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BillF

Jazz concert censored!

60 posts in this topic

No matter what one's position is on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, I have to say this is not cool. I hate this kind of stuff, no matter where or who it comes from. Just let the man play!

Were you planning to attend, Bill?

Edited by John Tapscott

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No matter what one's position is on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, I have to say this is not cool. I hate this kind of stuff, no matter where or who it comes from. Just let the man play!

Were you planning to attend, Bill?

I wasn't planning to attend, as I prefer Gilad as a soloist with a local rhythm section, rather than with his Orient House Ensemble. I just hope the venue where I see him is sufficiently out of the way to escape this sort of thing.

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I'm not sure how this thread is going to avoid going political, and I won't comment beyond this post. Personally, based on quotes I've seen from his writing, I wouldn't see him live or otherwise support his work. While he has the right to say what he likes and to earn a living, when you publicly express what many would consider to be hate speech, you have to expect some backlash.

Edited by Justin V

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I won't add my political .02 here but it seems like a very weak move on the part of the venue. Lame.

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# je suis Gilad

Edited by uli

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Gilad Atzmon has been doing overtly political gigs for years. So far the world hasn't ended.

Cancelling the gig has given his cause more publicity than the actual gig would have done.

(He's well worth hearing and seeing, by the way).

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I'm not aware of him. I gather from the article that it was to be a music concert. Does he routinely discuss his political views during his concerts?

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I've only heard him allude to them occasionally - though I seem to recall he used to require any booking to stage a discussion before the gig for those interested. Many of his albums have overtly political concepts (like many 60s jazz records that are now seen as iconic).

He is Israeli in origin but completely opposed to the policies of his homeland (i.e. not anti-Jewish).

This is a tremendous record:

51rLolA2%2B6L._SS280.jpg

Has Palestinian and Jewish musicians playing tunes from one another's culture.

http://www.allmusic.com/album/exile-mw0000029298

Edited by A Lark Ascending

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I'm not aware of him. I gather from the article that it was to be a music concert. Does he routinely discuss his political views during his concerts?

In my experience, he doesn't discuss his political views during his gigs, but he does make asides. For example, introduced as an "Anglo-Israeli saxophonist" he remarked, "Don't say Israel, say occupied territories" and when fellow saxophonist Alan Barnes took out a baritone, he commented, "That looks like an Israeli weapon".

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Before reading this I had presumed that this was about a pro-Palestinian group stopping a concert because he was an Israeli. Pissed me off. Then I read what it was about. Made me think about my attitudes towards all free speech etc. Decided I was still pissed off that he wasn't allowed to perform.

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The same severe problem has been here. But the jazzfest committee has resisted against strong pressure from outside the jazzscene. Gilad Atzmon & Orient House Ensemble have played November 12, 2011 "round midnight".

Line-up: Gilad Atzmon as, cl, electronics - Frank Harrison p, kb - Yaron Stavi b - Eddie Hick dr

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Censorship is always wrong and it always fails.

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If the following goes beyond the bounds of the “no politics on Organissimo” rule, I'll delete it.

While I too hold no brief for censorship, it should be said that Atzmon is not just pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist — lots of people are — but he has gone so far as to ally himself with French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson, who claims that the Holocaust never happened, that that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz, etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FoEy3joW5o&spfreload=10

http://hrp-historicalreviewpress.blogspot.com/2011/09/is-gilad-atzmon-in-his-turn-becoming.html

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Is cancelling a for-hire performance censorship or an act of economic boycott?

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Not too long ago there was an op/ed in the WSJ which I tore out to read later but haven't yet, about a concept called "the heckler's veto."

The idea was much like this case.

Here it is, from Dec. 29, behind a paywall.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/barry-a-fisher-free-speechs-shrinking-circle-of-friends-

There was a 1949 US Supreme Court case called Terminiello v. Chicago which said that the police have the duty to protect the speaker from the protesters.

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Is cancelling a for-hire performance censorship or an act of economic boycott?

Atzmon talks about suing in the Manchester Evening News article. I seem to recall that there is a long-established tort in English law called Inducing Breach of Contract. It was originally used to prevent trade unions from calling strikes (which would cause striking workers to break their contracts with their employers), but parliament legislated to give trade unions immunity in certain circumstances, so that strikes could be lawfully held. Inducing Breach of Contract might be relevant in this case in that the pressure group induced the venue to break its contract with Atzmon. Any lawyers out there?

