Reedsman Gilad Atzmon is famend for his virtuoso, high-speed, post-bop assault, and likewise for his equally hyperactive persona. This idea album explores a extremely different resting floor, the place practically each music is a ballad, and even the often faster-paced tunes emit an aura of relative calm.
Atzmon’s idea is to dedicate his items to particular person cities, inevitably conjuring an environment of evocative cinematic suggestion. Though this Israeli wit has lengthy resided in London, that’s one of many apparent cities lacking from the tracklisting. As a substitute, Atzmon skirts from Berlin to Buenos Aires, and from Scarborough to Someplace in Italy.
A few of his followers would possibly discover this album frustratingly reflective, however Atzmon ought to be recommended for altering his tempo, and opening up his compositional house. It’s an imaginative side-step, and there are already many different Atzmon recordings that seize his totally accelerated soloing abilities.
Romantic introversion is at play on Paris, with a clarinet calm that would have handed by way of the lips of Acker Bilk. There’s a lounge bar easiness, however no blandness on present. Dappled piano and brushed snare and cymbals maximise the temper. All of this dwells inside a giant ballroom acoustic sound-space.
Tel Aviv has a loping funk really feel, with Atzmon wielding a flighty soprano saxophone. A doomy piano chord opens Buenos Aires, sombre and gradual as Atzmon exudes his breathy horn purr. The luminous gossamer of Vienna hangs over a carefully traipsing procession. We’re again in that ballroom once more…
Scarborough is a variation on Scarborough Truthful, likely impressed by that city’s jazz competition. Atzmon has pointedly chosen this as a substitute for London. A gradual pulse emerges, and this is among the album’s brisker tracks. It’s adopted by the exceedingly melancholic Moscow, one of many album’s most visible items. Berlin solely warrants two minutes, however it’s probably the most compressed spurt of all, a bierkeller sing-along, spiralling virtually uncontrolled. That is only a glimpse of the same old Atzmon lunatic ebullience.