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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Gilad Atzmon & the Orient House Ensemble

The Whistle Blower

Review by Gary Hill

This disc is essentially fusion. Here at Music Street Journal, though, we usually put fusion under progressive rock. This has quite a range of sounds within that general heading. It runs the spectrum from mellower to more energized. There are bits of world music in this and a lot more. It’s quite a strong album, really.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Gaza Mon Amour

Ethnic music merges with jazz on this energized opening section of this number. It has quite a bit of klezmer sound built into it, really. It drops later to a mellow movement that makes me think of something Miles Davis might have done. It rises to screaming hot jazz eventually. Again, I’m reminded of Miles Davis’ music in a lot of ways. From there a dramatic piano driven motif takes control. After a time they shift it to bring a reprise of the opening segment to take it to its close.

Forever
Piano starts this, and the rhythm section joins after a very short time. Then it works to a full mellow (and slow) jazz treatment from that point. While this is less dynamic than the opener, it’s no less effective. It remains a mellow and slow cut, but still manages to showcase some great jazz melodies and instrumental work.
The Romantic Church
A slow and sultry groove is the basis for this. Yes, it does feel romantic. It’s very much an old school jazz torch song styled piece.
Let Us Prey
This is an extensive piece. It’s epic in length and scope. It starts with a mid-tempo movement. Then the bass takes over for a time before they bring it out into a killer jam that makes me think of Davis or maybe Coltrane in terms of its mood and explorations. We’re taken through a number of changes and variants as this piece evolves. Different instruments lead the way at different times. The one constant is that it’s always strong.
The Song
There is a real French café vibe to a lot of this. It has world music blended with the jazz. It’s a more constant piece, but it’s no less stunning or melodic.
To Be Free
Although this is another with more emphasis on melody and a consistent song structure at the start, it does get into some rather freeform jamming later in the track. It’s another effective piece on a disc that’s full of them.
For Moana
This is a slow and melodic piece. It’s a fairly consistent ballad with some intriguing instrumental passages.
The Whistle Blower
With some female vocals, this is an odd little playful tune. It has world music built into it. It’s a bit strange, but also rather fun.
 
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