M&G: The Tide Has Changed von Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

Von Rainer Molz

9. Feb 2011, 13:14


Seine Musik ist wie eine Offenbarung. Als gefeierter Musiker der Jazzszene Großbritanniens, lässt er nun auch verstärkt Deutschland in den Genuss seiner Kunst kommen. Mit „The Tide Has Changed“ begibt sich Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble auf ein Bebop Terrain voller spannender Momente. Geprägt von nahöstlichen Klängen, schwebt die Musik in einem Dialog voller explosiver Augenblicke unaufhaltsam durch Raum und Zeit. Turbulent!

1963 wurde Gilad Atzmon in Jerusalem geboren. Im Jahre 2000 gründete der Holzblasinstrumentenmusiker die Formation The Orient House Ensemble. Nun gilt es in 2011 ein 10jähriges Jubiläum zu feiern. Zu diesem Anlass veröffentlicht das Quartett eine aufregende Produktion „The Tide Has Changed“. Eine ganz besonders ergreifende Mischung von Kultur und Tradition. Die knalligen Improvisationen versprühen Charme und leben vom schrägen Humor des Bandleaders. Im Dialog der Verspieltheiten – Bebop trifft auf nahöstliche Klänge.

Prägend dabei vor allen Dingen das raffinierte und eindringliche Spiel Gilad Atzmon. Der Multiinstrumentalist – er agiert an diversen Saxophonen, an Klarinette, Sol, Zurna und an Flöten – brennt vor Energie und verströmt unbändige Spannung.

Brillanz, Leidenschaft, Intensität und Wärme – das ist „The Tide Has Changed“. Zeitgenössischer Jazz in unterschiedlichen musikalischen Stilen zelebriert und verpackt. Empfehlenswert!

Line Up: Gilad Atzmon (Multiinstrumentalist), Frank Harrison (Piano, Xylophon), Yaron Stavi (Bass), Eddi Hick (Drums).

Ebenfalls vormerken: The 2011 Spring Tour: 06.03. Wien (A), 08.03. Redange (L), 09.03. Frankfurt, 11.03. Klosters (CH), 12.03. Chur (CH), 13.03. Freibrug, 14.03. Pforzheim, 15.03. Saarwellingen, 16.03. Zürich (CH), 17.03. Karlsruhe, 18.03. Köln, 19.03. Heilbronn. Weitere Informationen unter www.gilad.co.uk

 English translation

Gilad Atzmon: "The Tide Has Changed" (World Village)

His music is a revelation. As a celebrated musicians of the jazz scene in Britain, it can now also used increasingly in Germany to enjoy his art. With "The Tide Has Changed" goes to Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble on a terrain full of exciting moments Bebop. Influenced by Middle Eastern sounds of floats, the music in a dialogue of explosive moments inexorably through space and time. Turbulent!

1963 Gilad Atzmon was born in Jerusalem. In 2000 founded the woodwind musicians group The Orient House Ensemble. Now it is in 2011 a 10th anniversary celebration. At this event, the quartet is an exciting production of "The Tide Has Changed". A particularly poignant mix of culture and tradition. The bright improvisations exude charm and live off the quirky humor of the band leader. In the dialogue of playfulness - Bebop meets Middle Eastern sounds.

Influential here, above all, the refined and haunting play Gilad Atzmon. The multi-instrumentalist - he acts on various saxophones, clarinets, sol, zurna and flute - is burning with energy and exudes unbridled power.

Brilliance, passion, intensity and heat - this is "The Tide Has Changed". Contemporary Jazz celebrated in different musical styles and packaged. Recommended!

Line Up: Gilad Atzmon (multi-instrumentalist), Frank Harrison (piano, xylophone), Yaron Stavi (bass), Eddie Hicks (drums).

Also Mark your calendar: The 2011 Spring Tour: 06.03. Vienna (A), 08.03. Redange (L), 09.03. Frankfurt, 11.03. Klosters (CH), 12.03. Chur (CH), 13.03. Freibrug, 14.03. Pforzheim, 15.03. Saarwellingen, 16.03. Zurich (CH), 17.03. Karlsruhe, Germany, 18.03. Cologne, 19.03. Heilbronn. For more information www.gilad.co.uk

Spiegel: Gilad Atzmon- The Tide Has Changed (World Village)


Gilad Atzmon: "The Tide Has Changed" (World Village)

Seine Saxofon-Soli sind von Charlie-Parker-hafter Intensität und zeigen einmal mehr, was für ein Super-Jazzer der Musiker ist, den viele vor allem als Politaktivisten kennen. Atzmon nennt sein Quartett nach dem Jerusalemer Hauptquartier von Arafats P.L.O. The Orient House Ensemble und ergreift auch als Schriftsteller Partei für die Palästinenser. In seiner Musik verbindet der nach England emigrierte Israeli orientalische und westliche Klänge. Atzmons Agitation geht unter die Haut!

