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Jazz Steps Nottingham Reviews of Previous Jazz Concerts Jazz Steps Nottingham
Gilad Atzmon

(Gilad Atzmon)
Bonington Theatre, High Street, Arnold
Thursday, 21 September 2006
By Trudie Squires

IN THIS band, bristling with aka's, saxophonist Gilad Atzmon (Artie Fishel), posing here as a hyperactive musician, attempting to convince his audience that jazz has nothing to with America and is a Jewish musical art form born in the ghettos of Eastern Europe. Of course, those who have seen Gilad in action before have come to accept his madcap humour, pretentious musical themes and controversial political views. But all the fooling around, crazy dress, funny wigs and hats were just a masquerade for some superb jazz, played by four exceptionally fine musicians; Atzmon, playing alto sax and clarinet; John Turville (aka McGoy Tyner), who excelled on piano, keyboards and a battered Fender Rhodes synthesizer; Yaron Stavi (aka Jacko Pastrami) providing a rock steady bottom line on electric bass; and Gilad's long-serving drummer, Asaf Sirkis (aka Peter Forskine) - an exceptional percussionist.
The contrasts in the group's output were amazing; sounding one moment like a fairground organ, switching instantly to straight ahead bebop. A medley from West Side Story though heavily disguised, produced snatches of classic bebop from Atzmon's frantic alto. Nature Boy received similar treatment, the theme could be recognised all through despite Gilad's valiant efforts to twist it in all directions. Hilarious anecdotes and a crazy joke were highlights of the group's version of Somewhere Over The Rainbow, while Gillespie's Night In Tunisi a was taken at a tremendous tempo; Gilad's alto driven along by Sirkis' impeccable drumming. Gilad announced that the only musical form they had not attempted to demolish was the bossa nova and the group launched into Antonio Carlos Jobim's classic composition Wave featuring Atzmon's white hot sax and an amazing conglomeration of sounds from Turville's Fender Rhodes.

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