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Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble: The Whistle Blower

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble have been around for fifteen years and The Whistle Blower is their eighth album.

Atzmon was born in Israel and started music at a young age. His specialty is saxophone, flute and clarinet and let me tell you he is a fabulous player. On this album he plays alto and soprano saxophone, clarinet, accordion, guitar and vocals. His backing band are no slouches either and include Frank Harrison (piano, keyboards, vocals), Yaron Stavi (double and electric bass, vocals) and Chris Higginbottom (drums, vocals). Special guests Tali Atzmon and Antonio Feola add vocals.

This is quite a striking jazz album and Atzmon's saxophone is at the forefront of every track. His playing is both explosive and breathtakingly beautiful, sometimes within the same track. The first track "Gaza Mon Amour" is an intense beginning with complex stick work, Middle Eastern saxophone melodies and forceful piano. The song traverses different moods ranging from fiery playing to more subdued instrumentation but overall this is quite an intense ride. The following tracks are not nearly as blistering and that's alright as the quality is just as prevalent. The ballad "Forever" is a beautiful piece with lovely sax and piano as is the tender "The Romantic Church", another lovely ballad with soaring saxophone with a tone so pure it will be hard not to be impressed. The eleven minute "Let Us Pray" starts pretty mellow but this one has an added complexity, especially Higginbottom's subtle drum work and Atzmon's frenzied saxophone excursions as the song gains intensity and the band show their considerable chops. "The Song" is another slower piece this time featuring the accordion demonstrating just how fine a musician Atzmon is.

The Whistle Blower is a complex and elegant modern jazz album with beautiful melodies and moments that skirt upon the fringes of experimental jazz. Really quite a riveting listen.

A Fanfare Jazz recording.

Track Listing:
1. Gaza Mon Amour (7:38)
2. Forever (4:35)
3. The Romantic Church (6:12)
4. Let Us Pray (11:08)
5. The Song (3:26)
6. To Be Free (4:17)
7. For Moana (7:18)
8. The Whistle Blower (2: 47)

Added: September 25th 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1375
Language: english

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