief solo violin feature from Stephen before a lengthier alto solo from Atzmon.

    “April In Paris” (or “April in Much Wenlock” as Atzmon inevitably called it) was was initially delivered fairly straight with the lushness of the strings combining well with the more incisive qualities of Atzmon’s alto. Subsequently there was a lengthy duo dialogue between Atzmon on alto and Harrison at the piano, the saxophonist wandering over to the piano and either playing off mic or inserting the bell of his horn into the open piano. In any event there was no lessening of volume or intensity as these two old sparring partners traded ideas and threw some humorous “quotes” into the mix (did I hear a satirical reference to “Yankee Doodle Dandy?) before Atzmon stepped aside for Harrison to deliver a more orthodox piano solo. There was also a humorous element to a playful “Tutu Tango” with Atzmon switching to soprano saxophone to solo alongside Harrison.

    Originally recorded on the 2001 album “Nostalgico” “Rearranging The Twentieth Century” proved to be a kaleidoscopic romp through a variety of jazz and other musical styles reflecting Atzmon’s various influences. Almost “cut and paste” in nature this featured Atzmon on soprano saxophone, Hick on military sounding drums (a reflection I suspect of Atzmon’s national service in the Israeli army) before morphing briefly into Gershwin’s “Summertime” representing Gilad’s love for a mythic America. Then “Roll Out The Barrel” (for London I guess), the melody disintegrating in the face of the atonal rumble of Stavi’s viciously bowed bass. Then “Mack The Knife”, a nod to the importance to Atzmon’s sound of the influence of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill and finally Atzmon and Stavi’s theatrical scat vocals on Dizzy Gillespie’s “Salt Peanuts”. This breathless tour de force drew whoops of delight from another sizeable Edge crowd. They didn’t leave the stage but their version of Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World” was in effect an encore, Atzmon’s alto and Harrison’s piano reclaiming the song and transforming it from sentimental mulch into a genuine life affirming celebration. In time the tune mutated into the salsa version of Atzmon’s tune “Refuge” as the second half ended in the same style as the first with a final name check for the musicians.

    Although the charismatic Atzmon is the dominant figure and both the quartet and octet very much an extension of his unique musical vision the contributions of the other musicians shouldn’t be underestimated. The stage was filled with superb technicians and each played their part in a memorable performance with the SSQ integrating brilliantly with the OHE. Before the gig I’d worried that the strings might have an emasculating effect on Atzmon’s sound but I needn’t have worried. Thanks to the skills of the arrangers and the abilities of the players they positively enriched it.

    This was a great way to herald in the new era at The Edge. Alison Vermee has put together an exceptional programme of contemporary jazz stretching into summer 2011 including a couple of international coups. See our events pages or visit http://www.edgeartscentre.co.uk for more details.

    In the meantime the OHE’s mammoth tour continues with the schedule including a prestigious 10th Anniversary concert complete with special guests at the Art Depot, London on November 18th 2010 as part of London Jazz Festival. See http://www.gilad.co.uk for full details of this and other scheduled performances.  

    Friday
    Oct222010

    Jazzwise: Gilad Atzmon And The Orient House Ensemble - The Tide Has Changed ★★★★ 

    Gilad Atzmon And The Orient House Ensemble - The Tide Has Changed ★★★★

    Friday, 22 October 2010 12:32

    Harmonia Mundi 450015 | Gilad Atzmon (ss, as, clt, acc, v), Frank Harrison (p, kys, xyl, v), Yaron Stavi (b, v), Eddie Hick (d, v) with Tali Atzmon (v) and Derek ‘The Draw’ Hussey (MC). Rec. 24-26 February 2010

    Happy birthday to the Orient House for a decade on the jazz block: and what better way to celebrate than ith thi l d with this splendid, ever changing album. We kick off with Hussey’s circus bark (he’s the Blockheads vocals man) calling us to the party in a mix of Kurt Weill, Sgt Pepper and, um, David Essex. But being the OHE, of course, we walk through the door to the sound of scuffed piano strings and Atzmon’s lamenting ululations. The world’s realities march alongside the good times with this band. However, beauty always beats the bad guys, and a stirring vamp held down by a seismic bass figure soon has the spirits rising on the anthemic title track.

