How is it possible that the Right Wing Fox News asks all the right questions?

The answer is devastatingly simple: truth often interferes with the Left and Progressive’s worldview. It is then suppressed so it fits with a vision of correctness.

I delved into this question at length in my latest book: Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto:

Traditional Left Ideology sets out a vision of how the world ought to be. The ‘Left’ view can be summed up as the belief that social justice is the primary requirement for improving the world, and this better future entails the pursuit of equality in various forms. The Left ideologist believes that it is universally both ethical and moral to attempt to approach equality in terms of civil rights and material wealth.

But if the Left focuses on ‘what could be,’ the Right focuses on ‘what is.’ If the Left operates where people could be, the Right operates where people ‘are’ or at least, where they believe themselves to be. The Right does not aim to change human social reality but rather to celebrate, and to even maximize it. The Right is also concerned with rootedness that is often nostalgic and even romanticised.

The Left yearns for equality, but for the Right, the human landscape is diverse and multi-layered, with inequality not just tolerated but accepted as part of the human condition, a natural part of our social, spiritual and material world. Accordingly, Right ideology encompasses a certain degree of biological determination and even Social Darwinism. It is enthralled by the powerful, and cruel, evolutionary principle of the ‘survival of the fittest.’ For the Right ideologue, it is the ‘will to survive’ and even to attain power that makes social interactions exciting. It is that very struggle that brings humanity and humanism to life.

So, the traditional debate between Right and Left can loosely be summarized as the tension between equality and reality. The Right ideologue argues that, while the Left’s attempt to flatten the curve of human social reality in the name of equality may be ethically genuine and noble, it is nonetheless naive and erroneous.

Illusion vs Insomnia

Left ideology is like a dream. Aiming for what ‘ought to be’ rather than ‘what is’, it induces a level of utopian illusory detachment and depicts a phantasmal egalitarian world far removed from our abusive, oppressive and doomed reality. In this phantasmic future, people will just drift away from greed and gluttony, they will work less and learn to share, even to share that which they may not possess to start with.

This imaginary ‘dream’ helps explain why the (Western) Left ideology rarely appealed to the struggling classes, the masses who, consumed by the pursuit of bread and butter, were hardly going to be interested in utopian ‘dreams’ or futuristic social experiments. Bitten by the daily struggle and chased by existence, working people have never really subscribed to ‘the revolution’ usually because often they were just too busy working. This perhaps explains why so often it was the middle class agitators and bourgeois who became revolutionary icons. It was they who had access to that little bit extra to fund their revolutionary adventures.

The ‘Left dream’ is certainly appealing, perhaps a bit too appealing. Social justice, equality and even revolution may really be nothing but the addictive rush of effecting change and this is perhaps why hard-core Leftist agitators often find it impossible to wake from their social fantasy. They simply refuse to admit that reality has slipped from their grasp, preferring to remain in their cosy phantasmal universe, shielded by ghetto walls built of archaic terminology and political correctness.

In fact, the more appealing and convincing the revolutionary fantasy is, the less its supporters are willing to face reality, assuming they’re capable of doing so. This blindness helps explain why the Western ideological Left has failed on so many fronts. It was day-dreaming when the service economy was introduced, and it did not awaken when production and manufacturing were eviscerated. It yawned when it should have combatted corporate culture, big money and its worship, and it dozed when higher education became a luxury. The Left was certainly snoring noisily when, one after the other, its institutions were conquered by New Left Identitarian politics. So, rather than being a unifying force that could have made us all – workers, Black, women, Jews, gays etc. – into an unstoppable force in the battle against big capital, the Left became a divisionary factor, fighting amongst itself. But it wasn’t really the ideologues’ and activists’ fault; the failure to adapt to reality is a flaw tragically embedded in the Left’s very fantasised nature.

If I am right, it is these intrinsically idealistic and illusory characteristics that doom Left politics to failure. In short, that which makes the Left dream so appealing is also responsible for the Left being delusional and ineffectual. But how else could it be? How could such a utopian dream be sustained? I suspect that for Left politics to prevail, humanity would have to fly in the face of the human condition.

