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    splendid, ever changing album Andy Robson, Jazzwise **** 

    Riotous mix of oompah music-hall cavortings, slurred-pitch Middle Eastern rhapsodising, luxuriously sensuous clarinet love-songs, and stormy collective blasts reminiscent of the 1960s John Coltrane quartet John Fordham, The Guardian ****

    a blend of passion, intensity, superb musicianship and an underlying political commitment as Atzmon continues to campaign against all kinds of oppression..... a man who has done so much to enhance the cultural landscape of the UK in recent years The JazzMann ****

    ..serious messages and stunning music-making BBC Music Magazine

    Soulful  Jack Massarik, The Evening Standard ****

    Spirituality and time-bending alto-sax virtuosity Mike Hobart Financial Time ****

    His Music us a revelation M&G ****

    …this blistering, beautiful set…a fluid, hypnotic, optimistic blending of sounds .
    Andew Male, Mojo, October 2010.

    The vivacity, urgency and spontaneity of the best contemporary jazz spurs him always   The Guardian ****

    Atzmon agitation gets under your skin Spiegel

    Astonishing invention and virtuosity  Robert Shore, Metro

    Atzmon's spirit and soul inhabit every one of his compositions, and his playing is truly exceptional, staking a genuine claim to being one of the finest saxophonists in contemporary jazz....This is a richly varied recording from one of the most exciting and intriguing bands in jazz; a classic in the making Bruce Lindsay allaboutjazz.com

    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 201

     

    A musical lesson in humanity Ramzy Baroud, Counterpunch

    Intense and involved but at the same time highly entertaining  Alan Joyce This Is Nottingham

    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. Vineyardsaker, The Vineyard of the Saker

    Incredible and unprecedented  Rainlores World of Music

     

      The Tide Has Changed by Gilad Atzmon

    Amazon.co.uk

     

    Release Date: October 4, 2010

    Ten years ago I realised that beauty is the way forward. I saw that art is the true means of transformation. Spirit and energy are bricks and mortar. Shapes and colours are hammers and chisels. Rationality is a misleading concept, the melody is the truth,  humanism is a metaphor, consciousness is the devil and amnesia is freedom. The tide has changed and so have we, more than ever, and in spite of all the odds, we laugh.

    In the last decade I have managed to surround myself with some of the most incredible musicians around, people who push each other towards the edge of artistic creativity and beyond. I guess that the Orient House Ensemble’s motto is pretty obvious: relentlessly, we remind ourselves why we decided to make music in the first place.

     I thank the Gods for allowing us to proceed so far.

     Gilad Atzmon

     

    The Tide Has Changed

    Dry fear

    The tide has changed

    And so have we

    Bolero at sunrise 

    London to Gaza

    We lament

    In the back seat of a yellow cab

    All the way to Montenegro

    We laugh

     

    Gilad Atzmon - alto & soprano saxophone, clarinet, accordion and vocals

    Frank Harrison – piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, xylophone and vocals

    Yaron Stavi - double bass and vocals

    Eddie Hick - drums and vocals

    Guests:

    Tali Atzmon – vocals (tracks 1,2,3,8&9)

    Derek “The Draw” Hussey - Master of Ceremonies (track 1)

     

    

    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

    4 out of 5

    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.   
      

    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.
    

    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…”

    The thing that quickly becomes glaringly obvious is the Gilad Atzmon is a chameleon, many different elements in a glorious synergy.

    • Jazz Musician/Composer
    • Writer
    • Blogger
    • Producer
    • Stand-up Comic
    • Political Activist
    • Traveling Salesman
    • Creative Guru

    Ethically sound

    What distinguishes Gilad Atzmon from other musicians, aside from his prodigious talent and wicked sense of humour, is his outspoken political opinions. Most other musicians are much more tight lipped, they argue it’s all about the music, and in doing so reveal their blinkered self-censoring approach. The content of their music quite simple & safe. No politics, religion or controversy.

    Gilad does not restrict himself in any such manner, and here one sees his Blockhead punk roots. That is what makes him so thrilling and exciting. In a world where musicians are safe, traditional, conventional, he is provocative, surreal and challenging. He says what others are too afraid to say, for fear of upsetting their careers, standing and reputation.

    Most activists stand around with a megaphone shouting angrily about this or that, but not offering any solutions. But Gilad is not angry, quite the opposite. Atzmon is a Jazz activist. He is optimistic and offers solutions to the Israel conundrum. Democracy for Palestinians, Israel should give them the vote, it is the only way that Israel can ensure it’s survival. Israel must cease to be an apartheid regime and integrate with the Palestinians.

    He dances about with his various voodoo horns, in-between sarcastically mocking the madness of this world. Creating fantasies and fictions here and there, with much wry amusement.

    “At this time I was in Kabul, working for M16 looking for Mujahideen….” he sniggers…Then casually slipping into one of many surreal adverts promoting their albums. “You know we are even offering discount on the Cd’s for volume purchases” he quipped. “It is not that we are desperate, but there is an element of despair…..” he joked dryly. – Gilad Atzmon

    gilad

    Gilad demostrates Jazz rhythms

    Higher dimensions of Jazz

    Then back to exploring the higher dimensions of Jazz….the music always so unexpected and joyously random. Ethnic rhythms & eastern scales in a free jazz synthesis. Suddenly one of the band would pull a tune in a new unexpected way and rest would quickly adapt. I must single Eddie Hick out for ‘high’ praise, he dazzled with his drumming and nearly eclipsed Gilad several times, wonderful gob-smacking snare work, bewildering percussion and improvisation. It is wonderful to see people at the top of their game, and this is the best the OHE have achieved so far, amazing virtuosity, musicality and range of emotions. Pushing Jazz to the limits and beyond – Peak Experiences Allow Consciousness Expansion. PEACE. not to be missed.

    “There are no rules”- Gilad Atzmon

    

    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

    

    The wandering who- Gilad Atzmon

    GiladAtzmon on Google+