English translation

Gilad Atzmon: "The Tide Has Changed" (World Village)

His saxophone solos of Charlie Parker-like intensity and shows once again what a super jazz musician, whom many know primarily as a political activist. Atzmon calls his quartet to the Jerusalem headquarters of Arafat's PLO The Orient House Ensemble, and also as a writer takes sides with the Palestinians. His music combines the Israeli who emigrated to England Eastern and Western sounds. Atzmon agitation gets under your skin!



Chris Searle, Gilad to be free-The Morning Star (albums review)

...For The Ghosts Within (Domino WIGCD263) – Gilad Atzmon And The Orient House Ensemble (World Village 450015)
Tuesday 23 November 2010


Israeli sax master Gilad Atzmon's collaborations remain as fluid, complex and competent as ever

The Tide Has Changed is the sixth album of the Orient House Ensemble, led by the Israeli altoist Gilad Atzmon, formed a decade ago and named in honour of the headquarters of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem.

"Ten years ago I realised that beauty is the way forward", Atzmon writes in his sleeve notes. And listening to his solo work on the title song after the hokum of the introductory track, you recognise too how the sheer beauty of his sounds - a unique amalgam of Hebraic, Arabic and jazz traditions - has gained authority, sonic unity and huge emotional depth during those years.

The quartet has a new drummer - Eddie Hick - with the ever-inventive Frank Harrison on piano and the pulse of Yaron Stavi on bass. Hick's rattling snares open And So Have We with Atzmon's clarinet, an expression of the Atzmon dictum that "the melody is the truth".

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The Jazz Breakfast: CD review: Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

CD review: Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

The Tide Has Changed
(World Village 450015)

The Orient House Ensemble, named with Gilad Atzmon’s usual challenging flair, after the Palestinian people’s headquarters in Jerusalem, is ten years old. The only other original member of the band is pianist Frank Harrison, but the band’s music – a winningly compulsive mix of the Middle Eastern and jazz influences – has remained consistent from the start.

Consistent, but constantly developing and becoming more finely interwoven.

Listen to the 11-minute title track of this disc and those elements are there, the Middle Eastern ones especially in Atzmon’s saxophone articulation with its microtonal phrasing, but its just so cohesive now. And is there a saxophonist working in the UK today, or a band in fact, that is able quite to work up this kind of intensity?

But there is also such acute attention to the gorgeousness of the sounds. As Atzmon adds that growl, and launches into those lightning runs, followed by high, held screams at the top of his instrument, Harrison, bassist Yaron Stavi and drummer Eddie Hick churning beneath, so are added rich, held chords of Tali Atzmon’s voice. And then we are back down to a funky bass and drums for Harrison to start building up the tension all over again.

There are heaps more joyous moments like this on this album, including a great version of Ravel’s Bolero, or Bolero At Sunrise as he calls it, Atzmon bringing a fresh lyricism to this most familiar of melodies against a lovely, sinuous groove.

And So Have We shows Atzmon’s rich tone on soprano, while London To Gaza features the multi-layered pleasures on its melodic statement of Atzmon’s saxophone line shadowed by his own accordion with Stavi’s bowed bass underneath, before it morphs into a measured and Coltraneish slow-burner, Atzmon again stressing that Middle Eastern saxophone tone and articulation. It’s a saxophonic tour de force.

And of course, humour is never far away from the seriousness – from the MC-led opening to the oompah madness of We Laugh.

The band, surely one of the hardest working in jazz, is currently nearing the end of a three month tour and comes to the Live Box at The Drum in Birmingham on Sunday evening. It starts at 7.45pm, and you can find out more at www.the-drum.org.uk

At The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock, Shropshire (4 Stars)


Gilad Atzmon, “Gilad With Strings”, The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, 23/10/2010


Reviewed by: Ian Mann

Live Review

4 out of 5

Gilad Atzmon, “Gilad With Strings”, The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, 23/10/2010

This was a great way to herald in the new era at The Edge.  

Gilad Atzmon-Gilad With Strings

Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble with the Sigamos String Quartet

The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock, Shropshire, 23/10/2010

This concert was the first in the newly constructed building at the thriving Edge Arts Centre in Much Wenlock. First impressions of the new hall were highly favourable, particularly with regard to the acoustics. Atzmon and his fellow musicians sounded excellent throughout.

