C/D? an output that prolific is never going to be consistent, but you have to admire his willingness to experiment and his enthusiasm. plus, classics in his repertoire include most of the naked city albums, ditto painkiller, masada, electric masada, spy vs spy, moonchild, the 50th birthdays and the music romance series.
on the other hand, some of the more recent chamber and classical works I haven't been too keen on, and roughly half of the tzadik releases seem to be less-than essential. plus tzadik released that exceptionally strange melt-banana live in the studio album that made them (them! of all bands!) sound weirdly flat and cardboard-esque, which was quite an achievement.
but, on balance, classic. music would be a much more boring place without him.
― mister the guanoman (mister the guanoman), Wednesday, 20 September 2006 06:54 (6 years ago) Permalink
^ COLBERT ON ZORN!
― rock u like a § (ex machina), Friday, 22 September 2006 19:05 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Dominique (dleone), Friday, 22 September 2006 20:18 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Friday, 22 September 2006 20:25 (6 years ago) Permalink
― o. nate (onate), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 01:39 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 02:11 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 11:05 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 11:18 (6 years ago) Permalink
Uri Caine: Moloch: Book of Angels Volume 6
― Rockist_Scientist (RSLaRue), Tuesday, 26 September 2006 11:56 (6 years ago) Permalink
I've been playing the Koby Israelite (Orobas) again lately. I agree about the awesomeness of the accordion. Lots of great solos on the record. I can see what you mean about the rhythms being somewhat unsatisfying - to me, they don't seem to "groove" quite as much as they should - they seem a bit stiff. Maybe that's what you mean by the "proggy wedding band groove" (great phrase, by the way). I guess that's because the focus is more on having lots of different sections with different tempos and having surprising sudden transitions, so it's harder sometimes to let the groove develop organically. So there's a trade-off going on, but I can see value in both approaches. It's interesting that you found the drumming less interesting than the other instruments, considering that Koby has for most of his career been primarily a drummer, and he only recently picked up the accordion. I guess he picked it up pretty fast.
There's an interesting interview with Koby here:
― o. nate, Wednesday, 22 August 2007 16:24 (5 years ago) Permalink
I've been listening to last year's Malphas, performed by Mark Feldman and Sylvie Courvoisier, a great deal this summer. It's lovely, quite energetic, with memorable, unpredictable melodies and tight interplay. I sometimes wonder how much of the credit should go to Zorn and how much to the performers. AFAIK the scoring is quite open.
Also, I recently downloaded Astronome, performed by Patton/Baron/Dunn. It's very different but I liked it on first listen. Heavy noise-rock with vocables from Patton but somehow it seems to come together and be more listenable than some other things in that vein.
― Sundar, Wednesday, 22 August 2007 17:03 (5 years ago) Permalink
AFAIK the scoring is quite open
That's certainly the impression I get from the Koby interview:
DOA: The songs on Orobas are from Zorn's Masada series, which have been described as "improvisational starting points." In what form was the music delivered to you, and how much of it was already clearly defined? There are some killer solos on various instruments throughout the album. Would it be more accurate to say they were your improvisations or lines that were meticulously mapped out by Zorn ahead of time?
KI: Zorn sent me only the melodies/riffs in some tunes, and for some he sent me the chord changes (like in the song “Nisroc,” for example). The solos were improvised by myself or by the trumpet player Sid Gauld, recorder player Stewart Curtis, and bass player Yaron Stavi.
― o. nate, Wednesday, 22 August 2007 17:07 (5 years ago) Permalink
Mark Feldman is amazing on Ned Rothenberg's Inner Diaspora. He's playing a little less outside there, but there's plenty going on. The whole album is terrific (not that it has much to do with Zorn, aside from being on his label).
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 22 August 2007 17:11 (5 years ago) Permalink
Yeah, you keep mentioning that one.;) I'm sure I'll like it but I haven't got around to hearing it yet.
BTW that's noise-rock in a proggy, choppy kind of way, not in a droney way.
― Sundar, Wednesday, 22 August 2007 17:17 (5 years ago) Permalink
Yeah, you keep mentioning that one.;)
Even though I have hardly heard anything new this year, I have to have something to hype.
