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Oct-02-2013 20:35printcomments

NYC Is My Mecca

Gilad Atzmon is coming from London for a unique studio recording at Zeb's in New York City.

Gilad Atzmon
Gilad Atzmon is in New York City this weekend.

(LONDON) - As an Israeli boy of a patriotic background, I was destined to become a military man. But then, at seventeen, as I was getting myself ready for my IDF compulsory service, the unexpected happened. On a late night jazz radio programme, I heard Charlie Park first time.

I was knocked down. The music was more organic, poetic, sentimental and wilder than anything I had ever heard before. Parker’s music was intense but it was as well romantic and even melancholic at times.

It was then and there that I realised, my upbringing, Zion, and the IDF notwithstanding, that NYC was my Mecca and Jazz was my Jihad – a spiritual struggle aiming at beauty.

As I grew older, I realised that America was far from being perfect, and it wasn’t necessarily as brilliant as the music of Bird, Ellington or Coltrane’s.

Nevertheless it was clear to me that there was something in America and NYC that brought about jazz, that unique combustible mixture of imaginary freedom confronted with harsh oppressive capitalism, urban complexity, all sparked by a lot of talent.

Yesterday I was listening to the legendary Jimmy Cobb playing at Fat Cat. Jimmy is not young, he played with Miles Davis and John Coltrane back in the 1950’s. But his spirit is still very young. And he was surrounded by young musicians who keep jazz alive against all odds.

This weekend I will record in Manhattan with Ben Meigners on upright bass, and Jason Brown on the drums. I am very excited about it. I rarely record in America, but when I do, it is a special event in my career.

The recording sessions are open to the public but the number of seats is obviously limited. This would be the first ever recording of this trio. But you could also be a part of it!

To book a place for Gilad Atzmon trio at Zeb's, CLICK HERE. You will be experiencing Gilad's collaboration with two of NYC's finest musicians, Ben Meigners on upright bass, and Jason Brown on the drums.

There will be wine and snacks (suggested donation) and discounts on Gilad's CD's and book "The Wandering Who?" All event proceeds are geared to help us in production costs of the record.

Special donations of $250 and above, would grant you an honorary status. You will receive my book "The Wandering Who?", a signed copy of the CD (when it's ready) and a special liner note thanks.

See the Gilad Atzmon Trio at Zeb's this weekend, Saturday October 5th and Sunday October 6th.


Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel in 1963 and had his musical training at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem (Composition and Jazz). As a multi-instrumentalist he plays Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxes, Clarinet and Flutes. His album Exile was the BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. He has been described by John Lewis on the Guardian as the “hardest-gigging man in British jazz".

Gilad Atzmon's essays are widely published. His novels 'Guide to the perplexed' and 'My One And Only Love' have been translated into 24 languages.

As a member of the Blockheads, Gilad has also recorded and performed with Ian Dury, Robbie Williams, Sinead O'Connor and Paul McCartney. Gilad has also recorded with Robert Wyatt, the Water Boys and many others. Learn more about Gilad by visiting his Website

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