The London based Israeli musician Gilad Atzmon is celebrating the tenth anniversary of his regular working band the Orient House Ensemble and is currently in the middle of a huge nationwide tour in support of the quartet’s latest album “The Tide Has Changed”. The tour is sprinkled with dates featuring an expanded line up with the OHE joining forces with the members of the Sigamos String Quartet who had worked with Atzmon on his previous album “In Loving Memory Of America”, a project inspired by the “Bird With Strings” recordings of the great Charlie Parker. This evenings performance included material drawn both from the “with strings” project and from the OHE’s regular repertoire.

The evening began with the four members of the OHE taking to the stage to perform the title track of their new album. Joining Atzmon on saxophones and clarinet were original OHE member Frank Harrison on piano, long serving double bassist Yaron Stavi and the OHE’s latest recruit, drummer Eddie Hick. “The Tide Has Changed” proved to be a stunning opener, a classic example of the group’s unique blend of Middle Eastern musical motifs and jazz improvising, this time with the band’s wordless vocalising adding to an already heady mix. Atzmon and Harrison delivered dazzling solos on alto sax and piano respectively with powerful yet intelligent support coming from a highly flexible rhythm section. Hick has stepped admirably into the void left by the departure of former drummer Asaf Sirkis and the two performances I’ve seen him give with the OHE confirm his growing reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting young musicians.

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Jazzwise: Gilad Atzmon And The Orient House Ensemble - The Tide Has Changed ★★★★

Gilad Atzmon And The Orient House Ensemble - The Tide Has Changed ★★★★

Friday, 22 October 2010 12:32

Harmonia Mundi 450015 | Gilad Atzmon (ss, as, clt, acc, v), Frank Harrison (p, kys, xyl, v), Yaron Stavi (b, v), Eddie Hick (d, v) with Tali Atzmon (v) and Derek ‘The Draw’ Hussey (MC). Rec. 24-26 February 2010

Happy birthday to the Orient House for a decade on the jazz block: and what better way to celebrate than ith thi l d with this splendid, ever changing album. We kick off with Hussey’s circus bark (he’s the Blockheads vocals man) calling us to the party in a mix of Kurt Weill, Sgt Pepper and, um, David Essex. But being the OHE, of course, we walk through the door to the sound of scuffed piano strings and Atzmon’s lamenting ululations. The world’s realities march alongside the good times with this band. However, beauty always beats the bad guys, and a stirring vamp held down by a seismic bass figure soon has the spirits rising on the anthemic title track.

Compared to the likes of Exile, this OHE production uses fewer colours, fewer guests: this is very much a quartet album, deeply focused and with all frills edited out. This is a band that after a decade is as tight as the proverbial drum; and talking of which, the promising Hick slots in admirably, less spectacular than Sirkis, but that complements this disciplined, even inward-looking project.

Other stand-outs include a restrained take on Ravel’s ‘Bolero’. Much of the ‘exoticness’ is leeched out, allowing direct access to that seductive theme which gyres and gambols around us. If Atzmon flourished in Parker mode with In Loving Memory Of America, then Coltrane is the touchstone here, notably on the long meditation ‘London To Gaza’ which features a lyric solo from Harrison whom, need we say, grows leaner, more sparing yet more killing with every recording. We end in party mood, of course, with a Balkan knees up, though the Weill coda reminds us of tears behind the laughter. But for now, let’s raise a glass: to the next decade.

Andy Robson

Zimos News: Jazz activism



Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble 2010 tour

by Jonathon Blakeley

The Orient House Ensemble are currently touring the UK, promoting their amazing new album – ‘The tide has changed’. The following is a review of a performance, at St Ives Jazz Club, Cornwall, on Friday 15th of October 2010. The current OHE line up is

  1. Gilad Atzmon – Saxophones, Clarinets, Vocals
  2. Eddie Hick – Drums
  3. Frank Harrison – Piano
  4. Yaron Stavi – Double Bass, Vocals

Serpent charmer

The set started with a Gilad announcing that they were going to play their new album, ‘The tide has changed’, and commenced with the opening track ‘Dry fear’, warming up the crowd with his serpent charmer spell.

The next track required a change of instrument, and for this one Gilad chose his saxophone. He quickly realized that he had left his sax strap up in his hotel room and asked whether someone would retrieve his strap, as he could not play without it. This accident allowed him to improvise and free associate with words. With the strap recovered, a cheer went up from the crowd and the set kicked off with the title track – ‘the tide has changed’ – intense, frenzied and original.


