On their debut album led by vocalist Tali Atzmon, Talinka paints a colorful acoustic sound which extends the diverse talents of four distinguished British musicians. Group leader Tali Atzmon is a renowned actress and singer from Israel, baroque virtuoso artist Jenny Bliss adds viola da gamba, along with baroque violin, flute and vocals, world renowned double bass player Yaron Stavi holds down the bottom, with Frank Harrison gently playing the Piano,
and internationally acclaimed jazz saxophonist Gilad Atzmon weaving in bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, and accordion parts.
Sensitively arranged around Tali's heartfelt soulful voice, Talinka blends their deeply personal approach to music. They naturally transcend boundaries between jazz, folk, and world music with a splash of Tango and Baroque tossed in the set. The interesting choice of acoustic instruments and merging of artists create an intersection of past and present. Available on compact disc, which includes a download of the album in 24bit / 48kHz stereo when ordered through their BandCamp page. It is the hi-res 24b/48k version that is reviewed here.
Produced by Gilad Atzmon and recorded and mixed by Ben Lamdin at The Fish Factory Studio, London, the album features 10 tracks that make for a lush listening experience. The musicians play together as one voice that smoothly spreads across the stereo scape. There is a wonderful level of transparency and airiness which gives an extremely live feel to these high resolution recordings. Each part plays off the others with a fantastic balance where nothing is trapped.
The mix falls deeply into the sound stage with the use of ambient reverberation placing the piano from the center toward the right channel. Bass snuggly fills out the low end with an extremely warm and full round body that will move through you when enjoyed at higher volumes. All parts are crystal clear, free of distortion, allowing the music to sail across the listening room without any effort.
Vocals have been given a nice amount of space while centered in the mix, and clarinet and sax parts take the left channel revealing each nuance and timbre as notes soar by. On the occasion where percussion is added, the attack and decay mirror their pure staccato hits, with the shaker sizzling from the left channel on the fifth track “invitation.”
One may picture a smoke filled room for the jazzier pieces, but their pure aural tapestry paints a vivid scene where no haze can reach. The elongated accordion chords on “When You Are Gone” stretch across the soundstage with a crispness whereby the reed emanates. Viola is subtly placed in the right channel strung together by the remainder of the group.
Talinka is not only perfect for introspective listening, their songs are a wonderful journey of life performed in the most intimate of ways. The sound quality is fabulous making this required listening for audiophiles. Strongly recommended for fans of acoustic jazz who welcome an intriguing blend of folk based genres.