The Guardian: Gilad Atzmon, On tour

Gilad Atzmon Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble.

Since he came to the UK in the 1990s, saxophonist Gilad Atzmon has displayed a rare knack for joining jazz improv surprises to lyricism and catchy grooves. An Atzmon set can rampage through rapturous love songs unceremoniously invaded by funk and bebop; bursts of free-jazz and dense Bitches Brew electronics; maybe veer into a lateral take on Wonderful World; or classical references upstaged by through-the-horn guffaws. He also runs an imaginative venture dedicated to Charlie Parker's sax-and-strings music of the late-1940s, tomorrow's Brighton gig being a reprise of that entertaining show. The others are for Atzmon's Orient House Ensemble, the world-jazz group now celebrating a decade of colliding American, central European and middle eastern music.

Corn Exchange, Brighton, Sun; Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, Wed; Montrose Folk Club, Links Hotel, Fri

John Fordham

Metro:The Tide Has Changed

By Robert Shore

Metro Friday 1st October 2010

As the MC announces over the cabaret atmospherics of Dry Fear, The Tide Has Changed is the 'tenth-anniversary celebration...of the one and only Orient House Ensemble'. It's true that no one mixes bebop with traditional Eastern European and Middle Eastern music quite like Israeli-born reed player Gilad Atzmon's outfit. Atzmon is a controversialist and an improviser of astonishing invention and virtuosity; just lsiten to his fleet-fingered sax break on the moody title track or his searching clarinet solo on All The Way to Montenegro, which climaxes in a gravity-defying ascent that echoes the glissando at the beginning of Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue. His collaborators are no slouches either: Bolero At Sunrise demonstrates how richly suggestive musical restraint can be.


FT -The Tide Has Changed (4 stars)


Gilad Atzmon & the Orient House Ensemble: The Tide Has Changed

By Mike Hobart

Published: October 2 2010 00:16

Gilad Atzmon & the Orient House Ensemble

The Tide Has Changed



(World Village)

4 star rating


The Israeli-born multi-instrumentalist marks a decade leading the Orient House Ensemble with this powerful, finished-article blend of Middle Eastern cadences and unfettered jazz. The agitational spirit is undimmed, but now there is a pensive undertow implying the tide hasn’t necessarily changed for the better.

Atzmon delivers spirituality and time-bending alto-sax virtuosity on the title track, the introduction is dark-hewed burlesque and there is a village dance finale. Highlights include a clarinet and wordless vocal lament and a soprano-sax excursion on Ravel’s Boléro

The Guardian: The Tide Has Changed (4 stars)

Saxophonist, composer, polemicist and wit Gilad Atzmon is currently celebrating 10 years with his eloquently entertaining world-jazz group, the Orient House Ensemble, and The Tide Has Changed seems to represent a mature yet still eager reflection on the story so far. It's a typically riotous mix of oompah music-hall cavortings, slurred-pitch Middle Eastern rhapsodising, luxuriously sensuous clarinet love-songs, and stormy collective blasts reminiscent of the 1960s John Coltrane quartet. The initially dolorous microtonal opening of the title track over Frank Harrison's strummed piano strings turns into an uptempo section of barked staccato sounds and swerving runs uncircled by Tali Atzmon's vocals, while Bolero at Sunrise – for Atzmon's keening soprano sax – is exactly what its title describes, and In the Back Seat of a Yellow Cab splices the versatile leader's accordion and bluesy alto sax with vocal clamours like a crowded party or the squawks of a channel-hopping radio. Atzmon's albums never quite catch the amiable ferocity of his live shows, but this one certainly expresses the Orient House motto: "Relentlessly, we remind ourselves why we decided to make music in the first place."

The tide has changed reviewed by Jonathon Blakeley

Zimoz News

Posted on | September 19, 2010 | 

The Orient House Ensemble

Gilad Atzmon &
The Orient House Ensemble

The tide has changed – ALBUM REVIEW

The album starts up cheekily enough with

Dry Fear

and the warm inviting voice of David Essex. The track is somewhat reminiscent of parts of the Bonzo Dog Band’s Gorilla Album; The atmosphere evoked is that of a Party or Carnival that is about to start, and so it is….

The tide has changed

is the second track and it kicks into a higher gear and accelerates at breakneck pace, twisting in sexy snakey melodic lines. Furiously fast scales and blasting climaxes peaking into angelic vocal plateaus. Sudden, breathtaking slides down into semi-silence and then the track morphs again & again. Almost psychedelic at times and therefore very hard to classify. Curiously funky.

Read More

Nottingham Post: Gilad Atzmon's Orient House Ensemble, Bonington Theatre

Alan Joyce


CELEBRATING its 10th year in existence, the Orient House Ensemble started its UK Anniversary Tour – "The Tide Has Changed" – right here in Nottingham last night. Saxophonist Atzmon explained to the near capacity audience that his group always started its tours in Nottingham "and will continue to do so for the next 30 decades. So make sure you're still around," he quipped.

