5

Gilad Atzmon And The Orient House Ensemble: Songs Of The Metropolis

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Gilad Atzmon And The Orient House Ensemble: Songs Of The Metropolis 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 discovers are vibrant and beautiful.

The Orient House Ensemble formed in 2000: this lineup has been in existence since 2009, when drummer Eddie Hick replaced Asaf Sirkis. Atzmon has previously looked to the cities of the world for inspiration—Baghdad, London and New York have all found their way into his song titles—but never before have they been so central to one of his albums. Each tune reflects a particular quality of the place, as envisaged by the composer and described briefly in his sleeve notes.

"Paris" is romantic, Frank Harrison's crystalline piano motif and Atzmon's accordion creating images of lovers at pavement cafés. "Tel Aviv" is full of energy and tension. "Manhattan"—notably, not New York as a whole—is funky, constantly on the move, Yaron Stavi's bass groove and Hick's percussion underpinning Atmon's flowing soprano sax. "Scarborough" namechecks the seaside town known for its jazz festival and for the English folk song "Scarborough Fair" which forms the tune's central musical theme and the starting point for Atzmon's emotive soprano sax solo.

Atzmon describes "Buenos Aires" as being "for the pathos" and that's certainly the overwhelming sensation the tune produces. Stavi's arco bass establishes the downbeat mood which Atzmon and Harrison develop with real passion: it's beautiful though not always comfortable listening.

The musical journey ends in "Berlin." It's the lightest, most upbeat, tune: a waltz-time bierkeller number with a cheery vocal chorus from the band, Harrison's glockenspiel and Atzmon's accordion all adding to the general gaiety.

Songs Of The Metropolis is fiery, reflective, beautiful and funny. It re-affirms Atzmon's place as a major musician and the Orient House Ensemble's stature as one of the scene's most enduring and exciting bands.


Track Listing: Paris; Tel Aviv; Buenos Aires; Vienna; Manhattan; Scarborough; Moscow; Somewhere In Italy; Berlin.

Personnel: Gilad Atzmon: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet, accordion, vocals; Frank Harrison: piano, Fender Rhodes, harmonium, synthesizer, glockenspiel, vocals; Yaron Stavi: double bass, vocals; Eddie Hick: drums, vocals.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: World Village | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Purple Patio" CD/LP/Track Review Purple Patio
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 27, 2016
Read "All My Treasures" CD/LP/Track Review All My Treasures
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 20, 2016
Read "Southern Avenue" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Avenue
by James Nadal
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Heartaches By The Number" CD/LP/Track Review Heartaches By The Number
by James Nadal
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "Say So" CD/LP/Track Review Say So
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 14, 2016
Read "Solo" CD/LP/Track Review Solo
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!