And what of the Right? If the Left appears doomed to failure, has the Right succeeded at all? As opposed to the ‘dreamy’ Left, the Right is consumed by reality and ‘concretisation.’ In the light of the globalized, brutal, hard capitalist world in which we live, traditionally conservative laissez-faire seems a naive, nostalgic, peaceful and even poetic thought.

While the Left sleeps, Right-wing insomnia has become a universal disease which has fuelled the new world order with its self-indulgence and greed. How can anyone sleep when there’s money to be made? This was well understood by Martin Scorsese who, in his The Wolf of Wall Street, depicts an abusive culture of sex, cocaine and amphetamine consumption at the very heart of the American capitalist engine. Maybe such persistent greed can be only maintained by addled, drug-induced and over-stimulated brains.

Rejection of fantasy, commitment to the concrete (or shall we say, the search for ‘being’ or ‘essence,’) positions the Right alongside German philosophy. The German idealists’ philosophical endeavour attempts to figure out the essence of things. From a German philosophical perspective, the question ‘what is (the essence of) beauty?’ is addressed by aesthetics. The question ‘what is (the essence of) being?’ is addressed by metaphysics. The questions: ‘what are people, what is their true nature, root and destiny?’ are often dealt with by Right-wing ideologists. It is possible that the deep affinity between Right ideology and German philosophy explains the spiritual and intellectual continuum between

German philosophy and German Fascism. It may also explain why Martin Heidegger, one of the most important philosophers in the last millennium, was, for a while at least, a National Socialist enthusiast.

The Right’s obsession with the true nature of things may explain its inclination towards nostalgia on one hand and Darwinist ideologies on the other. Right ideology can be used to support expansionism and imperialism at one time, and isolationism and pacifism at another. Right ideology is occasionally in favour of immigration as good for business, yet can also take the opposite position, calling for protection of its own interests by sealing the borders. The Right can provide war with logos and can give oppression a dialectical as well as ‘scientific’ foundation. Sometimes, a conflict may be justified by ‘growing demand’ and ‘expanding markets.’ Other times, one race is chosen to need living space at the expense of another.

The Right is sceptical about the prospects for social mobility. For the Right thinker, the slave* is a slave because his subservient nature is determined biologically, psychologically or culturally. In the eyes of the Left, such views are ‘anti-humanist’ and unacceptable. The Left would counter this essentialist determinism with a wide range of environmental, materialist, cultural criticism and post- colonial studies that produce evidence that slaves do liberate themselves eventually. And the Right would challenge this belief by asking ‘do they really?’ ( Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto pg. 13-17)

* I refer here to the slave in an Hegelian metaphorical way rather than literally.

‘To win, the Palestinians have to survive’

June 16, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

madeid_edited-1.jpg

Gilad Atzmon: ‘To win, the Palestinians have to survive’


By Teresa Aranguren,

http://www.resumenlatinoamericano.org

Gilad Atzmon speaks in a torrent of words during our conversation on a sunny terrace in Madrid. He expresses himself passionately, neatly, but never runs over; he seeks to hit the nail and throws phrases like darts that aim to cross, penetrate and reach the other side, rather than hitting a target. I think he asks to be understood, and he makes an effort for it. It is likely because he feels or knows he is ‘misunderstood’.

Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel into a secular but actively Zionist family. He left the country in the early nineties, when he was thirty years old. He says it was the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 that opened his eyes to what Israel is, although it took him a while to leave the country where he was born and raised.

“It was not an easy decision. I left because I understood that I was dwelling in a land that belonged to others. Israel is Palestine. I have never returned, nor will I come back. “

 To say that he is a controversial author is to fall short. Gilad Atzmon is provocative, very politically incorrect and has the gift of bothering right and left, that is, from the right and from the left. He defines himself as a philosopher of politics.

 In his last book Being in Time, a Post-political Manifesto, published by Ediciones de Oriente and the Mediterranean and recently presented in Madrid, he attacks identity politics and what he describes as the tyranny of correctness, both phenomena that according to him are linked and feed each other “in the progressive circles that are so politically correct. People are encouraged to identify as a woman, as a gay, as a black, as a Jew or vegan, but not as a Muslim or White. This policy of exalting particular identities is very problematic and a serious danger, especially for the left, if you can still talk about the left … “

 The question of identity has been the central theme of Atzmon’s work and perhaps his vital and intellectual adventures as well. After all, he is a Jew who grew up in a Zionist family … and is accused by some of anti-Semitism.