― Rockist Scientist, Wednesday, 22 August 2007 17:47 (5 years ago) Permalink
Classic, but that Mike Patton connection makes me want to call him a dud.
― teflon monkey, Thursday, 23 August 2007 01:30 (5 years ago) Permalink
― chaki, Thursday, 23 August 2007 01:31 (5 years ago) Permalink
DID NOT DESERVER 500,000 PTS!!!
― luriqua, Thursday, 23 August 2007 01:39 (5 years ago) Permalink
MOST OF J Z'S SHIT SOUNDS LIKE ADULT THEMES FOR VOICES. TWO THUMBS DOWN.
dud. his voice on his horns is empty and faceless, and along with ken vandermark he's essentially this music's equivalent of the blues brothers: always paying tribute at the expense of developing even a halfway distinctive approach.
― Lawrence the Looter, Thursday, 23 August 2007 02:47 (5 years ago) Permalink
Naked City, Kristallnacht & Cobra live performances are pretty classic. Shots of a duo w/Eye I took in the 90's @ the Knitting Factory:
― blunt, Thursday, 23 August 2007 03:21 (5 years ago) Permalink
The biggest surprise of the year is John Zorn’s beautiful Christmas album. Zorn has hand picked seven of his favorite Christmas songs, penned two lovely originals and they are performed here in classic Dreamers style with plenty of exciting solos, exotic colors and catchy lyricism. Filled with a joyful holiday spirit, innocence, a touch of nostalgia and a charming lyricism, this is music for all ages that will make you smile with delight from the very first notes. As a special treat, vocalist Mike Patton delivers an intimate and heartfelt rendition of Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, making A Dreamers Christmas an instant classic, and an essential album for any contemporary Christmas celebration.
Can't wait for this.
― psychedelicatessen (seandalai), Tuesday, 11 October 2011 00:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
Me too. I love the Dreamers stuff
― Whiney G. Weingarten, Tuesday, 11 October 2011 01:01 (1 year ago) Permalink
John Zorn is one of the first/formative favorite artists of mine who nonetheless made me, at a certain point, just say 'enough.' So much of his stuff was so well packaged, played (by some of my favorite players) and recorded, and so much was expensive even by domestic standards, let alone as imports, that years ago I just had to give up trying to keep up. I haven't heard anything - let alone thought of - Zorn for longer than I can remember, though I have held on to some of my favorite stuff: Masada, Naked City, the soundtrack series, Big Gundown. Bar Kokhba and The Circle Maker.
(Ha, looking upthread, I think the last time Zorn came to mind was the last time I posted on this thread, five years ago!
― Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 11 October 2011 01:13 (1 year ago) Permalink
I just got the first four Masada discs (three full-length CDs and a three-song EP). Listened to part of the first one this morning. It was good, but not life-changing or anything, and I didn't hear a huge amount of Ornette (except on the very first track) or anything ultra-Jewish in a shove-it-in-your-face sort of way. Most of it was just adventurous-ish hard bop. I guess I'll make my way through all of it (35 tracks) just 'cause it's there, but honestly my enthusiasm is already fading and I've only listened to about eight pieces.
― that's not funny. (unperson), Tuesday, 11 October 2011 02:09 (1 year ago) Permalink
I dunno, I think adventurous-ish hard bop is good enough. I suppose it does get interesting what be does with the various Masada themes in future projects/groups.
― Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 11 October 2011 02:42 (1 year ago) Permalink
This Christmas album is well lounge-y...Not sure what I expected but we're clearly in the world of Christmas Cookin'/Ski Surfin'/Charlie Brown rather than Jazz Freakout Christmas.
― fun drive (seandalai), Friday, 4 November 2011 19:40 (1 year ago) Permalink
I had a real Zorn-athon today. Listened to The Dreamers albums and then took in Mount Analogue for the first time. I bought my first Zorn Album 'Spillane' when I was 15 years old and 24 years later I still feel like I am a newbie. It was a split South Bank Show with Zorn/Sonic Youth that got my attention. Whenever I get bored of everything on my ipod I just delete it all and stick a load of Zorn/Mingus/Miles/Mozart on it.Every time I go back to Zorn there is always one of his albums that I previously didn't care much for, suddenly becomes my favourite album. The guy's music is an extraordinary goldmine. Now I am listening to Nova Express which is becoming another of my favourites.
