Atzmon will sound off on The Primacy of the Ear tonight at 7 p.m. at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, telling the story of how, after growing up in a rather secular Zionist family, he discovered Charlie Parkers With Strings at seventeen while preparing for his compulsory service in the Israeli Defense Forces. The album blew him away, inspiring him to buy a saxophone and listen to American jazz legends like Sonny Rollins, Joe Henderson and Hank Mobley. After one month with a saxophone shoved up my mouth, Atzmon writes, my Zionist enthusiasm disappeared completely. Instead of flying choppers behind enemy lines, I started to fantasize about living in NYC, London or Paris.
Atzmons appearance is part of ArgusFest, and guests are asked to pay what they can. Hell be back at the Mercury at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 6, to play his sax; for details on that performance, go to www.mercurycafe.com.
Thu., June 4, 7 p.m., 2009