Edited by BillF

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Breach of contract, yes. Probably pretty sound, legally.

Still not sure if the cancellation was intended as an attempt to censor or an attempt to boycott...seems to me to be a bit of difference, although not a primary-colored obvious one.

No matter, never mind the desired ends, "boycott" is such a noble word. "censor" is for thugs, very unnoble.

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He's coming up at Swanage in a few months time - should be interesting !

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A thought from a another direction:

From YouTube clips, it's clear to me that Atzmon is a real player, and that a good many people would want to go hear him for just that simple reason. But it also seems to me that Atzmon has made his political stance such a foreground aspect of both his identity and his presentation of himself in the public arena, and that this stance goes far beyond pro-Palestianian/anti-Zionist views (again, many people share those views) into the realm of hard-core (is there any other kind?) Holocaust denial -- e.g. there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz, the whole notion that there was a Holocaust is a conspiracy cooked up by the Jews in order to paint themselves as victims so they could get their way in a post-WWII world, etc. -- that one wonders (I wonder) whether his music has come to serve a more or less calculated pied-piper function. That is, if one digs my music, which of course springs from and expresses my soul, does that not serve to legitimatize, on a similar "this too springs from the soul of a soulful talented artist" basis, the I would say pernicious by any standards Holocaust denial/international Jewish conspiracy stance that Atzmon typically places in the foreground of his presentation of himself in the public arena (or am I mistaken in my belief that he does that?)

If so, I suppose it's not unlike the plot of the musical "The Music Man," except that Atzmon's underlying goal is not to use music-making to sell band instruments but to use his music to sell ... well, I don't to repeat myself. And again, if so, I don't think that banning or censorship is the answer, just a cool, calm expose of what I think Atzmon's game is (assuming I'm right about what is). Above all, though, in all this one ought not to get into a so-called "dialogue about the facts" with guys like this, because that only gives them a rich further forum for to sell their wares. On this, see (for one) the career and the fate of David Irving:


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"that one wonders (I wonder) whether his music has come to serve a more or less calculated pied-piper function"

But I'm perfectly capable of listening to and appreciating his music and being able to make a judgement on his 'political' stance seperately. To suggest otherwise i think might show little regard for his audience in general.

Edited by mjazzg

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"that one wonders (I wonder) whether his music has come to serve a more or less calculated pied-piper function"

But I'm perfectly capable of listening to and appreciating his music and being able to make a judgement on his 'political' stance seperately. To suggest otherwise i think might show little regard for his audience in general.

OK, you are "perfectly capable of listening to and appreciating his music and being able to make a judgement on his 'political' stance seperately." But I do have doubts about the ability of Atzmon's audience in general to do this, because Holocaust deniers are practiced flim-flam men.

BTW, I don't mean to suggest by this that Atzmon is insincere or cynical (a la the title character of "The Music Man") in his apparent conflation of his views and his music, even though I referred above to Holocaust deniers as "practiced flim-flam men." Rather, I think that for whatever reasons Atzmon has drunk deeply from this well and become practiced in promulgating its dark rhetorical ploys, even though he may well believe them with all his heart and soul and thus may not see the practiced promulgation of those ploys as acts of flim-flam at all. But acts of grim flim-flam is what they are. Again see the link about David Irving in my post above.

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Let's keep things in proportion. Probably Bev and I are the only contributors to this thread who have seen Atzmon in action - I've seen him twice - and I can say that the only political content at his gigs is that 1) he has his books on sale as well as his albums, and 2) he makes throwaway remarks as quoted in #10 above. The overwhelming impression at the gigs is of someone who plays sensational alto with the power of Cannonball and a touch of Dolphy in his harmonic thinking. There's also an ever-present treasuring of Jewish (and Arabic, let it be said) culture in his playing. (He managed to quote from Fiddler on the Roof in the first chorus of his solo on the opening number, "Just Friends"! :lol:) Above all, as so often with jazz musicians, there's humour in what he does, so if there is a touch of politics at his gigs, it's political satire that he's peddling.

Re Atzmon's humour, try this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnA4J1oGt7g&list=PLT1QhVUGSYQKOlPatVRGyej8Cud_PR_KP

Edited by BillF

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