“Obviously I like playing the music but it’s not all about the music, it is Palestine that I am also really interested in. In helping to free the Palestinian People that is very important too…”

The thing that quickly becomes glaringly obvious is the Gilad Atzmon is a chameleon, many different elements in a glorious synergy.

  • Jazz Musician/Composer
  • Writer
  • Blogger
  • Producer
  • Stand-up Comic
  • Political Activist
  • Traveling Salesman
  • Creative Guru

Ethically sound

What distinguishes Gilad Atzmon from other musicians, aside from his prodigious talent and wicked sense of humour, is his outspoken political opinions. Most other musicians are much more tight lipped, they argue it’s all about the music, and in doing so reveal their blinkered self-censoring approach. The content of their music quite simple & safe. No politics, religion or controversy.

Gilad does not restrict himself in any such manner, and here one sees his Blockhead punk roots. That is what makes him so thrilling and exciting. In a world where musicians are safe, traditional, conventional, he is provocative, surreal and challenging. He says what others are too afraid to say, for fear of upsetting their careers, standing and reputation.

Most activists stand around with a megaphone shouting angrily about this or that, but not offering any solutions. But Gilad is not angry, quite the opposite. Atzmon is a Jazz activist. He is optimistic and offers solutions to the Israel conundrum. Democracy for Palestinians, Israel should give them the vote, it is the only way that Israel can ensure it’s survival. Israel must cease to be an apartheid regime and integrate with the Palestinians.

He dances about with his various voodoo horns, in-between sarcastically mocking the madness of this world. Creating fantasies and fictions here and there, with much wry amusement.

“At this time I was in Kabul, working for M16 looking for Mujahideen….” he sniggers…Then casually slipping into one of many surreal adverts promoting their albums. “You know we are even offering discount on the Cd’s for volume purchases” he quipped. “It is not that we are desperate, but there is an element of despair…..” he joked dryly. – Gilad Atzmon


Gilad demostrates Jazz rhythms

Higher dimensions of Jazz

Then back to exploring the higher dimensions of Jazz….the music always so unexpected and joyously random. Ethnic rhythms & eastern scales in a free jazz synthesis. Suddenly one of the band would pull a tune in a new unexpected way and rest would quickly adapt. I must single Eddie Hick out for ‘high’ praise, he dazzled with his drumming and nearly eclipsed Gilad several times, wonderful gob-smacking snare work, bewildering percussion and improvisation. It is wonderful to see people at the top of their game, and this is the best the OHE have achieved so far, amazing virtuosity, musicality and range of emotions. Pushing Jazz to the limits and beyond – Peak Experiences Allow Consciousness Expansion. PEACE. not to be missed.

