on 19 September 2007
Saxophonist Gilad Atzmon is one of the treasures of the UK jazz scene, he tours the nations jazz clubs with remarkable energy, always providing a great live show and he is a promoters dream to book.
He has also clocked up an impressive catalogue of studio recordings and this latest, Refuge, is as one would expect - a very high quality album full of interest and reflection with a distinctive sound which will haunt and entertain with equal measure.
The opening tracks of Autumn in Baghdad and Spring in New York reflect the passion of the bandleader whose Middle Eastern heritage and despair at the course of history is central to his music and life
The band Orient House is as ever full of rich and unique support for the main man providing a rich and at times funky arabic influenced tapestry yet never straying too far from the jazz format.
Gilad Atzmon is a great musician, go and see him live, buy his albums and enjoy a unique talent.
on 2 October 2007
The writing, arrangements and performances are exemplary, each title easily stands on its own, but sequenced as is, produces an overwhelming effect which astounds the listener for the duration of the programme. The arrangements enable the solos to sound perfectly in keeping, but permit an intensity and spontaneity, reaching the heights to float above. At the same time the accompanying musicians always show a similar intense involvement, always playing in complete accord with the soloist.
All in all, I have found it difficult to find a "jazz" work to compare with "Refuge". I have never been overly fond of "A Love Supreme", but I am sure that a selection of Coltrane's quartet recordings of the time could be assembled to compete with "Refuge", but perhaps without the unity of purpose. Mingus' "Black Saint and the Sinner Lady" comes to mind, and dare I say Henri Texier's (V)ivre is in the listing but a fair way back......