Report/Review: Musical Workshops With Gilad Atzmon / Launch of 'Gilad Uncovered - 10 Saxophone Solos By Gilad Atzmon Transcribed And Edited By Chris Gumbley' at Howarth Of London, Chiltern Street, London W1 on 5th November 2011

6th November 2011

Two Musical Workshops With Gilad Atzmon / Launch of 'Gilad Uncovered - 10 Saxophone Solos By Gilad Atzmon Transcribed And Edited By Chris Gumbley'
Howarth Of London
31 Chiltern Street, London W1U 7PN
Saturday 5th November 2011
11am - 4pm

The free workshops were officially scheduled for 12 noon and 2pm. By 12, the small but comfortable room in the basement of Howarth of London had filled up to capacity, and Chris Gumbley introduced Gilad Atzmon and himself to the assembled attendees while Howarth's distributed complimentary 'goody bags' consisting of a 'green' durable carrier bag with a variety of promotional products including a very welcome notepad and pencil.

Gumbley, a musician and club owner from the Midlands, proceeded to introduce the workshop. This one felt took up rather more time than strictly necessary, but was all the same interesting enough. Composition and basic improvisation were covered with the aid of a couple of examples by Gumbley, provided as sheet music, with the participants encouraged to engage in simple improvisations on the provided themes.

Finally, it was Atzmon's turn to take over leading the workshop. One of the most accessible and approachable musicians on the scene, Atzmon had the undivided attention of everyone, frequently answering questions, and all with a good dose of humour thrown in and a didactic style and finesse that would have been the envy of any teacher.

Covering everything from some basic 'secrets' of setting up your sax to improvisation and advanced microtonal playing, there was something for everyone present, from beginner to teacher. It was a totally gripping session, and fun too.

So absorbing was this workshop that nobody noticed that  it  had  run  well over its allotted time. A  few more

minutes were given over to launching Gilad Uncovered - 10 Saxophone Solos By Gilad Atzmon Transcribed And Edited By Chris Gumbley, which also includes an eleventh, bonus transcription of a clarinet solo. Most asked question here was, why no CD was included. The answer, quite obvious really, was that this would have raised the cost of the book unreasonable, especially given how cheap and easy it is today to download individual tracks from a variety of commercial web sites. Also available were a number of new publications by Chris Gumbley for saxophone solo and ensemble.

Howarth's thoughtfully provided copious quantities of tea, coffee and biscuits and cookies for refreshments, surely most welcome after such an intense session.

Many of the attendees of the first workshop stayed on for the second, for which there were fewer new arrivals, and it was decided to, more or less, carry on from where the first had left off.

Every bit as gripping as well as entertaining as the first session, time again just seemed to fly and at 4pm proceedings were brought to a halt, if only because the staff of Howarth's were, understandably, waiting to go home.

In conclusion, the workshops were an unqualified success all round. It would be very hard to find a better sax workshop than this, so look out for Atzmon's workshops and seminars! This was an absolute triumph for Atzmon and Gumbley, as well as a huge success for Howarth of London who undoubtedly and deservedly must have won new friends and customers in the process.

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