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Reviews Written by
Threecross32 "mikekidd3"

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Cycling Back to Happiness: Adventure on the North Sea Cycle Route
Cycling Back to Happiness: Adventure on the North Sea Cycle Route
by Bernie Friend
Edition: Paperback

1.0 out of 5 stars The least inspiring travelogue I have ever read., 1 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It ought to be hard not to be inspired by a story about someone overcoming mental illness and bereavement by setting out on a long-distance, unaccompanied bicycle tour. That the author has managed to create such a tedious account of his travels is, therefore, an achievement eclipsing his two-wheeled exploits. I should have been able to empathise with this guy, but his crass humour, xenophobia and lads'-mag sexism stifled any feelings of affinity. The author leaves the reader in little doubt about how much of an ordeal he found most of the tour - I can only assume he wanted readers to share the pain, as a laboured, affected and ungrammatical writing style delivers an arduous read. The least inspiring travelogue I have ever read.


Wind - Ibrahim Maalouf
Wind - Ibrahim Maalouf
Price: 15.86

5.0 out of 5 stars In a word, fabulous..., 17 July 2013
This review is from: Wind - Ibrahim Maalouf (Audio CD)
...although stunning, beautiful and emotive are equally appropriate adjectives. I was lucky enough to catch the band at Rotterdam's North Sea Jazz festival, playing mainly music from this album, and was blown away - one of the festival's highlights. In the couple of days since returning I must've played this album more than a dozen times. Though a studio album, it really captures the feel of the band's live performance. This is a mostly laid-back, moody album of songs that hang together exceptionally well, full of colour, sublime melodies and delicate harmonies. Maalouf's gorgeous quarter-tone trumpet sound permeates the whole piece, but the rest of the band also sound superb and the interplay between musicians is wonderful. Perfect for late-night listening.


Exile
Exile
Price: 15.34

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expanded Orient House Ensemble pushes the boundaries further, 18 April 2003
This review is from: Exile (Audio CD)
Once again Gilad Atzmon has produced a remarkable album that shades the boundaries between jazz and world music. The core Ensemble is joined by guests including, most notably, Palestinian singer Reem Kelani, whose astonishingly powerful and evocative vocals dominate the first two tracks.
Atzmon puts his talents as composer and arranger to masterful use, drawing inspiration from middle-eastern melodies and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to deliver an album charged with an emotive intensity that moves through suggestions of sorrow and joy, anger and peace. As always Atzmon's own performances on clarinet, alto and soprano saxes are of virtuoso standard with occasional echoes of Coltrane amongst the eastern inflections. Frank Harrison provides swirling soundscapes on piano and the drum and bass paring of Asaf Sirkis and Yaron Stavi delivers a sensitive, intuitive, yet driving rhythmic backdrop.
It's a tribute to Atzmon's skills as band leader that the many guests (all, like most of the band, exiles either by choice or compulsion) contribute to the overall effect without being intrusive. If you enjoyed the previous Orient House recordings or are looking for something exploring new directions in jazz, look no further than this truly memorable album. Brilliant, buy it now!


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