Gilad Atzmon @ Vortex

Jazz East to West


 A gig by Gilad Atzmon one of Britain's most adventurous saxophonists is always unpredictable.  “We haven’t a clue what we’re playing tonight” he announced before delivering one of his jazziest gigs to date.
Injecting his unpredictable performance with jokes and politically charged comments, the Israeli-born Atzmon sharpened our musical instincts, as well as our minds.  His blend of experimental bop and world rhythms created a freewheeling jazz context for the band to improvise in.
 The sonic landscape was broadened by the presence of guest oud player Alekos K. Vretos, who joined the foursome in covers like the famous Misirlou.  This characteristic Greek tune, used in the opening credits of Pulp Fiction, helped connect tradition with the avant garde.
Whether playing the sax, the clarinet, or just scat singing, Atzmons delivery is chilling. By the end of this “festival of multi-talentless people from all over the world”, nothing was more apparent than his versatility, charisma and unifying music powers.

Review and photography by Danai Molocha for
Live At Your Local 

P.S.1 You can find Gilad's book The Wandering Who? A Study Of Jewish Identity Politics ("The most controversial book in the history of jazz - and Jews", in his own words) on sale by Zero Books.
P.S.2 Oudist and Oud composer Alekos Vretos does a wonderful job flexing the Greek music muscle, injecting it with Latin, Arabic and of course-given his creative gives-and-takes with Atzmon- Jazz flavours. Check out his latest release Mergin' on

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