Talking to Andy Robson (Jazzwise, December Issue) about Jazz, Palestine, the Orient House, politics, art funding and music education.
The most outspoken saxophonist on the planet? Probably. But GILAD ATZMON turns the tables yet again, and lets the music do the talking, on his latest album The Tide Has Turned, but he still has plenty to say, as ANDY ROBSON discovers
They call him the hardest-working man in jazz. But even by his standards, it’s been a hectic time for Gilad Atzmon lately. It’s breakfast time on a Tuesday and he has still not had the chance to get off the ever-ringing phone. “I have never been so fucking stressed in my life,” admits the sax man, ripping out his earpiece and finally snapping off the phone. “On Friday it was Ronnie’s and the Orient House launch, last night was Jazza For Gaza at which we launched Robert Wyatt’s album; tonight’s the second night of Jazza and then it’s back to the Orient House tour which is our biggest ever. Oh, and I’m working on Sarah Gillespie’s album for the new year.”
A few days ago I was talking to Carlos Pérez Cruz on El Club De Jazz.
We discussed music, politics, Palestine, For The Ghost Within, The Tide Has Changed and more...
The Spanish program is here http://www.elclubdejazz.com/envivo/ (10/11/2010)
The English interview is here:
Oi vey, an Israeli orchestra plans to play the music of this meshigine Wagner, whom Hitler loved so much.
Wagner’s music is considered taboo in Israel, it is years since he made it to top 40’s in the Jewish state. Wagner also held views that are far from being popular amongst Jews. He once wrote that Jews were only capable of producing money-making music and not works of art. I guess that Israelis do not like meshiges with an astute reading of the socio-economy of the show business.
Wagner’s great-granddaughter Katharina had planned to visit Israel this week to officially invite the orchestra to perform the music at a Wagner festival in Bayreuth in southern Germany. This Shikze seems to believe in reconciliation and harmony. She told the London Guardian that she wanted the Israeli orchestra to play at the German festival in an attempt to “heal wounds,”. What a silly move, once wounds of the past are healed, nothing would be left for the Jews to moan about.
Until now, it' been a real source of pride amongst Israel's support network that big name musicians have felt 'safe' to appear at Zionist fund raisers. Even whilst Israel commits ever more stomach churning war crimes in Palestine and -as we saw in May with the attack on the Freedom Flotilla - in international waters.
Aappearing at events to raise issues related to justice in Palestine was seen as a sure fire way of artists being branded anti semitic- leading to (so artists were lead to believe) falls in record sales and trouble s booking tour venues. But, as Gilad Atzmon has aptly named his latest CD ' the tide has changed.'
The Palestine issue is now 'hot' and for the first time, this coming week, a music festival featuring forty world class musicians and bands is taking place in London to send this message far and wide.
JAZZA Fesitval is at the SCALA, London on 12th/13th October, marks the official launch not only of the much anticipated Robert Wyatt/Atzmon/Ros Stephen album.It brings together for the first time artists from the worlds of jazza, funk, folk and hip hop - for Palestine.
To read more:
Shanghai is modernity in action, it is up for business, its many staggering new high-rise buildings, spear the imagination as well as the sky. It is saturated with festive almost unreal glamour, it is soaking in wealth, it is overwhelmingly proud and yet, it is humane, very humane in fact. It is habitable, it is relatively quiet, it feels safe, it welcomes you on board. It is the Western Metropolis wannabe, yet it is in the East.
I was advised before my journey that Shanghai is not exactly a ‘cultural shock’, quite the opposite; one seems to have met Shanghai in one’s urban fantasy a long time before landing there. Shanghai is in fact the incarnation of the Western urban dream: it is an astonishing materialisation of everything the Western metropolis is claiming to be. In parts it is the embodiment of the urban imagery; it is what New York was aiming at but somehow failed to reach. In other parts, it is the ultimate urban tranquillity of a Parisian tree-lined avenue with small bars and cosy cafés. It offers everything a big city can offer in terms of culture, entertainment, business and food yet it is totally sympathetic to its visitors and inhabitants.
Jan 11th, 2009
Gilad Atzmon: Hello Matoula, I will be playing material from my latest album Refuge. It is basically a mixture of jazz and ethnic music furnished with electronics. In the last few years I am largely interested in what I tend to define as ‘Urban Folk’.