Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House EnsembleCalifornia ClubIpswich, Suffolk UKAugust 18, 2013Once a month, the California Club, affectionately known as the Cali in Ipswich, Suffolk, is transformed into Ipswich Jazz Club. Seating around 150 people, it was once a Liberal club and is run entirely by friends and members as a non-profit venue for jazz fans. They put on a range of local and international artists and offer a welcome to regulars and newcomers.On August 18th, Gilad Atzmon played with his Orient House Ensemble whose members consisted of Frank Harrison on keyboards, Yaron ...read more
The metropolis is central to the life of a jazz musician. It's where the work is, where the conservatories are, where the music emerged and developed. Gilad Atzmon, the saxophonist and composer who's been described as the hardest working man in UK jazz, writes that Songs Of The Metropolis is A pursuit of the sound of the city." It's a pursuit that takes him to seven of the world's most famous cities, to a small English seaside town and to Somewhere In Italy." It proves that there is no single sound of the city, but the plethora of sounds Atzmon ...read more
Multi-instrumentalist Gilad Atzmon-he plays sax, flute and clarinet- was born in Israel. One night he was listening to the radio and he heard something that impressed him: it was Charlie Parker. The day after, he went to the shop to find the alto saxophonist's records. He was already seventeen years old but, with around fourteen hours practicing per day, it wasn't long before he turned professional. And when he moved to London his career took off, especially since creating his Orient House Ensemble in 2000.Atzmon's work can't be understood in general terms because it's a polyhedron: musician, composer, ...read more
The genre-conflating musical behemoth that is the Orient House Ensemble, led by multi-instrumentalist, composer, essayist and political commentator Gilad Atzmon, celebrates its 10th anniversary with the release of its seventh album, The Tide Has Changed. Funny, eerie, romantic and intriguing by turns, this is a work of tremendous warmth and strength. 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. All four of the musicians are at the top of their form. Drummer Eddie Hick, who ...read more
Gilad Atzmon Snape Maltings Concert HallSuffolk, EnglandAugust 26, 2009
Snape Concert Hall, set in beautiful Suffolk countryside, was built as a barley malting hall in the 1840s. In 1965 the hall was converted by composer Benjamin Britten into a 900-seat concert venue. Saxophonist Gilad Atzmon loves Snape Concert Hall--and, lest his love affair with the place wasn't clear from his playing, he went to the extra trouble of telling the audience on at least three occasions during the evening of his fondness for the venue, delivering a warm and entertaining performance of rare ...read more
This is an outstanding album. Reed man Gilad Atzmon has taken five standards, re-interpreting the versions recorded with strings by Charlie Parker, added six of his own compositions, and created an original, supremely enjoyable and affecting piece of work.
The album's title refers to an imagined land--the country that Atzmon envisaged when, as a 17 year-old in Israel, he first heard Charlie Parker playing April in Paris" and fell in love with jazz and America. According to his liner notes, this is not the America that Atzmon sees today, where jazz is no longer a revolutionary music, but it is ...read more
Something of a polymath amongst the general corpus of jazz musicians, Israeli-born reed player Gilad Atzmon, London-based since 1994, is not only a prolific performer and recording artist, but also a novelist, political essayist and campaigning anti-Zionist. Atzmon's books--his most recent, My One And Only Love (Saqi Books, 2004), is a comic satire about a Jewish trumpet player who becomes ensnared in an Israeli spying operation--have been enthusiastically received on the literary pages. His fiery and outspoken political activities are more controversial.
Onstage, Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble have a reputation for giving performances as in your ...read more
There are so many contradictions about protest albums. Whatever the subject, they usually exude as much joy as anger; as much implication as direction; and as much journey as arrival. That's more an aesthetic issue than a moral or intellectual one, but it can't help but broaden the experience beyond direct communication. In jazz, discovery is the locomotive, no matter what's on the train behind it.
Just as well. Gilad Atzmon's Exile holds true to its title, a bold statement on both the injustice of the Palestinian situation and the Israeli leader's own expatriate status. Atzmon very clearly enunciates his ...read more
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