Jeffrey St. Clair on Gilad Atzmon's In Loving Memory of America

Gilad Atzmon: In Loving Memory of America (Enja / Germany)

For his latest recording, the acclaimed London-based saxman (and sometime CP contributor) Gilad Atzmon turns his attention to New York in the 1950s, probably the most innovative era of America music. With a judicious mix of standards and original compositions, Atzmon recreates the mise-en-scene of an after hours jazz club. The legend being served here is the titanic Charlie Parker, but Atzmon reimagines Bird on his own terms, with spiraling and plaintive sax and clarinet solos that swirl like helixes encoded with the sounds of Harlem over the refined shadings of the Sigamos String Quartet. This is noir jazz, the insidious music that breaks out while the empire sleeps.