Talinka CD launch
(Cafe Posk, 24 June 2017. Review by Sarah Chaplin)
Having reviewed Talinka’s debut album earlier this month (LINK), I was keen to see how their beautifully orchestrated recording would translate into a live performance. In the warm friendly setting of Jazz Cafe Posk, the quartet, led by vocalist Tali Atzmon, convened to produce an evening of exquisite music, making a strong case for combining elements as diverse as seventeenth century baroque and South American tango into the jazz idiom. The start seemed tentative – perhaps because the PA was a little off in the first couple of numbers – but they soon gelled, resulting in affecting renditions of their album material such as Tali Atzmon’s mesmerising song Losing Vision and Invitation, a Polish standard by Bronisław Kaper, as well as a lovely Brazilian number – not included on the album.
The second set was even more assured, opening with bassist Yaron Stavi and early music specialist Jenny Bliss Bennett playing one of the flamboyant Mystery Sonatas for violin by Biber. A couple of tunes later, guest pianist Frank Harrison and Gilad Atzmon on soprano saxophone also did a duo turn, playing a very free interpretation of the haunting tango Oblivion by Astor Piazzola.
It has to be said that on this occasion, however amazing Gilad’s musicality (he also played bass clarinet, guitar and accordion), it was Bliss Bennett who stole the show, with her pitch-perfect, superb projection whether on viola da gamba, violin or flute. Tali Atzmon’s vocal range and unaffected grace was equally engaging, and she demonstrated an incredible emotional range too, from deep melancholia on In My Solitude and You Don’t Know What Love Is, to flirtatious cheekiness on Whatever Lola Wants. The set ended with the Kurt Weill-esque Every Now and Then, to rapturous applause. To judge by the reaction, this unusual band, with its fearless use of light and shade, looks set to subtly expand the horizons of the jazz world.