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In Loving Memory of America

Artist: Gilad Atzmon

Date of Release: 01/03/2009

Catalogue no: TIP8888502

Label: Enja

Price: £10

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Everything Happens to Me

2

 

If I Should Lose You

3

 

Musik

4

 

What is this Thing Called Love

5

 

Call me Stupid, Ungrateful, Vicious, Insatiable

6

 

Did I Know What Time it Was

7

 

In The Small Hours

8

 

Tutu Tango

9

 

April in Paris

10

 

In Loving Memory of America

11

 

Refuge

 

 

 

 

Gilad Atzmon’s acclaimed quartet and the Sigamos String Quartet on the road with their new project. This features interpretations of Charlie Parker’s legendary strings recording, as well as new works by Gilad. The combination of Atzmon’s unparalleled bebop virtuosity with stunning string arrangements promises to create a special performance.

 

Reviews

 

07/03/2009 The Times ****

"Atzmon is surely the hardest-gigging man in British jazz...the music here is subtle, ambiguous, often beautiful - and features a saxophonist playing deep from the heart."

 

03/03/2009 The Independent

"Maybe because he's such a wild card himself, saxophonist Atzmon plays Charlie Parker with a perfect mix of bluster and vulnerability."

 

02/03/2009 BBC Music Magazine

"One of the finest alto players around, Gilad pays his respects to Bird i...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."

 

01/03/2009 Andy Robson, Jazzwise ****

Like the best of albums, In Loving Memory Of America works on many levels. Ostensibly it’s a re-imagining of Charlie Parker’s iconic releases with strings. Some of the tracks are done reasonably straight: the opening ‘Everything Happens To Me’ welcomes (seduces?) us in, but swiftly ‘If I Should Lose You’ comes under assault from a scrape of strings, a broken piano chord, a military march… this is Parker (or rather an image of Parker) re-contextualised for our world of shock and awe.
But this is subtle shape shifting, not overt obliteration: only the brief, explosively neurotic title track breaks out of the chamber-like intimacies of this meditative, ambiguous, yearning music. Instead, Parker’s melodic grasp and the strength of the original ‘standards’ material proves more than hardy enough to withstand these reappraisals; indeed, the music thrives like a besieged people under assault.
And it’s not only Parker in the searchlight. Atzmon’s own material is revisited with help from collaborating arrangers Ros Stephen and John Turville. ‘musiK’ gets a Hermann-esque reworking that is eery, heartfelt.

As for Atzmon, those who have heard him only pained, protesting, ironic will find this melodic, disciplined performance a pleasant surprise: there’s real sweetness here, all the more so in contrast to the stripped down power of the Sigamos Quartet. A significant, passionate, gorgeous album which is not only beautiful in itself, but has that rare gift of making us listen afresh to music we once thought we knew, be it Parker, Porter or indeed Atzmon.

 

28/02/2009 Mike Hobart, Financial Times *****

Gilad Atzmon celebrates his love affair with America by buffering his alto sax with a string quartet, backed by his regular rhythm section. It is a lovely album, part homage to a famous recording session - Charlie Parker with Strings - and part rumination on lost innocence. Atzmon's fluid lyricism is in full flow on songbook classics and worldly originals. But as sweet romance morphs to modernist uncertainty, the bittersweet balance and rich emotional palette equally impress.

 

27/02/2009 John Fordham, The guardian ****

Gilad Atzmon, the expat Israeli saxophonist/clarinetist, combines thrilling jazz musicianship with a maverick political intelligence; anyone who knows him will look at this album's title and smell a rat. But it's not ironic; it alludes to Atzmon's nostalgia for the best of America's broad-horizon potential, what he calls "a memory of America I had cherished in my mind for many years". Atzmon found jazz through a Charlie Parker record when he was a 17-year-old in Jerusalem, and this set (with five standards and six originals) is inspired by the sumptuous harmonies and impassioned sax-playing of Parker's late-40s recordings with classical strings. Atzmon drifts in an uncannily Bird-like manner on a imploring Everything Happens to Me; brings a darker, old-Europe romanticism to his own song musIK; and mingles the string group's soft sweeps and his own crisp phrasing with a bright, funky groove on What Is This Thing Called Love. The title track (barely more than a minute long), is a street-collage of multilingual chatter with the horn interweaving over a thundering hip-hop pulse. The resourceful Atzmon tours the UK with this repertoire from next week.

 

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