musiK reverberates with energy and beauty, capturing the essential wit, anger and philosophy of the truly individual Atzmon.
Over the past two albums Atzmon has explored his talent for drawing on both his native and adopted cultures to produce music that is both meaningful and wonderfully entertaining. Keeping one foot firmly in the jazz camp, Nostalgico, paid tribute to the hopes and passions of a young man torn between cultures. Then with Exile, Atzmon firmly positioned himself as one of the most vociferous and passionate musicians in Europe, taking jazz back to its core values as a tool of the unheard to make his cultural and political points.
This, his fourth album for Enja records, encapsulates social and philosophical ideas and brings together a wealth of musical styles, managing to achieve coherence despite this. With Atzmons wry sense of humour and beautiful melodic writing, its a celebration of music and humanity for their own sakes; of passion, of irony and of aesthetics. musiK is a highly evocative album, offering snapshots of music and ideas that take the listener on a geographic and emotional journey.
Atzmons inspiration for this album came in Argentina as the strong Latin American flavour of the opening track reveals. His partnership with the stunning young Argentinean singer Guillermo Rozenthuler (who appeared at WOMAD this July) produced the exquisite first track, Joven, Hermosa y Triste.
Robert Wyatt makes a very special guest appearance on Rearranging the Twentieth Century. This tune has been a key stone in Atzmons live performances over the past year or so, a haunting medley of popular twentieth century songs which fades away leaving questions hanging in the air.
Amongst an album of originals, Atzmon also includes the song Lili Marlene. A song whose sentiment transcended the differences between troops to epitomise their shared human desires, its inclusion adds ammunition to Atzmons case for the futility of war. An eerily beautiful clarinet solo opens into a subtly Arabic dance-like take on the song made famous by Marlene Dietrich.
'BEYOND MERE WORDS' -- Daily Telegraph Saturday October 9th 2004 Mark Hudson
'fired by Atzmon's campaigning urge to resist the globalisation of musical taste'. -- The Guardian John Fordham Friday October 8th
Atzmon continues to cunningly add both irony and fresh substance to his medley for the 20th Century. -- Jazzwise October 2004