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    Songs Of The Metropolis – Album Launch Tour

    Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

    Gilad's music facebook page

    Maverick, award-winning saxophonist Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble are back on the road with their latest album Songs Of The Metropolis. For the last 12 years the quartet have been touring all over the world, stunning audiences with their firebrand performances packed with drama, pathos, luscious harmonies and wit. Atzmon's latest compositions are a sweeping homage to our great cities, from Moscow to Buenos Aires and beyond. Each tune is at once reminiscent and hopeful; in a time of great uncertainty and turbulence Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble deliver melodies that provide an anchor to wherever it is that we call home.



    2013 Best Album - Jazz Journal Critics' Poll

    ‘A formidable improvisational array...a jazz giant steadily drawing himself up to his full height...’ The Guardian.

     ‘The best musician living in the world today’ Robert Wyatt

    "The Band has created perhaps their most enduring ensemble work yet" Andy Robson Jazzwise ****

    "Whether he’s blowing up a storm of notes or gently caressing a ballad, there’s a luminous vitality at the heart of Atzmon’s playing that’s irresistible to the ear" Record Collector ****

     "vibrant and beautiful" Bruce Lindsay All About Jazz

    A hard-hitting but wide-ranging set from an admirably tight and robust band led by one of the most charismatic and focused reedsmen on the planet. Chris Parker LondonJazz

    'Atzmon has produced his most mature, and in many ways his most diverse, work to date' Ian Mann Jazzmann *****

     'Tensions, surprises, shocks and ambiguities' John Fordham, The Guardian

    Atzmon and the excellent pianist Frank Harrison do to the old parsley-sage tune what John Coltrane and McCoy Tyner did to My Favourite Things Irish Time ****

    While it is raining (Leonard) Bernstein is waving to a taxi. Mignus who sits on the back seat opens the door for him, he invites Bernstein to come in – This is the musical image of this group.  Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

    Conjuring an atmosphere of evocative cinematic suggestion BBC Music Review

    Peon to a recent past, when urban spaces belonged to the people who lived in them, and cities had distinct emotional characters Financial Times ****

     Atzmon drafts a panorama of multi-layered sound collages and sound particles...   he is   glamorous. His tone, whether on clarinet or alto and soprano saxophone, dominates the action. It is always penetrating, expressive, and full with passion Badische Zeitung

    'Fearless bebop player steeped in the work of Coltrane and Parker' Tony Benjamin This Is Bristol

    "Brilliant cosmopolitan tunesmithing from Gilad Atzmon" Lucid Culture

    'Conceptualist, composer and soloist' Jazz Journal

    'A souvenir-collecting world traveller' Jack Massarik, The Evening Standard ****

    "If you love jazz you will love this release of a superlative quality. If you love the music of the world in its individual uniqueness and diversity, and not the pasteurized kitsch of “multiculturalism,” you will love this even more and you will resonate to Atzmon’s worldview as a philosopher of culture" Ariadna Theokopoulos


    "rhythmically-sophisticated 'Tel Aviv' demonstrates that Anmon's soprano sound is also one of the most satisfying since Bechet." `BBC Music Magazine April 2013 ****

    "Atzmon opts for an altogether more impressionistic approach" R2 Magazine ****

    "virtuoso, lyrical and straightahead all at once" Mike Butler, Dyverse music


    Gilad Atzmon - clarinet, sax, Yaron Stavi - bass, Eddie Hick - drums, Frank Harrison - piano.



    Songs of the Metropolis


    Tel Aviv

    Buenos Aires





    Somewhere in Italy



    Once upon a time and actually not that long ago, our cities conveyed some meanings, they were a unique reflection of ourselves: they were home to our thoughts, ideas and yearnings.

    When we were young, our cities belonged to us: their colours were our shades, their smells our scents; but more than anything else, their sounds were our songs. Each city had a melody, a resonance, a bell, an instrument, a voice.  

    This album is a pursuit of the sound of the city. It is an attempt to find that magic instant where melodic texture evokes familiar feelings, when a harmonic shift brings you home, when a crescendo conjures memories of a kiss, when a glissando flies the American to Paris.

    Now, our planet weeps. Beauty is perhaps the last true form of spiritual resistance. The song is there to counter detachment and alienation. Let us start with the song of the metropolis, the songs of our cities.

    Enjoy your listening

    Gilad Atzmon

    Paris, in the name of love

    Tel Aviv, the birth of the tragedy

    Buenos Aires, for the pathos 

    Vienna, for the charm of sweetness

    Manhattan, in loving memory of America

    Scarborough, as opposed to London

    Moscow, in honour of greatness

    Berlin, as a farewell to productivity

    Somewhere in Italy but not too far from home




    2013 Best Album - Journal Critics' Poll.

    Our Orient House Ensemble's  Songs Of The Metropolis is 2013 Best Album according to Jazz Journal Critics' Poll.

    So far  the New Year seems very happy



    Songs Of The Metropolis

    Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

    Gilad's music facebook page


    All About Jazz- Album Review

    Gilad Atzmon And The Orient House Ensemble: Songs Of The Metropolis (2013)

    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.