In the past, anti-Semites were people who hated Jews, nowadays people who oppose Israel are labelled anti-Semitic. I’m in the same club as Bernie Sanders, George Galloway, Richard Falk or Roger Waters: the humanists of our time. They call us anti-Semites because we are against what Israel does and what has happened in Iraq and Syria, and the power of the Neocons and AIPAC in Washington … I have never criticized Jews for being Jewish, I am Jewish (GA: this is a mistranslation, I do not identify as Jewish), my wife is Jewish and … – he explodes in a laugh-, my mistress too. I want to be able to criticize Jewishness, the ideology that drives Jewish tribalism, the idea of a chosen people, as any intellectual criticizes Catholicism or as Weber criticized Protestantism, even though I know I’d pay a price for it. The essence of Jewish power is the power to silence all criticism of Jewish power. To say what I want to say, I had to renounce working in the academic world, although I fulfil all the requirements and have all the qualifications. I chose to live as a jazz musician, which is more difficult from an economic standpoint, but it allows me to speak freely.”

Many of his opinions irritate me, for example his contemptuous and ironic look towards the international brigades:

“most were revolutionary Jews who travelled to Spain because they wanted to give their lives in the name of the ‘international working class, but the real workers did not go to Spain, they stayed at home. Real working class people go to work in the morning the feel the urge to identify ‘as working class’).”

Nevertheless, understanding truth as what one believes is true, I recognize an authentic passion for the truth in what he writes and inquires.

Someone said (I think it was Kant) that more important than having the right answers is asking the right questions. In the writings of Gilad Atzmon it is not easy to find answers, but we always find new questions that worry, surprise, challenge the political consensus.

Gilad Atzmon does not accept taboos or the notion of sacred territory, where it is better not to enter. He refuses to let what the rest of us regard as unthinkable stay untouched. Sometimes, his opinions turn out to be impertinent, but their impertinence has to do with their boldness, undoubtedly a form of value.

Before saying goodbye, I ask him if he sees any way out of the drama of Palestine. He remains silent for a moment, searching for the precise words.

“I am not an activist, I do not like to tell people what they should or should not do. But I think the key is a matter of percentages and demographics. It is all about facts on the ground, when the Palestinian population reaches 70% of the total population in Israel, everything will start to change. To win, the Palestinians have to survive.”


My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.

Donate

 

Brexit is All About Making Israel Greater

May 26, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

jbibi.jpg

by Gilad Atzmon

Britain is in a state of political turmoil. The government and the main opposition party have both lost their way and, together, they have completely lost the trust of the people. In the last few weeks we have witnessed a landslide exodus from both the Tory and Labour parties to the slightly more rational, principled and patriotic alternatives: the truly conservative wandered to the Brexit Party and the remainers, who previously voted Labour, migrated to the more humane Liberal Democrats.

Brits are critically divided over Brexit. It is fair to say that most do not fully grasp what Brexit is anymore. They were deliberately not informed of the political discussion over Brexit and what it would mean for the future. Brits feel betrayed by the political class and in truth, they have been subjected to gross and treacherous treatment by their politicians and media. Brits are not aware of the centrality of Israel and its interests that is at the core of the Brexit debate.

In February, I published a translation of a Ynet article which reported that Israel had located itself as post-Brexit Britain’s gateway to the world: “Once out of the EU, Britain will have to sign separate trade agreements with each state, and Israel will be the first,” Ynet wrote. Just to remove any confusion, it added “Israel has become Britain’s strategic ally.” And of course, “the British government totally disregard the boycott campaign against Israel. On a political level, they boycotted the boycott.” Britain under Theresa May has been reduced into a colony of Israel’s. Brits have become increasingly aware that 80% of their Tory MPs are members of the Conservative Friends of Israel, which is a foreign pressure group dedicated to the interests of another state.

Those who have been puzzled by the insane institutional Israel lobby campaign against Corbyn and the Labour party  (BODJewish ChronicleCAA, etc.) can now figure out what the motivation behind it was: Corbyn in 10 Downing Street might well interfere with Israel’s plans for post-Brexit Britain.

