Album: Gilad Atzmon, In Loving Memory of America, (Enja)

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The Independent Culture

Maybe because he's such a wild card himself, saxophonist Atzmon plays Charlie Parker with a perfect mix of bluster and vulnerability.

This excellent recording, which matches Atzmon's quartet with the Sigamos String Quartet, adds six complementary originals to five Verve standards to form a very satisfying suite. The string arrangements by Ros Stephen and Jonathan Taylor recall Last Tango in Paris as much as bebop, and there's a dark, ominous mood that's entirely appropriate.

Pick of the album: 'I Didn't Know What Time It Was': a jazz classic, reinvented