CD: Gilad Atzmon, Gilad Atzmon Presents Artie Fishel and the Promised Band


In the guise of Artie Fishel, exiled Israeli saxophonist Gilad Atzmon has dressed up his bid for wider appeal in a curly wig and patterned shirt. The fictional Fishel is an annoying Zionist with a penchant for bad jokes and a belief that "jazz is the music of the Jewish people" - a provocative political metaphor. The conceit permits Atzmon and his band to display their virtuosity on everything from West Side Story ("West Bank Story") to klezmer - defined here as "Gypsy music played so wrongly it became a genuine art form". Make-believe Palestinian radio station JFM features "Jihad Atzmon", whose Sanborn-esque solo is punctured by Artie's manic fundamentalism and a smooth DJ: "Maybe you cats just need to groove together ... maybe when you blend, the violence will end."

Atzmon's unblended juxtaposition of music with spoken word satire is more first draft than finished project, but I imagine sparks will fly on his current tour of the UK.


John L Walters

The GuardianTramp

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