The truth is starting to unveil itself. Theresa May, a staunch Zionist, has been working tirelessly to bring about a Brexit ‘deal.’ The Ynet article suggests that such a deal could work for Israel. Brexit enthusiasts smelled a rat, they could see that May’s Brexit offering didn’t fit with what they had in mind. But they couldn’t see the full picture since the prominence of Israel in post-Brexit plans was never discussed in the British press.

In September, 2018 Barry Grossman, the Tel Aviv British embassy’s Director of International Trade, used the Ynet platform to explain to Israelis why Brexit is good for Israel. “Israel and Israelis can reap huge benefits from Brexit,” Grossman wrote. “Since the Brexit referendum, the British government has declared that Israel is one of its priority markets. The UK is already Israel’s second largest trading partner in the world, and annual trade between the two countries is worth well over $7 billion.” No one in the British media cared to delve into the significance of Israeli-British relations to Brexit. The topic has never been mentioned in the British national media.

But remainers are in no better position. They are also clueless about the actual corrosive elements that divide their Kingdom and pull it into chaos. Corbyn and his dysfunctional party did nothing to clarify the situation. How is it possible that no one in the Labour Party has been brave enough to touch upon the centrality of Israel in the current Brexit debate? How is it that, despite the revelation in Israel’s biggest news outlet that Brexit was designed to make Israel great again, not one brave Labour MP, including the so-called ‘leader,’ could say so out loud? The answer is obvious: like the Conservative party, Labour is an occupied zone. It is dominated by fear of the Israel lobby, Jewish pressure groups and the compromised and Zionised British media.

This alone is devastating, but unfortunately, the centrality of Israel in the current Brexit crisis goes much deeper.

Though it is clear to most Brits that Brexit exposes a clear rift between an emerging nationalist ideology and progressive philosophy: not many realise that both contemporary nationalism and progressive philosophy are deeply inspired by two rival Jewish political schools of thought.

For Right-wing agitators, the Alt Right,  anti-Muslims and anti-immigration activists, Israel and its current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, have become a major source of inspiration. Similarly, it is Jewish progressive ideology that arouses pro-immigration campaigners, open-borders enthusiasts and multi culturalists globally and especially in the UK and USA. It is the pervasiveness of Jewish ideologies within both Right-wing nationalist and New Left discourses that sustains the dominance of the Israel lobby and Jewish pressure groups within British political parties, media and academia.

My study of Jewish ID politics suggests that as in America, Britain isn’t just influenced by one Jewish lobby or another, rather the entire British political, cultural and spiritual spectrum has been reduced into an internal Jewish debate.  Brits struggle to see it because their media and academia work tirelessly to conceal this development. I guess that some must believe that it is safer (for reason to do with public safety and community relations) to keep nations in the dark.

Tommy Robinson, who managed to excite and mobilise thousands of Brits in the run-up to the European Parliament election by spreading an anti-Islam message, is an ardent Zionist who supports Israel and is openly supported by pro-Israel right-wing elements and members of the British Jewish community.  The British media is hostile to Robinson and never misses any opportunity to paint him as a vile racist, but his connections with the Jewish State are kept hidden from the public.

However, Robinson is just an example. The many Brits who support a hard Brexit are inspired by the desire to reinstate rootedness, to close borders, to revive past British glory. It is inspired by Netanyahu’s policies. Like Donald Trump’s unoriginal promise to erect a wall on the Mexican border, many Brits would like to see their kingdom protected by an Israeli-style anti-migrant barrier.

In my recent book, Being in Time – A Post-Political Manifesto, I stress that while the old, good Left promised to unite us in a fight against capitalism, regardless of our gender, religion, skin colour  or ethnicity, it was the New Left that taught us to speak ‘as a’: as a Jew, as Gay, as Black, and so on. Instead of being one people united in the struggle for justice and equality, within the post-political realm the so-called ‘left’ is pushing us toward endless identity battles. This has practically managed to turn societies into the twelve tribes of Israel. The Identitarian revolution was inspired by a few Jewish ideological and philosophical schools including, most importantly, the Frankfurt School. It is actually Jewish Identitarian philosophy and the success of Jewish Identitarianism that inspires most, if not all, contemporary Identitarian politics. It is not surprising that it also motivates the contemporary Labour party and dominates the US Democratic Party.

