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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Monday, May 29, 2017

CD Review: Talinka (Fanfare FJ1701)

Gilad Atzmon (bass clarinet, sorprano sax, accordian and classical guitar); Tali Atzmon (vocal); Jenny Bliss Bennett (viola da gamba); Yaron Stavi (bass) + Frank Harrison (piano); Enzo Zirilli (perc).
(Review by Peter Jones)
Although far less well-known than her multi-instrumentalist husband Gilad, Tali Atzmon deserves better recognition for the quality of her writing and singing on this debut album of the group that includes both of them, along with Jenny Bliss Bennett on the baroque instrument the viola da gamba, and Yaron Stavi on double bass. Not included in the live line-up but heard occasionally on the album are pianist Frank Harrison and percussionist Enzo Zirilli.
Musically, Talinka follow a similarly winding path to the one trodden by Gilad over the years; it’s the sound of people around the world who have had a hard time of it - keening, remorseful music, but full of beauty. On the sweet, gentle title track, Tali sings wordlessly in the style of the Brazilian Minas Gerais region. More typical perhaps is Tali’s composition Losing Vision, a song about refugees, on which she is backed only by bass clarinet, bowed viola da gamba and bass. Her other two tunes – When You’re Gone and Every Now And Then – are among the strongest on the album. 

The jazz standards are not neglected: that icon of passive suffering, Billie Holiday, is represented by Don’t Explain, whilst a similar mood is evoked by Gene de Paul’s You Don’t Know What Love Is. Invitation, with its sinuous, hard-to-sing melody, sounds Brazilian but is really of Polish origin, like its composer. Here it’s rendered as a tango (so now we’re in Argentina), with middle-eastern soprano sax thrown in. We hear the tango again on Gilad’s composition Four 2 Tango, with another beautiful, wordless melody, plus some rather alarming vocal improvisation.

It all sounds like a recipe for musical chaos, especially with no drummer, so why does it work? The answer, I think, is that the band doesn’t care about musical, historical or international boundaries. They play what sounds good.
Peter Jones
The tour continues intermittently over the next few weeks, with gigs at Oswestry (3 June), Felixstowe (4 June), Posk, London (24 June) and Cheadle Hulme (20 July).

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