Atzmon’s album Exile was BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. Playing over 100 dates a year, he has been called “surely the hardest-gigging man in British jazz.” His albums, of which he has recorded thirteen to date, often explore the music of the Middle East and political themes. He has described himself as a “devoted political artist.”
A profile in The Guardian in 2009 which described Atzmon as “one of London’s finest saxophonists” stated: “It is Atzmon’s blunt anti-Zionism rather than his music that has given him an international profile, particularly in the Arab world, where his essays are widely read.” His criticisms of Zionism, Jewish identity, and Judaism, as well as his controversial views on The Holocaust and Jewish history have led to allegations of antisemitism and racism from both Zionists and anti-Zionists.
He first became interested in British jazz when he discovered some in a British record shop in Jerusalem in the 1970s. He initially was inspired by the work of Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes and regarded London as “the Mecca of Jazz.” He also was influenced to become a jazz musician by the work of Charlie Parker, in particular Charlie Parker with Strings recorded in 1949. Atzmon said of the album that he “loved the way the music is both beautiful and subversive – the way he basks in the strings but also fights against them.” He worked with top bands as a musical producer.
In 1994, Atzmon emigrated from Israel to London, where he attended the University of Essex and earned a Masters degree in Philosophy. He has lived there since, becoming a British citizen in 2002.
I have come across many of Gilad Atzmons articles.
While born in Israel and Jewish ,but now living in Britain, he pulls no punches in his critique of Zionism and Israel etc..
I will be quoting many of his articles as IMHO there is rarely a better perspective than a minority voice within the majority of the same given group. I find his articles excellent.