It has been established that a chief funder of the Identitarian revolution is financier George Soros and his Open Society Foundations. Soros may genuinely believe in the Identitarian future: It is cosmopolitan, it is global, it defies borders and states, but far more significantly, it also functions to divert attention from Wall Street, the City of London and capitalist crimes: as long as Identitarians fight each other, no one bothers to fight Wall Street and corporate tyranny. Soros didn’t invent this strategy. It has long been named ‘divide and conquer.’

British people certainly remember that it was Soros who used the pages of The Guardian to warn Brits of the inevitable implications of Brexit. They may find themselves wondering why a Hungarian-American globalist financier interfered in their national affairs. Brits may have been puzzled when the same Guardian castigated Nigel Farage as an ‘anti-Semite’ for referring to Soros as “the biggest danger to the Western World.” But much more shocking is that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, known for his blunt opposition to banking and capitalism, endorsed a video that attributed ‘antisemitism’ to critics of Soros.

Jeremy Corbyn

@jeremycorbyn

Really important video which spells out the vile and destructive nature of antisemitic conspiracy theories.

3,585 people are talking about this

The above shows the depth of the spiritual, cultural and ideological influence of Jewish politics in Britain and in Brexit in particular. While Israel is the prototype of a nationalist and patriotic system for Brexiters, the remainers who support globalisation, immigration and multiculturalism are emulating the Jewish Diaspora’s rival progressive position. These two contradictory Jewish schools of thought are deeply entrenched within each of the two opposing ideologies tearing Britain apart.

Soon Brits will have to choose whether they prefer to be nationalists and xenophobes like the Israelis or as cosmopolitan, multicultural and assimilated as the Jewish progressive Diaspora. Or Britain could choose a third route. The Kingdom can liberate itself by looking inward and deciding what is it about Britain, about its history, culture and heritage that they like and want to reinstate.


My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.

Donate

 

Farage vs. Corbyn – Richie Allen and Gilad Atzmon delve into the post-political condition

May 24, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

Richie is joined by the musician, author and political commentator Gilad Atzmon. In a provocative and insightful article on gilad.co.uk this week, Gilad writes; “How it is that once again a right wing populist has won the minds and hearts of working people? How is it possible that Jeremy Corbyn, who was perceived by many of us as the greatest hope in Western politics, has managed, in less than three years, to make himself an irrelevant passing phase? How is it possible that the Right consistently wins when the conditions exist for a textbook socialist revolution? Nigel Farage, Britain’s Donald Trump character, is by far the most significant man in British politics. Farage stood up against the entire political establishment, including the media and the commercial elites and has promised to change British politics once and for all. So far, it seems he is winning on all fronts.” This is a must-listen interview.

Support The Richie Allen Show by donating at www.richieallen.co.uk Richie has been producing and presenting television and radio programs for the best part of twenty years. The Richie Allen Show airs Monday – Thursday at 5 PM GMT and at 11 AM UK Time each Sunday.


My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

Donate

Why Farage Wins the Country and Corbyn Wins Only a Party

May 22, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

corbyn lose farage wins .jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

Nigel Farage, Britain’s Donald Trump character, is by far the most significant man in British politics. In just a few weeks he has gathered huge political momentum. In tomorrow’s European Parliament elections he appears likely to score more votes than Labour and the Conservatives combined. Farage stood up against the entire political establishment, including the media and the commercial elites and has promised to change British politics once and for all. So far, it seems he is winning  on all fronts.

How it is that once again a Right wing populist has won the minds and hearts of working people? How is it possible that Jeremy Corbyn, who was perceived by many of us as the greatest hope in Western politics, has managed, in less than three years, to make himself an irrelevant passing phase?  How is it possible that the Right consistently wins when the conditions exist for a textbook socialist revolution?

Unlike political commentators, my explanation for this reoccurring political phenomenon is of a metaphysical nature.

 The Left’s vision of temporality is a linear structure of historical progress that proceeds from ‘a past’ to ‘a future.’ Left ideology is structured around an ever progressing time line. The Left always promises to make things better in the future, to fight austerity, to care for the many not the few, to bring about equality and tolerance, etc. None of this is happening at present.  This leaves the Left as a promise that is supposed to fulfill itself in an imaginary ‘tomorrow.’