    Compared to the likes of Exile, this OHE production uses fewer colours, fewer guests: this is very much a quartet album, deeply focused and with all frills edited out. This is a band that after a decade is as tight as the proverbial drum; and talking of which, the promising Hick slots in admirably, less spectacular than Sirkis, but that complements this disciplined, even inward-looking project.

    Other stand-outs include a restrained take on Ravel’s ‘Bolero’. Much of the ‘exoticness’ is leeched out, allowing direct access to that seductive theme which gyres and gambols around us. If Atzmon flourished in Parker mode with In Loving Memory Of America, then Coltrane is the touchstone here, notably on the long meditation ‘London To Gaza’ which features a lyric solo from Harrison whom, need we say, grows leaner, more sparing yet more killing with every recording. We end in party mood, of course, with a Balkan knees up, though the Weill coda reminds us of tears behind the laughter. But for now, let’s raise a glass: to the next decade.

    Andy Robson

    

    Monday
    Oct182010

    Zimos News: Jazz activism

     

     http://www.zimoz.co.uk/blog/2010/10/jazz-activism/stivesjazz1/

    Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble 2010 tour

    by Jonathon Blakeley

    The Orient House Ensemble are currently touring the UK, promoting their amazing new album – ‘The tide has changed’. The following is a review of a performance, at St Ives Jazz Club, Cornwall, on Friday 15th of October 2010. The current OHE line up is

    1. Gilad Atzmon – Saxophones, Clarinets, Vocals
    2. Eddie Hick – Drums
    3. Frank Harrison – Piano
    4. Yaron Stavi – Double Bass, Vocals

    Serpent charmer

    The set started with a Gilad announcing that they were going to play their new album, ‘The tide has changed’, and commenced with the opening track ‘Dry fear’, warming up the crowd with his serpent charmer spell.

    The next track required a change of instrument, and for this one Gilad chose his saxophone. He quickly realized that he had left his sax strap up in his hotel room and asked whether someone would retrieve his strap, as he could not play without it. This accident allowed him to improvise and free associate with words. With the strap recovered, a cheer went up from the crowd and the set kicked off with the title track – ‘the tide has changed’ – intense, frenzied and original.

    OHE

    “Obviously I like playing the music but it’s not all about the music, it is Palestine that I am also really interested in. In helping to free the Palestinian People that is very important too…”

    Click to read more ...

    Sunday
    Oct172010

    Vineyardsaker: Gilad Atzmon's latest masterpiece

    "The Tide Has Changed" - Gilad Atzmon's latest masterpiece

    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2010/10/tide-has-changed-gilad-atzmons-latest.html

