John Zorn


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School (Parachute, 1978 - Tzadik, 1997), 6.5/10
Pool/ Hockey (Parachute, 1980), 6.5/10
Archery (Parachute, 1982 - Tzadik, 2001), 7/10
Classic Guide To Strategy vol. 1 (Lumina, 1983), 6/10
Locus Solus (Rift, 1983), 7.5/10
Ganryu Island (Yukon, 1985), 6/10
Big Gundown (Icon, 1986), 5/10
Classic Guide To Strategy vol. 2 (Lumina, 1986), 5/10
Deadly Weapons (Nato, 1986), 6/10
Cobra (hat Art, 1987), 8/10
Spillane (Elektra, 1987), 7.5/10
Spy Vs Spy (Elektra, 1989), 5/10
News For Lulu: News For Lulu (hat Art, 1988), 5/10
Naked City: Naked City (Elektra, 1989), 7/10
Cynical Hysterie Hour (CBS, 1990), 6.5/10
Naked City: Torture Garden (Shimmy Disc, 1990), 6.5/10
Film Works (Wave, 1991), 6/10
Painkiller: The Guts Of A Virgin (Earache, 1991), 6.5/10
News For Lulu: More News For Lulu (hatART, 1992), 4/10
Naked City: Heretic (Avant, 1992), 6.5/10
Painkiller: Buried Secrets (Earache, 1992), 7/10
Naked City: Grand Guignol (Avant, 1992), 4/10
Elegy (Eva, 1992), 5/10
Kristallnacht (Eva, 1993), 7/10
Painkiller: Rituals (Toy's Factory, 1993), 4/10
Naked City: Radio (Avant, 1993), 6/10
Naked City: Absinthe (Avant, 1993), 5/10
Painkiller: Execution Ground (Subharmonic, 1994), 5/10
Masada: Masada 1 aka Alef (DIW, 1994), 6/10
Masada: Masada aka Beit (DIW, 1995), 5/10
Masada: Masada 3 aka Gimel (DIW, 1995), 5/10
Masada: Masada 4 aka Dalet (DIW, 1995), 3/10
Masada: Masada Live (Jazz Door, 1995), 3/10
Masada: Masada 5 aka Hei (DIW, 1995), 6/10
Masada: Masada 6 aka Vav (DIW, 1995), 5/10
Masada: Masada 7 aka Zayin (DIW, 1996), 5/10
Black Box (Tzadik, 1996), 7/10
Masada: Masada 8 aka Het (Tzadik, 1997), 5/10
Masada: Masada 9 aka Tet (DIW, 1998), 5/10
Masada: Masada 10 aka Yod (Tzadik, 1998), 5/10
Cobra: Live At The Knitting Factory (KFW, 1995), 3/10
Redbird (Tzadik, 1995), 7/10
The Book Of Heads (Tzadik, 1995), 5/10
Cobra: Tokyo Operations '94 (Avant, 1995), 4/10
Filmworks II (Toy's Factory, 1995), 4/10
Filmworks III (Toy's Factory, 1996), 4/10
Filmworks V (Tzadik, 1996), 5/10
Filmworks IV (Tzadik, 1997), 4/10
Filmworks VI (Tzadik, 1996), 4/10
Filmworks VIII (Tzadik, 1998), 5/10
Bar Kokhba (Tzadik, 1996), 6/10
New Traditions In East Asian Bar Bands (Tzadik, 1997), 3/10
Duras Duchamp (Tzadik, 1997), 4/10
Angelus Novus (Tzadik, 1998), 5/10
The Circle Maker (Tzadik, 1998), 6.5/10
Aporias (Tzadik, 1998), 7/10
The Bribe (Tzadik, 1998), 6/10
Music Romance Volume 1 (Tzadik, 1998), 3/10
Masada: Live In Jerusalem 1994 (Tzadik, 1999), 3/10
Masada: Live In Taipei 1995 (Tzadik, 1999), 3/10
Masada: Live In Middleheim (Tzadik, 1999), 3/10
Masada: Live In Sevilla (Tzadik, 2000), 3/10
Masada: Live At Tonic (Tzadik, 2001), 3/10
Masada: First Live 1993 (Tzadik, 2002), 3/10
The String Quartets (Tzadik, 1999), 6/10
Godard/Spillane (Tzadik, 1999), 7/10
Taboo And Exile (Tzadik, 1999), 6/10
Xu Feng (Tzadik, 2000), 6/10
Cartoon S/M (Tzadik, 2000), 6.5/10
Filmworks IX (Tzadik, 2000), 4/10
Madness, Love & Mysticism (Tzadik, 2001), 4/10
The Gift (Tzadik, 2001), 6/10
Filmworks X (Tzadik, 2001), 5.5/10