“There are no rules”- Gilad Atzmon

Vineyardsaker: Gilad Atzmon's latest masterpiece

"The Tide Has Changed" - Gilad Atzmon's latest masterpiece


"The Tide Has Changed" is the latest record by Gilad Atzmon and his Orient House Ensemble and its celebrates the 10th year of collaboration of this fantastic group of musicians.
The first track, a tongue-in-cheek introduction to the album, immediately sets the tone with this joyful and deliberately silly lead-in to the album. Called "Dry Fear" - this track is paradoxically anything but fearful. The second track, however, "The Tide has Changed", while not exactly fearful, is a tense and powerful mix of modal and free improvisations on a entrancing beat with a strong Middle-Eastern feel to it. I like to think of the basic beat as a "Palestinian hard rock" kind of trance, but the improvisations are very clearly of a uniquely jazz level of virtuosity. Gilad's solos are - as always - an awesome thing to behold, yet the OHE's pianist, Frank Harrison, does an amazing job in replying to Gilad's virtuosity. Both musicians gradually built up their solos into a final explosive climax.
The next track continues on the theme of the second one and is entitled "And So Have We". A slow and melancholic composition, it reminds me of some of the most poignant pieces of Astor Piazzolla; Gilad's wife, Tali, further deepens this sense of "saudade" with her beautiful voice. Next, the bass and the piano engage into a sad yet beautiful dialogue which, again, Tali's voice punctuates. The lament concludes with quiet sense of peace. This is a very deceptively simple and absolutely beautiful track, one of my favorites on this album.
"Bolero at Sunrise" marks a break in style and substance. Beginning with an almost traditional rendition of Ravel's famous "Bolero", this piece rapidly mutates into something very different, a meditation, or even maybe trance, about the fundamental emotions of Ravel's piece, but expressed in a very different way. After a few Middle-Eastern notes, Harrison's piano opens the improvisations rapidly followed by Gilad's sax. Some commentators have felt the influence of Coltrane or Bird in this album, and maybe they are right, but what I hear is pure Atzmon, something qualitatively different from any of his brilliant predecessors. While possibly lighter than the previous track, this one is also an absolute jewel of sheer elegance and tone.
The second part of the album begins with a slow piano intro soon joined by the sax, to a piece called "London to Gaza", an immensely sad composition, filled with pain and raw emotional power. Then, the piece evolves into an explosion of emotions with, again, a trance-like feel to it. Though "London to Gaza" is the fifth track on this album, I feel that it is its central piece, it's core and center of gravity. Filled with pain and range, it's definitely the most complex and emotion-filled track of the album. And yet again I have to point out the absolutely amazing performance by Frank Harrison, whose piano is both an ideal match and contrast to Gilad's sax. If you had to listen to just one piece by Gilad Atzmon, this might not be the easiest one, but it would definitely be one of the most heartfelt ones.
"We lament" is a much more restrained and slow moving meditation, written in pastel musical colors. It softly intertwines the always present sadness of Gilad's compositions with regular moments of real peace and stillness. "The lament" feels like a deep breath taken following the harrowing experience of "London to Gaza". I don't know if Gilad deliberately intended it as a sequel, a conclusion, to "London to Gaza", but that is how I experienced it. It is also a transition piece, at the next one is very different.
"The Back Seat of a Yellow Cab" is a much more whimsical piece, in particular when compared to the rest of the album. The musicians are all still brilliant, the recording excellent, but all in all, this one did not draw any emotion out of me, but maybe that's just me.
"All the Way to Montenegro" completely transforms the mood of the album. The piece is exuberant, joyful and filled with genuinely Montenegrin notes. It reminds me of all the wonderful evenings spent with my Serbian friends, grilling chivapchichi in a forest and drinking red wine. The Mediterranean is home to many different cultures, yet beyond their individual uniqueness, they all share a "Mediterranean commonality" and Gilad's performance truly makes him sounds like a Gypsy musician at a Montenegrin wedding (I don't know if Gilad has spent any time in Serbia or Montenegro, but he sure sounds like he has). Here the pain of life is utterly defeated and "All the Way to Montenegro" is a joyful and typically Slavic celebration of life "in spite of it all".
The album concludes with "We Laugh" - a concluding counterpart to the album's first piece, another cabaret like piece, and a suiting conclusion of the exuberance of "All the Way to Montenegro".
Frankly, when it comes to Gilad's music, I am hopelessly biased: I love it all. Gilad is definitely one of the most original and creative jazz musicians out there, and every single one of his albums is a masterpiece. This is also true of this one. This said, Gilad's music is not immediately easy to listen to, and to fully appreciate it I would recommend listening to each track several times; the music is complex and yet very subtle and a superficial listening to it would probably makes you miss most of its beauty. Bottom line: get the album as soon as it becomes available where you live and listen to it with enough concentration and abandonment to really share into all the beauty of truth it contains.
The Saker

Ramzy Baroud : The Tide Has Changed is a
 musical lesson in humanity


If one tried to fit music compositions into an equivalent literary style, Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble’s latest release would come across as a most engaging political essay: persuasive, argumentative, rational, original, imaginative and always unfailingly accessible.

But unlike the rigid politicking of politicians and increasingly Machiavellian style of today’s political essayists, the band’s latest work is also unapologetically humanistic.

Those familiar with the writings of Gilad Atzmon—the famed ex-Israeli musician and brilliant saxophone player, now based in London – can only imagine that Gaza was the place that occupied his thoughts as he composed The Tide Has Changed.

The title track, an 11-minute melody, transmits the host of emotions that engulfed many of us when Israel began mercilessly pounding the resilient and hostage Gaza Strip in late 2008.

The Tide Has Changed by Gilad Atzmon

First there were the simultaneous strikes which killed hundreds. Some of us woke up to watch the dreadful images of poor police cadets in Gaza reeling under the ceaseless bombardment in a heap of human flesh. Body parts of young men and their families scattered across burning buildings 
and pulverized concrete. Those still alive were hauling whatever remained of their bodies across the sea of the dead, mostly in their graduation uniforms.

It was a moment of disbelief, of questioning much of what we’d previously held to be true. It came as a shock and awe to our collective consciousness, and was further bolstered by endless days of constant shelling and tragedy. And the tide began to change as if the moment of death, of release, was the very moment of liberation. Gaza’s thousands of victims may have produced the nudge for millions around the globe to begin to finally confront their inner fear, their subtle sense of shame for allowing a tragedy of that magnitude to continue for all these years. 