    "The Tide Has Changed" is the latest record by Gilad Atzmon and his Orient House Ensemble and its celebrates the 10th year of collaboration of this fantastic group of musicians.
    The first track, a tongue-in-cheek introduction to the album, immediately sets the tone with this joyful and deliberately silly lead-in to the album. Called "Dry Fear" - this track is paradoxically anything but fearful. The second track, however, "The Tide has Changed", while not exactly fearful, is a tense and powerful mix of modal and free improvisations on a entrancing beat with a strong Middle-Eastern feel to it. I like to think of the basic beat as a "Palestinian hard rock" kind of trance, but the improvisations are very clearly of a uniquely jazz level of virtuosity. Gilad's solos are - as always - an awesome thing to behold, yet the OHE's pianist, Frank Harrison, does an amazing job in replying to Gilad's virtuosity. Both musicians gradually built up their solos into a final explosive climax.
    The next track continues on the theme of the second one and is entitled "And So Have We". A slow and melancholic composition, it reminds me of some of the most poignant pieces of Astor Piazzolla; Gilad's wife, Tali, further deepens this sense of "saudade" with her beautiful voice. Next, the bass and the piano engage into a sad yet beautiful dialogue which, again, Tali's voice punctuates. The lament concludes with quiet sense of peace. This is a very deceptively simple and absolutely beautiful track, one of my favorites on this album.
    "Bolero at Sunrise" marks a break in style and substance. Beginning with an almost traditional rendition of Ravel's famous "Bolero", this piece rapidly mutates into something very different, a meditation, or even maybe trance, about the fundamental emotions of Ravel's piece, but expressed in a very different way. After a few Middle-Eastern notes, Harrison's piano opens the improvisations rapidly followed by Gilad's sax. Some commentators have felt the influence of Coltrane or Bird in this album, and maybe they are right, but what I hear is pure Atzmon, something qualitatively different from any of his brilliant predecessors. While possibly lighter than the previous track, this one is also an absolute jewel of sheer elegance and tone.
    The second part of the album begins with a slow piano intro soon joined by the sax, to a piece called "London to Gaza", an immensely sad composition, filled with pain and raw emotional power. Then, the piece evolves into an explosion of emotions with, again, a trance-like feel to it. Though "London to Gaza" is the fifth track on this album, I feel that it is its central piece, it's core and center of gravity. Filled with pain and range, it's definitely the most complex and emotion-filled track of the album. And yet again I have to point out the absolutely amazing performance by Frank Harrison, whose piano is both an ideal match and contrast to Gilad's sax. If you had to listen to just one piece by Gilad Atzmon, this might not be the easiest one, but it would definitely be one of the most heartfelt ones.
    "We lament" is a much more restrained and slow moving meditation, written in pastel musical colors. It softly intertwines the always present sadness of Gilad's compositions with regular moments of real peace and stillness. "The lament" feels like a deep breath taken following the harrowing experience of "London to Gaza". I don't know if Gilad deliberately intended it as a sequel, a conclusion, to "London to Gaza", but that is how I experienced it. It is also a transition piece, at the next one is very different.
    "The Back Seat of a Yellow Cab" is a much more whimsical piece, in particular when compared to the rest of the album. The musicians are all still brilliant, the recording excellent, but all in all, this one did not draw any emotion out of me, but maybe that's just me.
    "All the Way to Montenegro" completely transforms the mood of the album. The piece is exuberant, joyful and filled with genuinely Montenegrin notes. It reminds me of all the wonderful evenings spent with my Serbian friends, grilling chivapchichi in a forest and drinking red wine. The Mediterranean is home to many different cultures, yet beyond their individual uniqueness, they all share a "Mediterranean commonality" and Gilad's performance truly makes him sounds like a Gypsy musician at a Montenegrin wedding (I don't know if Gilad has spent any time in Serbia or Montenegro, but he sure sounds like he has). Here the pain of life is utterly defeated and "All the Way to Montenegro" is a joyful and typically Slavic celebration of life "in spite of it all".
    The album concludes with "We Laugh" - a concluding counterpart to the album's first piece, another cabaret like piece, and a suiting conclusion of the exuberance of "All the Way to Montenegro".
    Frankly, when it comes to Gilad's music, I am hopelessly biased: I love it all. Gilad is definitely one of the most original and creative jazz musicians out there, and every single one of his albums is a masterpiece. This is also true of this one. This said, Gilad's music is not immediately easy to listen to, and to fully appreciate it I would recommend listening to each track several times; the music is complex and yet very subtle and a superficial listening to it would probably makes you miss most of its beauty. Bottom line: get the album as soon as it becomes available where you live and listen to it with enough concentration and abandonment to really share into all the beauty of truth it contains.
    The Saker

    

    Sunday
    Oct172010

    Ramzy Baroud : The Tide Has Changed is a
 musical lesson in humanity

     

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    http://www.khaleejtimes.com

    If one tried to fit music compositions into an equivalent literary style, Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble’s latest release would come across as a most engaging political essay: persuasive, argumentative, rational, original, imaginative and always unfailingly accessible.

    But unlike the rigid politicking of politicians and increasingly Machiavellian style of today’s political essayists, the band’s latest work is also unapologetically humanistic.

    Those familiar with the writings of Gilad Atzmon—the famed ex-Israeli musician and brilliant saxophone player, now based in London – can only imagine that Gaza was the place that occupied his thoughts as he composed The Tide Has Changed.