The band's music, all specially written by Gilad for the tour and its accompanying CD, was enterprising and courageous, moulded around Gilad's ambitious, daring and at times outrageous themes. Included were snatches of be-bop, Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Klezmer – intense and involved but at the same time highly entertaining, all delivered with wit and humour.

Atzmon played alto and soprano saxes and clarinet with a flawless technique and endless flow of ideas. His rapport with pianist Frank Harrison was at times uncanny. Bolero At Sunrise (based on Ravel's classical piece), was a typical example. The sketches by piano and alto sax revealed fascinating improvisations. London To Gaza was dedicated to incidents in Gaza 18 months ago, illustrating Gilad's well-documented political views on the Palestinian situation in that part of the world. The soprano and Yaron Stavis' bowed double bass provided an eerie intro leading to huge chords from the bass behind Atzmon's wistful solo and drummer Eddie Hick's chattering percussion. There was humour in abundance in the quirky All The Way To Montenegro – a feature for Gilad's nimble clarinet. Another hilarious piece was We Laugh, which had Gilad's alto sounding like a latter day dance band musician. The Burning Bush was an Eastern European theme with Gilad soloing astonishingly and an exhibition of drumming pyrotechnics from the "new boy" in the band, the talented Eddie Hick. Later Gilad switched to some timeless be-bop after playing his alto without its mouthpiece! The be-bop theme continued with a breakneck version of Dizzy Gillespie's composition Be-Bop, with stunning performances from Atzmon and Harrison. Louis Armstrong's immortal What A Wonderful World was a wonderful encore to a wonderful evening's music. Here's to the next 10 years!


Review: The Tide Has Changed by Rainlore's World of Musi

Review: Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble - The Tide Has Changed

Album Cover - The Tide Has Changed
The Tide Has Changed
 Artist: Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble
 Album: The Tide Has Changed
 Date of Release: 2010/10/04
 Label: World Village/Harmonia Mundi
 Cat. No.: World Village 450015
 Country of Release: UK
 Genre/s: Jazz

 Sub-Genre/s: Contemporary, Bop, Bebop, Post-Bop, Swing, World Jazz
 Type: Studio
   Time: 55:27
   Date of Review: 2010/09/02
   Contact: email
   Web Site:
   Sample Track (The Tide Has Changed/London To Gaza/All The Way To Montenegro)
    Watch videos of Gilad Atzmon

Purchasing Info

The Tide Has Changed

Gilad Atzmon And The Orient House Ensemble are celebrating their tenth anniversary this year with the release of The Tide Has Changed, to be released on the prestigious World Village subsidiary label of Harmonia Mundi on 4th October.

It has been a momentous ten years for Atzmon and the OHE that saw them soaring to stellar heights as one of if not the busiest and certainly the foremost jazz ensemble of our time in a remarkably short time. Remarkably few personnel changes took place over those ten years, with original bassist Oli Hayhurst being replaced by current incumbent Yaron Stavi in 2002, and original drummer Asaf Sirkis handing over the traps seat to Eddie Hick in 2009. In an almost incredible and unprecedented short space of time during that first decade of the twenty-first century, Atzmon became its first jazz legend already, his gifts and prowess often rightly compared to and matching those of Charlie "Bird" Parker and John "Trane" Coltrane. A reputation and position that were set in stone with last year's release of In Loving Memory Of America - Gilad Atzmon with Strings, a loving and spectacular homage to Bird and an album of unparalleled beauty.

Now Atzmon wouldn't be Atzmon if he didn't come up with something special for a tenth anniversary album. And of course, with The Tide Has Changed, he, and the OHE, has. Atzmon constantly and continuously surprises - indeed, the greatest surprise would be if he didn't. Like all great geniuses he perpetually re-invents himself. The motto of the OHE really says it all - 'relentlessly, we remind ourselves why we decided to make music in the first place.'

The title of The Tide Has Changed derives from Atzmon's political statement of that name of about the time the album was being recorded, and his perception that international criticism of Israel's policies with regard to the Palestinian people is steadily increasing and that such criticism of Israel is now becoming increasingly "acceptable". After all, if Apartheid in South Africa was unacceptable, why should Israel's policies be any more so?

Yet again with The Tide Has Changed Atzmon shows himself to be as consistently brilliant a composer as he is a performer, with all nine tracks originals. Just over half of them also feature wordless vocals from the OHE and Tali Atzmon. The very tongue-in-cheek opener, Dry Fear, also features an MC, Derek "The Draw" Hussey, introducing the celebration over a beautifully crafted, witty waltz. Thus, the album starts as it means to finish - happy and exuberant.

The title track soon moves into serious bop territory with fiery solos from Atzmon's alto and Harrison's piano. It is a real show-stopper and satisfyingly beefy at just over eleven minutes, making it the longest track on The Tide Has Changed. And So Have We (changed, that is) recalls Middle Eastern melodies and has Atzmon switching seamlessly between alto and clarinet. The mood is nostalgic, yet also positive and forward-looking. Tali Atzmon's vocals are at their most sensuous here. A beautifully sensitive solo from bassist Stavi at the beginning of the second half takes over from Atzmon's brief but gorgeous clarinet. Hick here shows some fine rim work.