― Damo Suzuki's Parrot, Monday, 7 May 2012 19:45 (1 year ago) Permalink
Dreamers is his sort of post-Masada outfit, right? Sort of like another iteration of Electric Masada? I've heard their Book 2 disc is great.
― Josh in Chicago, Monday, 7 May 2012 19:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
Just check out The Gift, The Dreamers,Alhambra Love Songs and o'o and I guarantee you will find a lot to love. I am not great with his personel but I they all have Ribot on guitar and members of Electric Masada.
― Damo Suzuki's Parrot, Monday, 7 May 2012 20:13 (1 year ago) Permalink
Electric Masada is a better band than Radiohead
― suidavyvan eht nioj (Whiney G. Weingarten), Monday, 7 May 2012 20:28 (1 year ago) Permalink
I will be careful about getting too excited on here in future, lest I get cut again by laconic wit.
― Damo Suzuki's Parrot, Monday, 7 May 2012 23:36 (1 year ago) Permalink
Sorry about my last nonsense post I have had a few today and am not sure what I was talking about.
― Damo Suzuki's Parrot, Monday, 7 May 2012 23:50 (1 year ago) Permalink
Went to an excellent concert performance last night by the Scottish Symphony Orchestra of some of Zorn's orchestral pieces. Just great to hear a huge group of musicians really nailing some typically 'difficult' (to execute, at least) pieces. Can be heard here;
― Ward Fowler, Sunday, 13 January 2013 13:04 (4 months ago) Permalink
Try to check a couple - wish he'd play Chimeras live (its a for Pierrot Lunaire type ensemble, and it works)
― xyzzzz__, Monday, 14 January 2013 09:09 (4 months ago) Permalink
There's this next month for Londoners.
― it's all fuck what sit says, we'll do our own thing (Matt #2), Monday, 14 January 2013 10:01 (4 months ago) Permalink
I really like the extremely short-lived band Zorn had with Fred Frith on guitar, Bill Laswell on bass, and Dave Lombardo on drums. They only played four shows ever between 1999 and 2001, and recorded exactly one studio track, on the Taboo and Exile album (two other tracks on that disc feature Frith, Laswell, Lombardo, and Marc Ribot, but no Zorn). I have bootlegs of all four live shows, and they're pretty killer. A kind of cross between Pain Killer and Last Exit, with Lombardo erupting into double kick drum madness at regular intervals. Frith gets drowned out a lot. Oh, and at the New York show (which I was at), Eye joins on vocals for part of it.
― 誤訳侮辱, Monday, 11 February 2013 00:45 (3 months ago) Permalink
Really? I saw their London performance and didn't think it worked at all - seemed like four different musicians doing their own thing rather any kind of collective endeavour. This may be conditioned by the fact that a) I'd seen a Masada evening at the same venue about a year before, which was one of the best gigs I've been to, and b) I find the sound of Laswell's electric 12-string particularly unlovable. Still, Lombardo was amazing, and we did get Derek Bailey in support.
― Ward Fowler, Monday, 11 February 2013 11:28 (3 months ago) Permalink
I got to see a Naked City show in NYC back in the day at the old Marquee. The guy in the wrestling mask doing the vocals turned out to be, not Eye, but Mike Patton. It was one of the most fun shows I ever attended, seeing these four musicians with sheet music siting down looking totally serious whilst performing some of the most fucked up and precise noise ever invented.
So that's classic.
But the dude is incredibly prolific and only a small portion of it is even close to as interesting as that, so I understand if people disagree.
― Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Monday, 11 February 2013 17:13 (3 months ago) Permalink
Another fond Naked City memory: I worked at the Tower Records in the Village from 1989-1990 downstairs in the cassettes department. Sometimes I would be asked to work in the separate room down there at the back where we kept soundtracks, jazz, world music and the like, sequestered from the more mainstream stuff. While working in there one was not allowed to play anything not for sale in there. So I always played Naked City (and also soundtracks for the first Decline of Western Civilization and River's Edge). Which pissed my bosses off and scared quite a few customers but I am also pretty sure I sold a few tapes too!
― Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Monday, 11 February 2013 17:20 (3 months ago) Permalink