 But this is not how the Right’s political argument is structured. In fact the Right and Fascist argument is far more sophisticated from a metaphysical perspective.  In my recent book, Being in Time, I contend that the Right ideologist understands that for the working class, utopia is ‘nostalgia.’ Trump won his voters’ trust by promising to make America great again. He vowed to plant the past in the future, reversing the time line. He promised to march America backward. Nigel Farage is using the same tactic, appealing to the same sentiments. He promises to make Britain a kingdom again not just a corner island in a dysfunctional globalist setting, a.k.a the EU. Farage is riding on the longing for a better past.  Corbyn was a political star only because he is a nostalgic character, an old lefty. For a time, he also reversed the time line, but neither he nor any of his advisers were clever enough to grasp the secret behind the ‘Corbyn revolution’. They let a magical moment of popularity  evaporate. Corbyn has become a cliché. His approval rating is 25%, not exactly promising for a candidate for prime minister.

 Within the context of Left thinking, past, present and future are chronological, set to follow each other in consecutive order. Within Right wing philosophy, time’s tenses change positions irregularly. Trump and  Farage put the ‘past’ in the future. They promise to march us back. They appeal to the masses because the human spirit, in its search for unity, transcends linear chronology. The Right wing ideologist capitalises on the human search for essence, for a logos and for transparency. In this regard, humans are historical creatures. They are capable of seeing the future in the past and vice versa.

 Can the Left, in its current from, win the trust of the people? I think it is unlikely. The Left, as I describe it above, is removed from the human spirit. It is in a state of detachment. For ethics, equality and tolerance to prevail, we need a profound study of the human spirit not lame discussions of dialectical materialism.

To learn more about the Post Political condition read Being in Time-a post political manifesto


My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

Donate

Jazz Review: Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble in Reading, January 2019

The insane slander campaign against me, my work and my music has boomeranged once again.

The insane slander campaign against me, my work and my music has boomeranged once again.

GA: Last week we played in Reading despite the relentless efforts by pro Israel Labour Cllr Rachel Eden and threatening letters from Campaign Against Antisemitism’s ‘enforcement’ chief. The gig was sold out two weeks in advance. Once again it becomes clear that the insane slander campaign against me, my work and my music has boomeranged. Following is a review of our Reading Concert.

Gilad Atzmon & The Orient House Ensemble “Spirit of Trane” | January 2019

http://www.jazzinreading.com/?p=12229&future=true

Friday 18 January, Progress Theatre, Reading

Gilad Atzmon soprano, alto & tenor saxophones, | Ross Stanley piano | Yaron Stavi double bass, | Enzo Zirilli drums

Their ears assailed by what seemed like an obsessive twenty-three-minute solo outing of ‘My Favourite Things’ on a strange high-pitched serpent-like instrument, the soprano saxophone, large chunks of the audience voted with their feet and beat a hasty retreat from the Guamont State Kilburn on the opening night of John Coltrane’s first, and only, visit to Britain on 11th November 1961. ‘WHATHAPPENED!’ screamed the Melody Maker headline. It left the paper’s Bob Dawbarn, ‘baffled, bothered and bewildered’. The critical debate continued unabated in the jazz press with Benny Green, saxophonist, writer, broadcaster and general know-all, who incidentally didn’t attend the concert (or any that followed in Birmingham, Glasgow or Newcastle for that matter) adding his two-penny-worth by declaring that ‘Coltrane threatens to upset the entire jazz conception’. And thus, John Coltrane added his name to those of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, judged respectively to be ‘too loud’ and ‘too exotic’ when they first played on these shores; in Coltrane’s case he was ‘too loud’, ‘too exotic’ and ‘too long’.

With this occasion in mind, ‘Are you ready to be challenged?’ seemed a fair question for Gilad Atzmon to ask in his inimitable and uncompromising manner as he set the scene for a two-hour concert inspired by the ‘Spirit of Trane’; have we Brits become more attuned to the sound and emotional impact of John Coltrane over the passage of nearly sixty years?