Atzmon's soprano reigns on the next track, Bolero At Sunrise. Based around Ravel's Bolero, even on an album as full of superlative and exceptional tracks as The Tide Has Changed, this stands out as exceptionally inventive and inspired. I always remember Atzmon playing Bolero (on clarinet, just by himself, lightyears away in a world of his own) during the sound check for one of the OHE's Pizza Express gigs about five or six years ago. First, note for note, and then briefly playing with it. While Bolero has long been one of my favourite pieces of music (and I strongly suspect, one of Atzmon's, too), that brief impromptu play of Atzmon's has haunted me ever since. It finally seems to have seen beautiful fruition in Bolero At Sunrise. Again, Middle Eastern melodies surface here, as do exceptionally inspired improvs.

London To Gaza sees Atzmon at his most Coltrane-esque, with soaring, sometimes squalling improvs veering into bebop. Ivories king Frank Harrison likewise displays his incomparable bop chops in a rousing solo. Again, Middle Eastern influences are also clearly discernible. Sadness and anguish, even a certain anger, eventually get resolved into something more hopeful and forward-looking. The mood turns elegantly more sombre with We Lament, a beautiful elegy, to change to relaxed and somewhat reflective at times with In The Back Seat Of A Yellow Cab. Balkans and Middle Eastern influences rule in All The Way To Montenegro, a mostly joyful, exuberant high octane piece featuring Atzmon's superb clarinet. The latter frequently displays klezmeresque/Turkish stylings, though often very effectively using the chalumeau and alto registers. The brief closer, We Laugh, continues the exuberant celebratory mood and klezmeresque/Turkish clarinet.

In spite of the odd bit of multi-tracking here and there, The Tide Has Changed is clearly Gilad Atzmon & The OHE's most live-sounding album yet, preserving a lot of the excitement and edge of their live performances. Atzmon's lyricism shines throughout and he is on top form as one would expect. Harrison's golden and equally unmatched ivories are, as ever, simply to die for. The bass of Stavi, ever sensitive as well as uncommonly lyrical, is finer than ever and just incomparable.

And what of the "new kid on the block", drummer Eddie Hick? Anybody would have a very tough job indeed trying to step into the giant footsteps of Asaf Sirkis, but Hick certainly has the right boot size. Even if he is no Sirkis yet (after all, even the likes of Sirkis, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams and Jack DeJohnette had to make a start sometime), Hick really is an exceptional talent and after all, was hand-picked by Atzmon when he attended one of the latter's seminars. He absolves himself more than credibly and honourably, and with confidence and assurance, on The Tide Has Changed and just fits in very well with the rest of the OHE. Better, perhaps, than most more experienced drummers. Still very young, Hick has a long career in front of him and in time, I'm sure, his creative contribution to the OHE can only increase.

Beauty, Atzmon and the OHE prove yet again with The Tide Has Changed, is indeed the way forward. Brilliant. Exciting. Enchanting. Sensational. Full of wit, humour, charm, aching beauty rooted in spirituality, and sheer magic. There simply aren't sufficient superlatives to describe this consistently brilliant and brilliantly consistent, devastatingly inventive and compelling album. Not only that, it is also an unprecedentedly joyful and joyous album, on the whole. It is patently obvious that Atzmon and the OHE not only enjoyed making this album, but still just enjoy making some of the most beautiful music in the world together, period. To call the OHE the tightest band on the scene would be an understatement - these guys aren't just empathic, they're as close to telepathic as you'll find after a decade together.

Equally evident is that these musicians push each other and push hard. Very hard. To paraphrase a certain Barbadian rum ad, "The OHE - the band that spurs each other on." (And the listener, too.) The results are, as in this album, never less than innovative, vibrant, edgy, spontaneous and thrilling.

You may find that your CD (or MP3) player will run red-hot doing overtime playing this album. It certainly hasn't stopped playing here yet and I'm sure won't do for a long while. Like any OHE album, The Tide Has Changed is bound to remain a firm favourite.

Likewise as with any Atzmon album, Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble's The Tide Has Changed is way beyond essential in any kind of contemporary jazz collection and an absolute must have for any true music lover. Don't miss out!

Happy tenth anniversary, Gilad Atzmon And The Orient House Ensemble. Here's to the next decade!

© 2010 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.

Guardian's F&M Playlist

Guardian's F&M Playlist

Our music team pick the songs or albums, old or new, they just can't turn off

Gilad Atzmon Orient House Ensemble The Tide Has Changed Israeli postbop saxophonist Atzmon's band celebrates its 10th anniversary of hard-nosed American jazz, edgy Kurt Weillian cabaret music, tango and Arabic microtonalisms with a typically multifaceted new album. The vivacity, urgency and spontaneity of the best contemporary jazz spurs him always. John Fordham