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Globetrotting Gilad’s new album is a musical tour
THE last time Gilad Atzmon was in Beirut it was as an invader. “I was a soldier in the Israeli army,” he tells me, “back in 1982 to 1984, carrying a gun and not very welcome.”
This time was a very different occasion, mainly because he had a saxophone rather than a gun.
“I was striking a blow for peace,” he jokes. “I am the first Israeli to enter the city who wasn't an invader and I had a great time. I did a talk, they made a film of my visit and, of course, I did a gig.”
Now back in his adopted city of London, Gilad is about to go on a 40-date tour to promote his latest album, Songs of the Metropolis, a musical tour around various cities of the world.
He says: “I wanted to get away from my comfort zone, so there was no Coltrane or Arabic melodies.
“We’re a pretty well travelled bunch so it was fairly easy to capture the mood of each place.
“Actually the only place we haven’t been to on the album is Moscow and that was the easiest of the lot to write.
“This album is a pursuit of the sound of the city. It is an attempt to find that magic instant where melodic texture evokes familiar feelings, when a harmonic shift brings you home.”
And what better place to perform it than in a place which is particularly special to Gilad, Wivenhoe.
That's because when the musician first came to the UK it was to study philosophy at Essex University.
“That part of the world is very important to me because it was my first experience of England,” he adds.
“I actually lived in London and commuted to Essex to do a one year masters but then I stayed on and did my PHD there. Obviously I made a lot of friends and it will be nice to catch up with them again at the concert.”
Gilad Atzmon will be appearing in St Mary’s Church, Wivenhoe, with his Orient House Ensemble made-up of Frank Harrison (piano), Yaron Stavi (double bass) and Eddie Hick (drums).
The concert takes place on February 8.
Doors open at 7pm and tickets, priced £15, are available from the Wivenhoe Bookshop or on-line at wivenhoe events.blogspot.co.uk