Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble: The Whistle Blower
Gilad Atzmon is one of the greatest sax players of our era - Robert Wyatt, in The Guardian, has called him the best musician in the world today. Atzmon and The Orient House Ensemble, renowned for their unique mix of jazz, folk and Arab music, are one of the hardest working bands on the circuit.
They are launching The Whistle Blower, their 8th album, with a thirty five date UK tour. The band has been touring for nearly 15 years, gaining a reputation as one of European jazz’s pre-eminent bands. Gilad has been called “a local jazz giant” (Guardian) “exhilarating” (Herald Sunday tribune), “astonishing” (Metro). You can listen to The Orient House Ensemble’s award-winning albums, but seeing the band live is an experience not to be missed.
Despite the fact that he is also an author and an in demand session player (selected by Pink Floyd to take the sax chair on The Endless River, their first album for 20 years, released in November 2014), Gilad keeps the jazz flame burning. With new drummer Chris Higginbottom providing a more traditional jazz feel in the sticks department, he explores his soprano technique to particularly fine effect, demonstrating just what a sensitive touch he has and how fine an improvisor - particularly on the extended solos of the Coltranesque Let Us Pray. Gilad says this is a mellow album, but there’s muscle too with the Orient House Ensemble driving the rhythm along in the way that only a long-running institution of this kind can do. The Whistle Blower is a great title for a horn player’s album and of course references Gilad’s political stance: surely it has nothing at all to do with the fact that For Moana is a wolf whistle in the direction of that very Italian politician Ms Pozzi...
Gilad Atzmon, saxes; Yaron Stavi, bass; Frank Harrison, keyboards; Chris Higginbottom, drums
* A hard-hitting but wide-ranging set from an admirably tight and robust band led by one of the most charismatic and focused reedsmen on the planet. Chris Parker, LondonJazz
* Best Musician living in the world today, Robert Wyatt, The Guardian
Gilad is the saxophonist on the new Pink Floyd album The Endless River
Listen to a preview clip below:
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