A film that follows a flourishing year in the life of Gilad Atzmon, one of modern music’s greatest saxophonists. In addition to performing with some of music’s greatest acts, such as Pink Floyd and Sir Paul McCartney, Atzmon is also one of Europe’s most controversial writers and public speakers in opposition to Israel.
The film explores Gilad’s complex nature at times a gentle giant, warm, charismatic and somewhat shy at other times a deeply passionate musician and advocate for what he sees as justice in Palestine. Born into a pro-Zionist family and serving briefly in the first Lebanon War, Gilad had a dramatic turnaround; he quit the army, picked up his sax and exiled himself to London, declaring himself an enemy to the Israeli state.
Since then he has produced some of the modern era’s greatest Jazz albums, and collaborated with Ian Dury, Paul McCartney and Sinead O’ Connor. In music he is a ‘feisty improviser’ as one critic put it, comparing him to the likes of Charlie Parker. In his political and philosophical ideas, he is blunt and outspoken. His ideas on Israel and “Jewishness” have upset many people, some of whom have gone to the extreme of labeling him a holocaust denier and an anti-Semite – charges that Gilad strongly rejects. In Gilad’s life, music and politics are inseparable.
The film follows Gilad in the most flourishing time of his career, as he records albums with Robert Wyatt, the blockheads, and gigs with Nigel Kennedy; gets invited to TV programs and panel events all over the globe; pleases his supporters and admirers, while seriously offending his opponents who, rather than try to engage Atzmon in debate, try to censor his right to free speech by applying pressure tactics on the venues he plays his music in an where he has been invited to speak on what he calls Jewish Identity Politics.
“Gilad and All That Jazz” offers a unique insight in to the life, ideas, music and motivations driving the great Saxophonist.
Watch Gilad & the OHE playing Gaza Mon Amour: http://www.youtube.com