Songs from the Hermetic Theater (Tzadik, 2001), 5/10
Hockey (Tzadik, 2002), 6.5/10
Painkiller: Talisman (Tzadik, 2002), 3/10
Naked City Live 1 (Tzadik, 2002), 3/10
I.A.O. (Tzadik, 2002), 6.5/10
Hemophiliac (Tzadik, 2002), 4/10
Cobra (Tzadik, 2002), 7/10
Filmworks XI (Tzadik, 2002), 4/10
Filmworks XII (Tzadik, 2002), 3/10
Filmworks XIII (Tzadik, 2002), 6/10
Painkiller Live in Nagoya (Tzadik, 2002), 3/10
Masada Guitars (Tzadik, 2003), 5.5/10
Voices in the Wilderness (Tzadik, 2003), 6/10
Chimeras (Tzadik, 2003), 6.5/10
The Unknown Masada (Tzadik, 2003), 3/10
Filmworks XIV (Tzadik, 2003), 4/10
Magick (Tzadik, 2005), 6/10
Moonchild (2006), 5/10
Astronome (2006), 6/10
Six Litanies For Heliogabalus (2007), 6/10
Links:

One of the most prolific recording artists of all times (not necessarily a compliment), New York-based alto saxophonist John Zorn (1953) has certainly been very active. His gargantuan discography contains many ridiculous albums, released only because the cost of manufacturing CDs collapsed during the 1990s, but also a few important works that helped redefine the avantgarde at the turn of the century.
John Zorn (1953) studied composition in New York but conducted his first experiments in improvisation when he lived in St. Louis, where he met Joseph Bowie and other promising African-American musicians. Zorn, however, was already influenced by a variety of musical sources, both classical and jazz and even by cartoon soundtracks.
John Zorn emerged from the milieu of the solo creative improvisers, but his concept of "improvisation" was more closely related to John Cage's aleatory music than to Ornette Coleman's free-jazz. Game-pieces such as Lacrosse (first recorded in june 1977 with soprano saxophonist Bruce Ackley and guitarists Eugene Chadbourne. and Henry Kaiser plus electronics, violin, viola, dobro, banjo, clarinet), three versions of which are documented on the double-LP School (Parachute, 1978 - Tzadik, 1997), Hockey (composed in 1978 but first recorded in march 1980 by Chadbourne, keyboardist Wayne Horvitz and electronic musician Bob Ostertag), Archery (composed in 1979 but first recorded in september 1981 with flutist Robert Dick, trombonist George Lewis, keyboardists Mark Kramer, Anthony Coleman and Wayne Horvitz, guitarists Chadbourne and Bill Horvitz, bassist Bill Laswell, violinist Polly Bradfield, cellist Tom Cora, drummer David Moss), and Pool (also composed in 1979, with a 51-minute performance recorded in march 1980 with violinist Polly Bradfield, vibraphonist Mark Miller, percussionist Charles Noyes, Ostertag and trumpeter Lesli Dalaba) were partially structured improvisations that defined rules within which a cast of improvisers could improvise (improvisation being bound more by mathematical than emotional constraints, a` la Anthony Braxton). True to Cage's indeterminate aesthetics, Zorn composed uncomposed music and conducted unrepeatable performances. Zorn played indifferently alto or soprano saxophones and clarinets. But instrumental style was definitely not what his musical "games" were about.