    Record Label: World Village
    Style: Modern Jazz


    The Guardian: Songs of the Metropolis – review
    (World Village)
    By John Fordham

    You might be fooled, by the playful waltz that opens this set's portrayal of Vienna, or by the solemnly marching chords introducing Moscow, into thinking that volatile reeds virtuoso Gilad Atzmon has grown tired of fighting battles and finally opted for the expected. But it's Atzmon, and he doesn't do expected – tensions, surprises, shocks and ambiguities are a lot more interesting. Concentrating on clarinet and soprano sax, and inviting equal participation from his three Orient House Ensemble partners, Atzmon draws the Paris romance toward more dangerous emotions in a tumult of rising glissandos against Eddie Hick's fierce drumming, and takes the initially vivacious dance of Tel Aviv into mysterious spaces more reminiscent of Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter's In a Silent Way. Buenos Aires expresses a pulsating heat in which motifs wander as if in a haze, Scarborough Fair arrives late in the song devoted to the town, before the track unexpectedly turns into a Coltrane-quartet modal storm for the excellent Frank Harrison's McCoy Tyner-inspired piano. The playing is generally stronger than the writing – but since it's such high-class playing, that hardly matters.


    Lucid Culture: More Brilliant Cosmopolitan Tunesmithing From Gilad Atzmon

    Israeli-British saxophonist/tunesmith/polymath Gilad Atzmon and his combo the Orient House Ensemble have an intriguing new album out, Songs of the Metropolis, a tribute to great cities around the world. Most of it is streaming at Atzmon’s album page. The band here is the same as on Atzmon’s excellent previous album: the bandleader on alto and soprano saxophones and accordion, along with Frank Harrison on piano, Yaron Stavi on bass and Eddie Hick on drums. As one would expect from an intellect as formidable as Atzmon, it’s no “look ma, I’m playing a tango now” type of genre-hopping; rather, it’s a series of impressions.

    Paris, interestingly enough, gets a a staggered latin beat with quivery, bracingly microtonal soprano sax – and then Atzmon switches to accordion and lets the tune relax. Tel Aviv seems to have a split personality, a bounding, energetic groove and also an uneasy undercurrent that shifts from a Zorn/Sexmob cantorial theme to an unexpectedly neat, polyrhythmic reggae b-section. Don’t laugh: reggae is big in Tel Aviv!

    Buenos Aires is heartbreakingly beautiful – this long ballad seems to be a requiem, moving slowly from a quiet, moody solo piano intro joined by bowed bass and Atzmon’s slowly diving alto lines. A tentatively steady sway underpins an absolutely morose piano solo followed by Atzmon’s understated, pleading anguish: it’s one of the most devastating songs released this year. A respite from the angst comes with Vienna, which rather predictably goes for old-world ambience, referencing Chopin and skirting the perimeter of schlock. Manhattan, at least through Atzmon’s eyes, is a funky place (and it is), albeit a pensive one, and he doesn’t neglect the latin flavor here. Scarborough gets a lingering, somewhat nostalgic soprano/piano intro, and then it’s obvious that this set not in Maine but in merry olde England, a launching pad for a long, sizzling, modally-fueled, Coltrane-esque Atzmon soprano solo and then a lively workout for the rest of the band.

    Moscow gets accordion over heavy drum accents, a Rachmaninoff allusion, and an absolutely gorgeous alto-driven tune with fluttery countermelodies that evokes Ellington at his Suite-era, third-stream peak. Once again, Atzmon backs away from the sturm und drang with the balmy but bracing Somewhere in Italy…and then brings it back with a rippling, refusenik, rhythmic vengeance. He ends with Berlin, a twisted little waltz that alternates between faux beerhall sarcasm and creepy noir cabaret. It’s out now from World Village Music.


    Mike Butler - A Great Concert Review

    Band on the Wall, Manchester, March 15, 2013 
    Good music is not enough: Gilad Atzmon has always favoured high concepts to help convey his message. This gets him into trouble when the high concepts are overtly political. Atzmon must be the only jazzman whose merchandise contains the last half dozen CDs and a book of polemic entitled The Wandering Who? "Stick to the music," has been the refrain of conservatives since the radical anti-Zionist arrived from Israel in 1994. Except that his world view is evident in every note of the music: variously etched with white-hot passion or withering scorn and brimming with controlled anger or raucous glee. 
    His latest CD, Songs of the Metropolis, contains pieces inspired by cities and locales. What could be more harmless? 
    The focus here is on his composing as much as his playing. 'Moscow' is an iron romance held together by rolling Borodin chords, shifting between severity and prettiness, and 'Berlin' invokes the shade of Kurt Weil with a spot of Weimar-style decadence. 'Tel Aviv' begins with an urgent clamour before the soprano digs into some deep blues, coloured by Arab modes, and rapidly gains in intensity. The power and bite of Atzmon full-on is breathtaking. A mighty handful, indeed. 
    If the records are powerful, they only hint at the unfettered force of Atzmon in the flesh.

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    The wandering who- Gilad Atzmon

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