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Songs of the Metropolis - Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble Audio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
Price: 12.42 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Songs of the Metropolis - Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble + The Tide Has Changed + The Wandering Who?: A Study of Jewish Identity Politics
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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Jan 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: World Village UK
  • ASIN: B00A7CP9DE
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 59,375 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Product Description

Maverick, award-winning saxophonist Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble are back with their new 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. Songs of the Metropolis celebrates Gilad & the Orient House Ensemble s lyrical musicality and demonstrates the strength and depth of their song writing. 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.

BBC Review

Reedsman Gilad Atzmon is renowned for his virtuoso, high-speed, post-bop attack, and also for his equally hyperactive personality. This concept album explores a highly alternative resting ground, where nearly every song is a ballad, and even the occasionally faster-paced tunes emit an aura of relative calm.

Atzmon’s concept is to dedicate his pieces to individual cities, inevitably conjuring an atmosphere of evocative cinematic suggestion. Although this Israeli wit has long resided in London, that’s one of the obvious cities missing from the tracklisting. Instead, Atzmon skirts from Berlin to Buenos Aires, and from Scarborough to Somewhere in Italy.

Some of his followers might find this album frustratingly reflective, but Atzmon should be commended for changing his pace, and opening up his compositional space. It’s an imaginative side-step, and there are already many other Atzmon recordings that capture his fully accelerated soloing skills.

Romantic introversion is at play on Paris, with a clarinet calm that could have passed through the lips of Acker Bilk. There’s a lounge bar easiness, but no blandness on show. Dappled piano and brushed snare and cymbals maximise the mood. All of this dwells within a big ballroom acoustic sound-space.

Tel Aviv has a loping funk feel, with Atzmon wielding a flighty soprano saxophone. A doomy piano chord opens Buenos Aires, sombre and slow as Atzmon exudes his breathy horn purr. The luminous gossamer of Vienna hangs over a delicately traipsing procession. We’re back in that ballroom again...

Scarborough is a variation on Scarborough Fair, doubtless inspired by that town’s jazz festival. Atzmon has pointedly chosen this as an alternative to London. A steady pulse emerges, and this is one of the album’s brisker tracks. It’s followed by the exceedingly melancholic Moscow, one of the album’s most visual pieces. Berlin only warrants two minutes, but it’s the most compressed spurt of all, a bierkeller sing-along, spiralling almost out of control. This is just a glimpse of the usual Atzmon lunatic ebullience.

--Martin Longley

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Jazz Fans I appeal to you all, if you have yet to travel the world according to Gilad Atzmon, I suggest you book your CD and sit back and be taken on a musical journey...

The Journey started off many years ago now, with his first album with the Orient House Ensemble, and many albums later he is still giving the listener music to fill your soul with joy, and sadness at the same time.

This album is full of the Classic Atzmon sounds that we as jazz fans have become to know and love. His use of Phrygian Modes I would have to say is the best controlled of any Sax Man on the Planet, and there are many to chose from. Gilad for me is up with the greats in the world of Jazz and I have seen a few. The likes of Courtney Pine at full flow, Tommy Smith at his majestic best, and I would also rate Gilad in the same sphere as Coltrane for the amount of passion you get in his playing.

For me Gilad is one of those unique of Jazz Men that can also put humour in his playing, and it does not sound out of place with the serious Jazz on this, or any of his previous albums.

The Atmzon for me is one of the best out there, and I would suggest that you get to see him LIVE, as he is not only a great musician, but his concerts are famous for being funny with serious moments. And the warmth of the man and his band shine through, and it has been a pleasure to see him several times and witness greatness.

Please take my advice, buy this CD and then get the others.

Then go and see him LIVE!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
how can you "require" a response when it is voluntary?

I loved the music because the arrangements were original and well chosen. They brought back memories of Paris, Buenos Aires, Vienna,, NYC, Moscow, and Berlin.
the instrumental performances i found professional and delightful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From strength to strength 18 Jun 2013
By A Clare
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble improve with every album and this is their best. Great tunes particularly Scarborough which 'live' is a real tour de force.There is not one bad tune on the whole album. Constantly touring so there is no excuse not to see them in concert.
What can I say. I love this album Five stars with no question.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply sublime! 16 Mar 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
As a relative latecomer to jazz, I have only begun to appreciate this form of music in recent years, and I had already acquired a three of Gilad Atzmon albums (including the rich musical collaboration with Robert Wyatt and Ros Stephen, For the Ghosts Within) before I ordered this one. Knowing some of his back catalogue, I anticipated that this would also be "rather good". Rather good is of course a complete understatement. The compositions on this album are all sublime with the culture essence of the various locations featured on the album exuding from every note and the musicianship throughout is first class. As others have already commented, there is no padding on this album. Every track is a gem.

I guess my personal favourite has to be Scarborough. That classic English folk tune which until now, I could not have imagined being improved upon any more than when it was recorded by Simon and Garfunkel. My opinion has now changed. Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble have created a stunning interpretation of the piece which again, as another reviewer has indicted, is even better live. It has early quiet moments evoking a dreamy English idyll but then builds up into a soaring tour de force of frenetic energy before finally returning to a state of serenity.

Moscow, as one might imagine is a serious and sombre composition, and Paris is full of romance and that certain je ne sais quoi. Berlin transports the listener to a lively bier-keller where the cabaret is in full swing and the mood....jovial. Tel Aviv and Buenos Aires...well they are hot as you might imagine with the South American capital offering more than a passing nod to Gershwin's Summertime and I am sure that George would have been flattered.
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