Zorn embraced the aesthetic of the new wave and of punk-rock with the hysterical and laconic fragments of Locus Solus (september 1983), that employed both jazz musicians (keyboardist Wayne Horvitz) and rock musicians (including DNA's guitarist Arto Lindsay, the Golden Palominos' drummer Anton Fier, DNA's drummer Ikue Mori) plus turntablists (notably Christian Marclay). This time his own demented saxophone playing stood out as a major and shocking stylitic innovation, sometimes mocking animals and sometimes imitating synthesizers. The album is flooded by spoken-word, vocal samples and nasty vocal noises. The overall feeling is one of juvenile parody or irreverent cabaret. Zorn's noises are particularly stunning in pieces like A Case Arose and The Elf, well complemented by Marclay's warped samples, to the point that one barely notices Peter Blegvad's (obnoxious) spoken vocals. The cartoonish frenzy of Honey-Cab virtually invented a new genre, at the intersection of sloppy punk spirit and comical Zappa-esque iconoclasm. Bass And The Treble (digital collage, musique concrete and dadaistic noise) The Acquisition & Control Of Fire (samples and free-form electronic music) Juan Talks It Out Of His System (for gurgling mouth, animal zoo and exotic strumming) flow next to the rare "musical" skits like Switch (a deformed folk lullaby) and Getting Curly (a cacophonous no-wave jam). The latter begins a duel between Zorn's ear-splitting horns and Lindsay's atonal guitar that peaks around Add Water and Cold. with a notably hysterical detour in the brief Friar T and an agonizing nervous breakdown in Moi Non Plus. By comparison, the third (all-instrumental) part (the pieces from 23 to 30), with Horvitz on futuristic electronics and Mori on tribal percussion is "sophisticated", starting with the cryptic and sinister Heike Cipher Mystery and peaking with the manic equatorial wardance of When Arrows Meet via the jazzy and suspenseful Mysterious Island. Another genre emerged from You Only Live Twice Mr Bond, a wildly unorthodox deconstruction of a movie soundtrack. The last eight pieces feature hip-hop dj Whiz Kid and drummer Mark MIller, a collaboration that yields barbaric albeit reluctant raids like Where Are My Victims and The Slaves Of Vesuvius, and especially the orgiastic Kaiser In Borneo and White Zombie, as well as the warzone explosions of The Violent Death Of Dutch Schultz.

Hot on the heels of the large-scale game piece Track And Field (1982), Cobra (october 1985), a game piece originally conceived in 1984, marked another zenith of Zorn's chaotic and abrasive vision, a dadaistic symphony structured in twenty classical movements that, despite the pretentious premises, was the musical equivalent of a Marx Brothers' slapstick. The studio version featured Jim Staley on trombone, Carol Emanuel and Zeena Parkins on harps, Bill Frisell Elliott Sharp and Arto Lindsay on guitars, Anthony Coleman and Wayne Horvitz on organ, piano, harpsichord and celeste, David Weinstein on sampling keyboards, Guy Klucevsek on accordion, Bob James on tapes, Christian Marclay on turntables, Bobby Previte on percussion. Vestiges of popular music, from Jimi Hendrix's glissandos to cajun accordion, kept surfacing with frantic exuberance from the shroud of random dissonace, perhaps a metaphor for the post-modernist conflict between nostalgia and futurism, amid a concrete collage of power-drills and electronic oscillations, jackhammer rhythms and expressionist overtones.
Xu Feng (composed in 1985, recorded in may 2000 by guitarists Fred Frith and John Schott, electronic musicians Chris Brown and David Slusser, percussionist William Winant and Slayer's drummer Dave Lombardo) closed the "infinite series" of game pieces (games in which the participants contribute to keep the game alive) and opened a new series, in which Zorn tried to recreate an environment via sound (in this case, kung-fu martial arts).