‘Yes!’ came the resounding response from the sell-out Progress audience, in perhaps the nearest experience we shall ever have of listening ‘live’ to John Coltrane. True, there were no marathon solos, or any of the ugly, grating sounds from the latter days of Coltrane’s much-too-short career, and he did break us in gently with the beautiful ‘In A Sentimental Mood’ from the 1962 collaboration with Duke Ellington, and the Latin breeze of ‘Invitation’, but come ‘Moment’s Notice’ he hit the ground running and it was as much as we could do from then on to keep up.

It wasn’t so much the ferocious tempo that was so impressive, but rather the sheer momentum of Atzmon’s playing. Fueled by Enzo Zirilli’s drums, the rock-steady bass of Yaron Stavi and Ross Stanley’s timely contributions at the keyboard, the notes flowed from Gilad’s tenor in a torrent so characteristic of Coltrane and which prompted the writer Ira Gitler to coin the phrase ‘sheets of sound’; each as hard-edged as steel and filled with a haunting melancholy. And yet, however complex the improvisation became it never lost touch with the original theme, suggesting that Coltrane was actually a far greater ‘tunesmith’ than he was ever credited for.

A perfectly sublime untitled ballad, in which bassist Yaron Stavi demonstrated that the art of playing a melodic walking bass solo is still alive and well, provided a welcome breathing space before the band launched into another maelstrom of sound. And Gilad set yet another challenge, or maybe he was simply playing mesmerizing tricks with our aural senses. What was he playing? ‘Scarborough Fair’? ‘My Favourite Things’? Ross Stanley kindly resolved the conundrum in a brief interval chat and confirmed that ‘it was both!’ No matter, the effect was enthralling!

‘Big Nick’, a catchy dedication to ‘Big’ Nick Nicholas, the tenor saxophonist alongside whom Coltrane sat in the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and another title from the Ellington collaboration, brought the first set to a light-hearted conclusion.

The second set opened with ‘Impressions’ and ‘Naima’, the name of Coltrane’s then wife, and each bore the imprint of his fascination for Far Eastern philosophy and mysticism. Gilad switched from soprano to alto for ‘Giant Steps’ with the assurance that he would take the tune at a more leisurely waltz time than the breakneck speed of Coltrane’s original recording. He failed … and matched the original in every detail in a breathtaking display of virtuosity.

‘What’s New’ brought another change of instrument. Gilad switched to his tenor, a beautiful product of English craftmanship as he explained, made in 1926. Coincidence or what? 1926 was the year of John Coltrane’s birth. It provided the perfect vehicle for Bob Haggart’s tender ballad more often associated with trumpet players than saxophonists.

I would guess that Gilad’s original composition ‘The Burning Bush’ is open to many interpretations, but for me it stood as a series of lamentations, expressing a sense of near-despair, etched even more deeply by his use of vocal cries to separate each section and Enzo Zirilli’s emotionally charged drum solo and percussive effects. Listening to it was an extraordinarily moving experience.

What better way to round off the evening than ‘Mr. P.C.’; not a description of Gilad Atzmon, but a dedication to bassist Paul Chambers, Coltrane’s colleague in the Miles Davis Quintet and countless other recordings including the monumental ‘Giant Steps’. Nat Hentoff was of course writing about John Coltrane in his sleeve notes to the album. However, his closing sentence could equally apply to Gilad Atzmon:

‘He asks so much of himself that he can thereby bring a great deal to the listener who is also willing to try relatively unexplored territory with him.’

All praise to Gilad Atzmon and the Orient House Ensemble and to everyone at the Progress Theatre for hosting a truly memorable event; a wonderful evocation of the spirit and enduring legacy of John Coltrane.

Review posted here by kind permission of Trevor Bannister.

Photo by Colin Swain Photography 


“My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

ATB

Gilad ”

Happy New Year from Gilad Atzmon

December 30, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Everything you need to know about Zionism, Controlled Opposition, The Post Political and Athens vs. Jerusalem so you are ready for 2019.

https://youtu.be/SRX55nHmuUQ

To sign a petition in support of Gilad click here

Lodge a formal complaint with Islington Council: https://www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us/comments-and-complaints?status=inprogress

To support Gilad’s legal fund:  https://donorbox.org/gilad-needs-additional-support

 

%d bloggers like this: