Atlas's discography speaks of a solo artist who continually explores and develops her route through music, also collaborating with names including Jean-Michel Jarre and Peter Gabriel; and her arrival at large-scale project and album 'Strange Days' marks a significant, visionary shift.
A broad personnel is wholly attuned to their concept - at its core, pianist Alcyona Mick, bassist Andy Hamill, drummers Laurie Lowe and Asaf Sirkis, trumpeter Hayden Powell and trombonist Robinson Khoury. Alongside the strings and Oli Savill's percussion that are central to this unique, balanced fusion of jazz and Arabic music come guest appearances from reedsman Idris Rahman, guitarist Paulo Vinícius and vocalists Joss Stone, Tanya Wells and Sofiane Saidi.
Metaphorical, dystopian themes abound as the swirling jazz mystery of "Out of Time" unveils Atlas's vocal fluency and inflection, while spirited "Maktoub" ('that which is written') bounces with infectious hip-hop and Tsifteteli rhythms, portamento strings and choral unison.
The serenely-ornamented "Inherent Rhythm" leads to soulful, post-hip-hop sashay 'Words of a King' (referencing Martin Luther King and Jacques Fresco), featuring a gliding vocal duo with Joss Stone. James Brown classic 'It's a Man's World' is unexpectedly interpreted in smoky, sensual film noir (hear those strings); and impressionistic reverie "Moonchild" pays homage to incisive poet Kate Tempest.
"Strange Days is a culmination of what I want to express through music - my hybridity and duality between the Middle East and Europe, in all its facets", affirms Atlas. "We are blessed with these musicians, combining everything we love about jazz and Arabic music."
"A superbly recorded set that might just be the best thing Atlas has ever done." - **** Jazzwise
"A powerful and intriguing album with an international band, beautifully recorded... A highly individual vocalist stretching herself musically with some top-class musical support." - London Jazz News
"Atlas delivers a refined musical experience, one that encourages revealing in the most meditative parts of the human imagination." - DownBeat Magazine
"A sophisticated meeting of jazz and Arabic music." - Jazzma
"Strange Days is never quite what it appears and is indeed surrounded by mystery. The music is often gentle and intimate, yet highly charged with emotion that is almost palpable, bringing together disparate musical elements from Western and Middle Eastern influences that ensure an intriguing and beguiling album." - Jazz Views
- Out Of Time
- Min Baad
- All The Madness
- Sunshine Day
- It's A Man's World
- Inherent Rhythm
- Words Of A King - Single Edit
- Lost Revolutions
- Words Of A King - Extended Version
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