As Gaza held strong proving once and for all that unspoken values – human spirit, the will of the people, the collective dignity of a nation – was stronger than all that military genius can possibly generate, millions went to the streets in a most disorganized, chaotic and yet genuine expression of human solidarity witnessed in many years.

The tide changed, then, and continues to change. The frenzied and disorganised, yet real sentiments have become an unwavering and well-articulated commitment to justice. The shift cannot always be validated by numbers or demonstrated in charts, but is nonetheless felt widely. Israeli researchers refer to it as the global movement aimed at delegitimising their country.

They are labouring to link it to anti-Semitism somehow, but to no avail. Palestinians and their friends vary in their own reading of what happened during and after those fateful days, but contend it was Israel’s murderous acts that incepted and cemented the process of its own de-legitimization. Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble articulate it in music - melancholic at the start, but upbeat and unwavering later on. 

And So Have We, another track, starts with the soft cries of Gilad’s saxophone, accompanied by the sound of drumbeat, and haunting vocals is a sad procession. It invokes the sounds and feelings 
of the Freedom Flotilla, laden with people from around the world united by a mute sense of powerlessness, then emancipation.

When the hundreds of activists set sail abroad the Mavi Marmara and the other ships, they freed themselves and the rest of us from the stifling weight of inaction in the face of injustice. It lifted for a moment the huge burden on our collective conscience. It showed civil society at its best, its most humane members sailing and braving the high seas to extend a lifeline to Palestine, to Gaza, which had been left undefended, hungry and alone—but never defeated.

Much has been said about the Freedom Flotilla. Hundreds of television and radio shows ran discussions and debates about its significance. Thousands of articles were published, and many books will follow. Even YouTube was caught in the storm. But in the midst of articulation and counter-articulation, a sentiment so beautiful, so poetic was lost; no words can possibly describe the triumph of human dignity that day, no matter how lucid or earnest.

It really takes a bit of imagination. We have been forced to believe that the world is now divided between civilizations that are willing to fight and kill to impose their collective will on the rest of us. That we had no other option but to join that clash of civilizations or to perish. That ‘our way of life’ – whomever we might be – is now being challenged and threatened. That conflict is hardly based on class analysis, gender, racial or any other classification, but is a clash between religion-inspired collectives.

That was then. Now we have seen hundreds of people, of different religious beliefs, value systems, races and class affiliations leave their homes, families, livelihoods, and entire worlds behind, staring death in the face on their way to Gaza. 
They have confronted and defeated the old but persistent illusions. They have demonstrated that it isn’t what divides us that matters. What unifies us is much stronger, real, deserving, lasting and 
worthy of celebration.

The Tide Has Changed is not meant to be a sad melody, but the sound of people marching. It is the sound of boats reaching the shore. It is the sound of people’s collective retort to racism, hatred, siege and war. It is a well-deserved moment of triumph, 
of victory.

Ramzy Baroud (www.ramzybaroud.net) is a distinguished Arab American journalist and author, most recently, of My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story. For comments, write to opinion@khaleejtimes.com



allaboutjazz.com: The Tide Has Changed

Published: October 17, 2010

The genre-conflating musical behemoth that is the Orient House Ensemble, led by multi-instrumentalist, composer, essayist and political commentator Gilad Atzmon, celebrates its 10th anniversary with the release of its seventh album, The Tide Has Changed. Funny, eerie, romantic and intriguing by turns, this is a work of tremendous warmth and strength. Atzmon's spirit and soul inhabit every one of his compositions, and his playing is truly exceptional, staking a genuine claim to being one of the finest saxophonists in contemporary jazz.

All four of the musicians are at the top of their form. Drummer Eddie Hick, who joined the Ensemble in 2009 at age just 22, is a fine replacement for founding-member Asaf Sirkis—gently building washes of percussion on "We Lament," and underpinning the melody with subtly swinging rhythms on "London to Gaza." Bassist Yaron Stavi—who, like Atzmon, is Israeli-born but UK-based—took over from original bassist Oli Hayhurst in 2003. He takes control of the music's core with fluid, lyrical and, at times, darkly brooding playing. Pianist Frank Harrison, an original Ensemble member, is uniformly excellent; his gentle chords on Maurice Ravel's "Bolero at Sunrise" are a delight.

The album opens with "Dry Fear"—a dark, disturbing, tune of unknown terrors? No. Instead, Derek "The Draw" Hussey—vocalist with The Blockheads, another of Atzmon's bands, and ex-minder to original Blockheads singer and writer Ian Dury—introduces the Ensemble over a jolly tune that wouldn't be out of place on the soundtrack to Cabaret (1972). Perhaps the title is a nod to the anxiety that grips many performers in the minutes before they take to the stage; perhaps it's a pun on drei, vier (three, four); perhaps, neither. But it's definitely fun—and unexpected.

