Gilad Atzmon Orient House Ensemble: The Tide Has Changed | Jazz CD review

(World Village)

Saxophonist, composer, polemicist and wit Gilad Atzmon is currently celebrating 10 years with his eloquently entertaining world-jazz group, the Orient House Ensemble, and The Tide Has Changed seems to represent a mature yet still eager reflection on the story so far. It's a typically 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. The initially dolorous microtonal opening of the title track over Frank Harrison's strummed piano strings turns into an uptempo section of barked staccato sounds and swerving runs uncircled by Tali Atzmon's vocals, while Bolero at Sunrise – for Atzmon's keening soprano sax – is exactly what its title describes, and In the Back Seat of a Yellow Cab splices the versatile leader's accordion and bluesy alto sax with vocal clamours like a crowded party or the squawks of a channel-hopping radio. Atzmon's albums never quite catch the amiable ferocity of his live shows, but this one certainly expresses the Orient House motto: "Relentlessly, we remind ourselves why we decided to make music in the first place."

Contributor

John Fordham

The GuardianTramp

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