Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble: The Whistle Blower
The saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist has launched his own label for the release of his 14th album with Orient House, one for each year of the band’s existence. The music is a characteristic mix of familiar strategies from the London-based Israeli, taking in the biting Middle Eastern sonority of Gaza Mon Amour, Coltrane-inspired intensity on Let Us Pray and To Be Free, graceful balladry on Forever and The Romantic Church, and throwaway pop on the title track.
The leader is in fine form on saxophones and clarinet, and throws in accordion and guitar for good measure, while the excellent Frank Harrison on piano and bassist Yaron Stavi do their usual fine job in this context.
Chris Higginbottom filled the drum chair on this session, and brings a more conventional jazz feel than his long-standing predecessor, Asaf Sirkis. KENNY MATHIESON