The album gets under way in more "traditional" Orient House Ensemble style with "The Tide Has Changed." Harrison strums the piano strings as Atzmon builds up a tense, melancholy atmosphere on alto sax. Then, suddenly, Atzmon shifts the mood with an upbeat staccato riff to signal the entrance of Stavi and Hick. The drummer and bassist enthusiastically drive the music on until, once again, the mood darkens—thanks as much to their subtle rhythmic changes as to Atzmon's own shift in tone.

Tali Atzmon's wordless vocal on "And So Have We" gives the tune an air of unsettling beauty—rather like Krzysztof Komeda's soundtrack for Rosemary's Baby (1968)—her voice complementing Atzmon's sad but lovely clarinet and accordion. Elsewhere, most notably on "All the Way to Montenegro" and "We Laugh," the band members join Tali Atzmon to contribute their own enthusiastic vocal refrains.

"In the Back Seat of a Yellow Cab" is wonderfully evocative—an intriguingly complex tune. By turns it's languid, intense, sprightly and romantic, terms that sum up the whole of The Tide Has Changed. This is a richly varied recording from one of the most exciting and intriguing bands in jazz; a classic in the making.

Herald Scotland: The Tide has Changed (4 stars)

Gilad Atzmon’s Orient House Ensemble, Glasgow Art Club

11 Oct 2010

The Thursday jazz nights that are currently filling Glasgow Art Club’s baronial back room with music added a new slant – stand-up comedy – with the arrival of Gilad Atzmon.

And if the Israeli-born saxophonist’s improvisations walk on a knife-edge, then so, too, do his between-tunes effusions. His treatise on the inventor of something called “the ruffle” that introduced his singular take on Ravel’s Bolero might well have seen Atzmon carted off by men in white coats but for a gleam in his eye that reassured us that we were being strung along.

Even when he puts saxophone or clarinet to his lips, you’re never quite sure whether the outcome is going to be serious brilliance, mock sentimentality, a combination of the two, or slap-stick humour. But if it’s serious brilliance, look out. The title track from the album that has occasioned his wonderfully compact band’s current 40-date tour, The Tide Has Changed, began with Atzmon suggesting totally – and tonally – convincingly that the alto saxophone was a traditional Middle Eastern instrument. The soprano solo’s melancholic bowed bass and piano theme threatened to warp the instrument through the sheer heat it developed.

If Atzmon is the japester-cum-creatively intense front man, then his pianist, Frank Harrison is the fall guy with the calming influence and a slower-burning, at times rhapsodic, soloing style. Bassist Yaron Stavi and new drummer Eddie Hick are both the butts of jokes and supple, supportive rhythm providers. Breaking into madcap song is also in their job descriptions but it all adds up to high grade musical entertainment.

Star rating: ****

Evening Standard CD of The Week (4 stars)



Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble
The Tide Has Changed
(World Village)

After 10 years in Britain, Gilad Atzmon is mellowing. The dissident Israeli saxman and ex-soldier who named his group after Palestine's Jerusalem HQ conveys more harmony than protest here. Soulful soprano-sax rules. On London to Gaza, new drummer Eddie Hick spurs Frank Harrison's piano to Keith Jarrett-like heights and Atzmon to clarinet and accordion, although his mission statement — “the melody is the truth, humanism is a metaphor, consciousness is the devil and amnesia is freedom. The tide has changed and so have we” — defies morning-after analysis.

BBC Review: The Tide Has Changed

Like Charlie Parker playing Arabic funk in a Weimar cabaret, egged on by The Blockheads.
Kathryn Shackleton 2010-10-06

Celebrating ten years of silliness, serious messages and stunning music-making, sax man Gilad Atzmon and The Orient House Ensemble present their seventh album, The Tide Has Changed.

Gilad’s Blockhead colleague Derek Hussey introduces the band against raucous cabaret antics in Dry Fear, which leads into a moody and mesmerising title-track. The image of a shimmering desert rises out of strummed piano strings and Gilad’s altissimo sax notes resolve into fast bebop lines, with his wife Tali’s airy vocals opening up a new astral sound for the band.

Individual voices have always been at the heart of the OHE and pianist Frank Harrison’s quiet introspection continues to hold its own here against Gilad’s boisterous bluster. Frank plays his raindrop-piano lines against the wails from Gilad’s sax and creates something sublime. In London to Gaza the piano is a fragile beauty that gathers so much momentum that Gilad has to play as if his life depends on it.