    The title track, an 11-minute melody, transmits the host of emotions that engulfed many of us when Israel began mercilessly pounding the resilient and hostage Gaza Strip in late 2008.

    The Tide Has Changed by Gilad Atzmon

    First there were the simultaneous strikes which killed hundreds. Some of us woke up to watch the dreadful images of poor police cadets in Gaza reeling under the ceaseless bombardment in a heap of human flesh. Body parts of young men and their families scattered across burning buildings 
and pulverized concrete. Those still alive were hauling whatever remained of their bodies across the sea of the dead, mostly in their graduation uniforms.

    It was a moment of disbelief, of questioning much of what we’d previously held to be true. It came as a shock and awe to our collective consciousness, and was further bolstered by endless days of constant shelling and tragedy. And the tide began to change as if the moment of death, of release, was the very moment of liberation. Gaza’s thousands of victims may have produced the nudge for millions around the globe to begin to finally confront their inner fear, their subtle sense of shame for allowing a tragedy of that magnitude to continue for all these years. 

    As Gaza held strong proving once and for all that unspoken values – human spirit, the will of the people, the collective dignity of a nation – was stronger than all that military genius can possibly generate, millions went to the streets in a most disorganized, chaotic and yet genuine expression of human solidarity witnessed in many years.

    The tide changed, then, and continues to change. The frenzied and disorganised, yet real sentiments have become an unwavering and well-articulated commitment to justice. The shift cannot always be validated by numbers or demonstrated in charts, but is nonetheless felt widely. Israeli researchers refer to it as the global movement aimed at delegitimising their country.

    They are labouring to link it to anti-Semitism somehow, but to no avail. Palestinians and their friends vary in their own reading of what happened during and after those fateful days, but contend it was Israel’s murderous acts that incepted and cemented the process of its own de-legitimization. Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble articulate it in music - melancholic at the start, but upbeat and unwavering later on. 

    And So Have We, another track, starts with the soft cries of Gilad’s saxophone, accompanied by the sound of drumbeat, and haunting vocals is a sad procession. It invokes the sounds and feelings 
of the Freedom Flotilla, laden with people from around the world united by a mute sense of powerlessness, then emancipation.

    When the hundreds of activists set sail abroad the Mavi Marmara and the other ships, they freed themselves and the rest of us from the stifling weight of inaction in the face of injustice. It lifted for a moment the huge burden on our collective conscience. It showed civil society at its best, its most humane members sailing and braving the high seas to extend a lifeline to Palestine, to Gaza, which had been left undefended, hungry and alone—but never defeated.

    Much has been said about the Freedom Flotilla. Hundreds of television and radio shows ran discussions and debates about its significance. Thousands of articles were published, and many books will follow. Even YouTube was caught in the storm. But in the midst of articulation and counter-articulation, a sentiment so beautiful, so poetic was lost; no words can possibly describe the triumph of human dignity that day, no matter how lucid or earnest.

    It really takes a bit of imagination. We have been forced to believe that the world is now divided between civilizations that are willing to fight and kill to impose their collective will on the rest of us. That we had no other option but to join that clash of civilizations or to perish. That ‘our way of life’ – whomever we might be – is now being challenged and threatened. That conflict is hardly based on class analysis, gender, racial or any other classification, but is a clash between religion-inspired collectives.

    That was then. Now we have seen hundreds of people, of different religious beliefs, value systems, races and class affiliations leave their homes, families, livelihoods, and entire worlds behind, staring death in the face on their way to Gaza. 
They have confronted and defeated the old but persistent illusions. They have demonstrated that it isn’t what divides us that matters. What unifies us is much stronger, real, deserving, lasting and 
worthy of celebration.

    The Tide Has Changed is not meant to be a sad melody, but the sound of people marching. It is the sound of boats reaching the shore. It is the sound of people’s collective retort to racism, hatred, siege and war. It is a well-deserved moment of triumph, 
of victory.

    Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is a distinguished Arab American journalist and author, most recently, of My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story. For comments, write to opinion@khaleejtimes.com

    

    The wandering who- Gilad Atzmon

    GiladAtzmon on Google+