Although inspired by the "Parker with Strings" tracks the music is certainly not derivative, but a true expansion of the concept. The string arrangements are superb and blend well with Gilad's horns. Of course the piano/keyboard of Frank Harrison is brilliant as are the bass and drums. 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?".
A fine album from an increasingly relevant sax player. Didn't realise until recently that he was also with The Blockheads - quite a catalogue. This is a fine album, though I suspect that he's better live. Some great arrangements, beautiful playing, but maybe lacking a little edge? Don't let this stop you from buying what is undoubtedly an eminently listenable album.
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!
Gilad is no Blockhead I can assure you of that, even though he did perform with them.
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!!
I have just recently purchased this album and I am very pleased with it. The first track 'Everything happens to me' is such a lovely arrangement for strings and piano with great playing by Gilad over the top, what a lovely song. the other tracks are also very good indeed. Buy it you won't regret it.