16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Hauntingly Painful Melodies,
This review is from: In Loving Memory Of America (Audio CD)
I accidentally stumbled across Gilad Atzmon's live performance of In Loving Memory when I went out for an evening of Jazz at the Wesley Church in Oxford. I had no idea who Atzmon was but had read a good review in the Guardian and thought I'd give it a go; afterall, standard, professionally delivered modern Jazz is always a treat.
Arriving just as Atzmon's string quartet was playing an interlude, when Atzmon lifted his Soprano sax, I was literally blown away. I had never heard anything like his composition or his playing before. And as a Jazz fan both live and recorded, of 30 years, I've heard some sounds. Atzmon is incomparable, he is an artist actually living every moment of his notes as he plays them, sculpting and conducting his compositions on stage as we listen. And his melodies are seductive, they seem almost familiar and safe until he lulls you into a melody that twists sad, then bitter and then tragic. The man has felt some pain in his life and he doesn't mind sharing. The refrain of musick had me close to tears and stayed in my ears for days after wards. His politics and his anger come through in his playing but are transformed by his technical virtuosity into an articulate sadness and disappointment with, well, with humanity. There is an uplift in moods, as if Charlie Parker had been born and raised in the Middle East; but ultimately it is the sadness of his compositions and his playing that reach the level of a profound aesthetic and emotionally devastating statement.
Abbey Lincoln once said that before therapy there was Jazz.
Gilad Atzmon proves her point.
Go get some therapy, we can all use it!