Young Lions drummer Eddie Hick has a tough challenge to replace master percussionist Asaf Sirkis on this album, but measures up well, playing with power and sensitivity. His military rolls are poignantly matched against Gilad’s woody clarinet and Yaron Stavi’s sweet-sounding bass on And So Have We.

Orchestrating all of this, Gilad continues to nurture the memory of Bird in one breath and be cheekily disruptive in the next. All the Way to Montenegro features the distorted radio sounds used in previous albums, but this time they’re more amusing than disquieting.

The Tide Has Changed sounds like Charlie Parker playing Arabic funk in a Weimar cabaret, egged on by The Blockheads. Roll on the next ten years.

The Jazzmann: The Tide Has Changed

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Reviewed by: Ian Mann

Album Review

4 out of 5

The Tide Has Changed

“The Tide Has Changed” is as good as anything the OHE have produced in their ten year history.

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble

“The Tide Has Changed”

(World Village/Harmonia Mundi)

For a decade or more the Israeli born multi-instrumentalist Gilad Atzmon has been a larger than life (in every sense) figure on the UK music scene. Primarily a saxophonist he is most commonly pigeon holed as a member of the jazz community but Atzmon’s interests take in several forms of so called “world music” plus the sphere of rock through his involvement with The Blockheads. On top of all this there is Atzmon’s work as an author, polemicist and political activist. He is one of the hardest working musicians in the country, playing hundreds of gigs a year and involving himself in playing, writing and production activities for other artists, among them Robert Wyatt, Adriano Adewale and Sarah Gillespie, in addition to his own prolific output. 


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Gilad Atzmon Orient House Ensemble - review (4 stars)

Gilad Atzmon's virtuosity, eclecticism, showmanship and ironically delivered politics are currently devoted to the 10th anniversary of his Orient House Ensemble: there's a 40-date tour and a new album. A shrewd pacer of live shows, Atzmon steered tonight's performance from ambiguous, unsettling microtonal and geographical drifts between the west and the Middle East, toward an optimistic, conventionally tempered finale on Wonderful World, pulled off without a hint of cheesiness.

Atzmon displayed his quavering, pitch-warping sound on the opening of the album's title track, The Tide Has Changed. But he soon cranked up the theme's staccato hook, then sprinted into flying double-time bop. Most of the other improv diversions came from pianist Frank Harrison – who, like his boss, favours deceptively oblique buildups to what become emphatic sermons – though bassist Yaron Stavi and new drummer Eddie Hick were the ensemble's steadily pulsing and sometimes roaring engine.

Atzmon played his mischievously sentimental soprano account of Ravel's Bolero before once again twisting the pitching to give it a pensive, discomfiting feel. London to Gaza was a melancholy ballad over bowed bass that became a flat-out group wail. A theme reminiscent of It Ain't Necessarily So turned into Roll Out the Barrel, and then into Mack the Knife, before a chattering Indo-bop vocal improvisation threw Salt Peanuts in for good measure. At the close, the leader turned to pure-toned baroque clarinet, veering into an east European folk-dance feel, and for an encore paid tribute "to our favourite Palestinian singer – Louis Armstrong". He announced that his heartfelt account of Armstrong's most famous hit proves to him "that despite Bush, and Blair and all those people, we believe it can still be a wonderful world".

Rainlor Music:Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble Live At Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club


Gig Review:

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble Live At Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club


Gilad Atzmon - soprano & alto sax, clarinet

Frank Harrison - piano

Yaron Stavi - double bass

Eddie Hick - drums

Date of Review: 2010/10/03

Even before the end of the sold-out First House, a substantial queue was already forming for the Second House outside Ronnie Scott's. Soon after 10pm, the First House crowd started emerging, many clutching OHE CDs, a good mix of young and old, all evidently having had a highly enjoyable evening. Some enthused in glowing terms about the performance to friends waiting in the queue. But such scenes have become a commonplace at gigs featuring the incredible Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble.

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The Independent-The Tide Has Changed (World Village)

Reviewed by Phil Johnson

Sunday, 3 October 2010


With an artist as fecund as Atzmon you learn that some you win, some you lose.

Following the excellent In Loving Memory of America (and preceding a new collaboration with Robert Wyatt), this celebration of his band's 10th birthday returns to familiar Middle Eastern modes and lugubrious sax solos. It also rather uncomfortably mixes the genuinely sublime (sad ballads such as "And So Have We", "We Lament") with the ridiculous, most notably in the Shuttleworth-meets-Brecht vibe of the opener and closer.