Monday, November 30, 2015

CD Review: Great New Jazz And Instrumental Music From The U.K. And Australia

London-based jazz band, The Orient House Ensemble recently released their eighth studio album "The Whistle Blower," to celebrate their 15th anniversary. Lead by saxophonist Gilad Atzmon (Pink Floyd, The Blockheads), who takes his inspiration for the classic, nostalgic side of jazz from greats like Charlie Parker and John Coltrane. The new eight-song album shows Atzman and The Orient House Ensemble stretching their boundaries as drummer Chris Higginbottom gets things started with the up-tempo rhythm of "Gaza Mon Amour." They slow things down for the tender feel of "Forever," before hitting the high point of the album with the eleven-minute adventure of "Let Us Pray" as tempo changes and solos highlight the song. The Orient House Ensemble brings in some of the European sounds of Italy in "The Song" and the smooth jazz flow of "For Moana," before closing with the steady bass line of "The Whistle Blower" provided by Yaron Stavi. To find out more about Gilad Atzmon and The Orient House Ensemble, please visit

U.K. guitar duo Pete Oxley & Nicolas Meier recently collaborated on a new album entitled "Chasing Tales" through MGP Records. They combine their talents on a dozen exceptional of mind-relaxing, string-plucking instrumentals. Beginning with "The Followers," you can't help buy get lost in their sound as the duo play off each others strengths, knowing who should take the lead on the song. The wonderfully intricate delivery of "Tales" and the fun, finger-picking of "Chasing Kites" has you following along to every note. The laid-back tone of "Riversides" and the slightly funky "Breezin On" show the duo expanding upon their sound, before closing the album with the international sounds of "Uzun Ince Bir Yoldayim." To find out more about this latest release from Pete Oxley & Nicolas Meier, please visit

From Australia comes the latest release, "Teddy Bear's Picnic" from big jazz band for kids, Kinderjazz. The band was started back in 1997 by the husband and wife duo of Christobel and David Llewellyn as a way for kids to learn about the instruments in a jazz orchestra. After performing in schools and small clubs, in 2008 they were booked to perform 30 shows at the Sydney Opera House, which broke the band worldwide and got them to release this album, their first in seven-years. The new eleven-song release begins with the fun, up-tempo sounds of "Arabella" as the scat singing steals the show. They keep the energy going with "Teddy Bear's Picnic" and the dance-able "Razzmatazz." They slow down for every kid's nightmare of the "Homework Blues," but pick your spirits back up with "You Can't Stop The Music." The album closes with talking stories of the forgotten "Potato Salad" and the ten-minute out-of-this-world adventure of "Signals From Outer Space." To find out more about Kinderjazz and their new release "Teddy Bear's Picnic," please visit

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