Transatlantic Zodiac Ensemble

Transatlantic Zodiac Ensemble


TZE offer a unique blend of turkish and klezmer melodies mixed with folk sensabilities and a contemporary approach to songwriting. This 7-piece ensemble combine an infectious energy with thoughtful lyrics and unique yet memorable meoldies that cling to the soul long after its actors fade from memory


The Transatlantic Zodiac Ensemble was born in the
intense sweat and heat of a midsummer's night, 2009.
Brought together by bandleader Michael Dalton for a
one-off at a local pub, What started out as
a one night stand slowly revealed itself as a
mysterious love affair. Dalton's songs were lovingly
embraced by the fervid arranging talents of accordionist
Graham Scott and the impassioned melodic musings
of violinist Donald MacLennan. This odd pairing of a
classically trained jazz pianist with a violent gypsy
jazz violinist rebeling from his celtic roots
seemed like the perfect fit for such an eclectic
songwriter. Fresh off a cross-Canada tour with
gypsy-jazz quintet Mishra's Dream that ended at the
Sunseekers Ball Festival in New Brunswick this trio formed
the nucleus of a group that began turning heads
with their upbeat, unique sound that defies comparison.

Known for their elaborate stage setups and intense live
performance TZE quickly carved out a spot for itself on
the Nova Scotia music scene playing shows that attracted
audiences of all ages in Antigonish, Halifax and
Tatamagouche. Spending most of the winter refining their
sound and summoning the proper musicians to fill out the band
The Transatlantic Zodiac Ensemble are now in the process of
recording their first album set to be released in June 2010.
Michael Spicer on sax, Steve Wilton on drums, Ron Hynes on
upright bass and Cam Otto on clarinet have added their
enchantment to this septet and have turned their live shows
into a mythical affair. In a matter of moments you are
sailing down the Danube past a small Roma villiage chased by
the percussive fire of an African sunset only to be instantly
transported to the acient ruins of an Ottoman village on
the banks of the Bosphorus littered with sweaty, homeless
tin pan alley rejects only to end up being tormented by the
chaos of mardi gras on the pregnant streets of New Orleans
punctured by an oasis of middle eastern flora and fauna.
They are looking forward to touring this Summer.

On YouTube -

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It's a Mean Season for Silver Linings

Written By: Michael Dalton

there is a well for drowning and drinking
so full of poison and love
hidden in a meadow of madness
so few will dare speak of
all the children of the sun are claiming
the way is wrought with blood
but for you and I there isn't anything
that we could not overcome

I'll trade a ragged ol' piece of me
for a ragged piece of you
layin' down and wasting time
there is a river of red
and a river of blue
of blood and tears to climb

It is a mean season for silver linings
if hope is turning to stone,
all the blood and tears forgotten
and all our struggles undone
so cast your spell with all the weary wanderers
and grab yourself a mug
here is your well for drowning and drinking
poison yourself with love

I'll trade a ragged ol' piece of me
for a ragged piece of you
layin' down and wasting time
there is a river of red
and a river of blue
of blood and tears to climb

The Broken Sermon

Written By: Michael Dalton

you awoke awake this morning
day one of one ol' day
the scene was set sans warning
the first act of a one act play
start filling up the canvas
with the weather of your heart
conjure up your magic
and we'll tear the world apart
all of our old endings
are drifting out to sea
come gather up some canvas
and begin here now with me

we'll listen to the sermon
from the end right to the start
of the acopolypto prophet
speaking through a broken heart
a tale of war and sorrow
a tale of torture in the hills
a million types of sadness
a million types of pills
beginning with the ending
an ending where we're all old
circling the sadness
with the wretchedness of soul

we'll listen to the sermon
walking home from the parade
of all the loonys and their mothers
enslaving children in the shade
while all the unemployed angels
with nothing up their sleeve
are trading hope for anesthesia
with the loonys on t.v.

we're fading into ghosts now
with the moments passing by
unless the moment we are holding
in a moment we will die
all the gods and all the unicorns
have left us in a dream
washing dirt off all the heartache
washing dirt off the machine

so i'll pack my bags; we're leaving
I can see it in your eye
we've no need for fool directions
because on us their are no flies

we'll listen to the sermon
then we'll tear it all apart
a concert of your magic
of the madness of your heart
we'll send our broken poet
drifting out to sea
we'll divy up his broken heart
a piece each for you and me
we'll send a piece to all our friends
made of the toughest stuff
who bathe the world in laughter
and rinse it off with love
we'll throw the grandest party
for to this broken heart cajole
and engrave the broken sermon
on the rainbow of the soul.

Set List

We can do three 1 hour sets of mainly original music. A typical set might include:

1. Eternal Queen
2. It's a Mean Season for Silver Linings
3. All Our Gravity
4. This is Ours
5. Beyond the End
6. Snowflake
7. Stained Glass
8. These Old Shoes
9. The Broken Sermon
10. Wave Blue Wave
11. The Way You Smile

Nantes - Beirut
Postcards from Italy - Beirut
Mishto - Gogol Bordello
Summertime - Jazz Standard
Les Yeux Noirs - Russian Folk Song