- Audio CD (2 Sept. 2014)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Enja / Tiptoe
- ASIN: B001RQQFN2
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,208 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
In Loving Memory Of America
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It was Gilad Atzmon's fascination with American jazz that turned him into a musician, but his disillusionment with US politics kept him in London. In Loving Memory Of America charts the Israeli saxophonist's quirky musical journey starting with his enlightenment on hearing, ''Charlie Parker with Strings''.
One of the finest alto players around, Gilad pays his respects to Bird in a collaboration between his Orient House Ensemble and the Sigamos String Quartet. It's striking how similar Gilad's sweet, open-throated sound is to Parker's, but as you'd expect from the fiery philosopher-turned-Blockhead, this is no tribute album.
Violinist Ros Stephen's lush arrangements for Everything Happens To Me and April In Paris stay true to ''Charlie Parker with Strings''. What Is This Thing Called Love hijacks Parker's riffs, though, updating them into danceable funk, while muttering strings haunt the tango interpretation of If I Should Lose You.
Alongside Bird's tunes there are reworked tracks from other OHE albums and brand new pieces, all continuing the 'with strings' theme. Tutu Tango is part burlesque fairground and part bar-room tango while musiK sets Frank Harrison's thoughtful, exploratory piano against a delicious weight of strings.
Call Me Stupid, Ungrateful, Vicious And Insatiable also appears on singer/songwriter Sarah Gillespie's debut, produced by Atzmon. On this raw ballad plaintive violin meets powerful Middle Eastern clarinet, while the album's tiny title track splices background chatter and rumbling beats. With its distant scat and sax lines it's a vision of New York living on in Gilad's head.
Recorded on the cusp of the transition from Bush to Obama, In Loving Memory of America tempers schmaltz with grit. This is not the wacky world of Artie Fishel or the magnum opus of Refuge. In Loving Memory is Gilad's epitaph to his American dream. --Kathryn Shackleton
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Top Customer Reviews
Apart from the last two tracks, less than five minutes and conveniently placed at the end of the CD, the music is sublime and will not offend anyone with any musical taste. These two tracks indicate the diverse nature of music found in Gilad's art and may prompt investigation of his other issues.
The other "originals" fit perfectly with the other "standards" and may cause the listener to check "who wrote that?".
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!
He is his own man, and he has his own style and way of doing things. I for one am glad that Gilad does his own thing and does not conform to the JAZZ WORLD.
He is without doubt an outstanding musician and performer, and I have seen him live several times and always look forward to those concerts. If you have never been to a performance by Gilad then shame on you!!
His expertise with the horn is second to non, and all of his albums take you on a journey, is this not what music is supposed to do, well it is and you have one of the best exponents in the business at it.
My review is based on all of his albums to date, they are outstanding, and have Gilad's humour mixed in as well, so what are you waiting for you BLOCKHEAD!!