Giant Steps with Sarah Chaplin, Monday 16th April 2018, 7pm GMT

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My guest on Monday is simultaneously one of the greatest living saxophonists and one of the most controversial and vocal figures involved in debates about anti-semitism and Zionism in the world today: Gilad Atzmon.

Gilad has not only taken absolutely gigantic steps in his own life, (which brought him from serving in the IDF and confronting the horrors of how Israel was treating Palestinians, deciding to take up the tenor sax and come to live in the UK, and that’s just for starters), he is also one of Richie Allen’s favourite guests, a very compelling political analyst and philosopher, a brilliant writer, a stand up comedian, a member of legendary British band the Blockheads, and someone who is so familiar with John Coltrane that he could probably if I asked him play Giant Steps inside out, back to front, upside down, and give us a complete low down on why the tune is regarded as quite so innovative.

If you don’t believe me, here are some quotes:

“Atzmon’s fluid lyricism is in full flow on songbook classics and worldly originals. But as sweet romance morphs to modernist uncertainty, the bittersweet balance and rich emotional palette equally impress.” Financial Times ***** March 2009

“A formidable improvisational array…a jazz giant steadily drawing himself up to his full height…” The Guardian.

“The best musician living in the world today” Robert Wyatt

So be sure to watch Monday’s show – Gilad Atzmon is being threatened with court proceedings by the British Zio-Establishment at the moment, and given what’s going on with Syria, Russia, Israeli and UK politics, I can think of no better moment to chew things over with this incredible and fearless jazzman next week! You never know, I might even persuade him to play his sax live on the show.