A number of hyper-kinetic collages of subcultural genres such as The Bribe (1986) for small orchestra (with Marty Ehrlich on saxophones and bass clarinet, Jim Staley on trombone, Zeena Parkins and Carol Emanuel on harps, Robert Quine on guitar, Anthony Coleman and Wayne Horvitz on keyboards, Christian Marclay on turntables, David Hofstra on bass, Bobby Previte on percussion, Ikue Mori on drum machines) and Spillane (june 1986), off Godard Spillane, a melodic fantasia for almost the same ensemble (minus Ehrlich, Parkins, Horvitz, Marclay, Mori but with Frisell, Bob James on tapes and David Weinstein on sampling keyboards) that paid homage to the atmospheres of film noir, announced the new Zorn: the post-modernist (or, better, cubist) artist who "quoted", deconstructed and reconstructed musical stereotypes while injecting the cacophony, frenzy and violence of the 20th century. Zorn quickly established himself as the ultimate post-modernist (or, better, cubist) artist, capable of revising established canons in ways that bordered on blasphemy.
That artist moved closer to the world of rock music with Naked City (1989), a venture with rock guitarists Bill Frisell and Fred Frith, Boredoms's psychotic vocalist Yamatsuka Eye, keyboardist Wayne Horvitz and drummer Joey Baron offering brief bursts of irreverent jazz-surf-punk fusion music that referenced a broad spectrum of musical stereotypes, albeit drenched in urban neurosis. Zorn's works now fully revealed the influnce of the epileptic discontinuity of Carl Stalling's cartoon soundtracks, literally applied on Cynical Hysterie Hour (october 1988), one of his most ambitious attempts at deconstructing the western musical civilization. Even more uncompromising, Naked City's Torture Garden (1990) and Heretic (1991), without Laswell and with Frith on bass, were whirlwinds of recombinant pieces that applied John Cage to atonal improvisation. The two Painkiller albums (for a "jazzcore" trio with bassist Bill Laswell and Napalm Death's drummer Mick Harris), The Guts Of A Virgin (april 1991) and especially Buried Secrets (october 1991), were kaleidoscopic frescoes of unfulfilled semiotic events. Zorn's music was of abrupts shifts of style (whether within the same song or from one song to the next) was the equivalent of turning the tuning dial of a radio.

Radio Hour (1991) contains two lengthy suites that are basically Zorn's musical autobiography: he talks and plays records of his main influences.

Zorn was also active as a composer of chamber music, as proven by For Your Eyes Only (1989), another Carl Stalling-style score, and Elegy (november 1991), a four-movement tribute to French writer Jean Genet scored for flute, viola, guitar, turntables, percussion and voice. Zorn's combinatorial exercises and cut-up techniques were in fact better pursued in his chamber music, which yielded large-scale works such as Kristallnacht (november 1992), for a Jewish ensemble (Mark Feldman on violin, Marc Ribot on guitar, Anthony Coleman on keyboards, Mark Dresser on bass, William Winant on percussion, David Krakauer on clarinet), Redbird (1995) for string trio (Carol Emanuel on harp, Jill Jaffe on viola, Erik Friedlander on cello), Aporias (1998) for piano and orchestra, and Chimeras (january 2003) for the same ensemble (voice and twelve instruments) as Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, as well as the wind octet Angelus Novus (1993) and several string quartets: Cat o' Nine Tails (1988), The Dead Man (1990), Memento Mori (1992), Kol Nidre (1996), Necronomicon (2003). Some of them betrayed the influence of Morton Feldman's latter-day chamber music.
After Naked City's Radio (april 1993), another (and perhaps the ultimate) exercise in quotation and collage at manic speed, Painkiller's double-disc Execution Ground (june 1994) dominated by the ambient-dub aesthetic of Laswell and Harris, Zorn (disguised under silly monikers) concocted two noise-fests with Yamatsuka Eye: Nani Nani (march 1995) and Mystic Fugu Orchestra's Zohar (Tzadik, 1995).
In one of his typical turnarounds, Zorn also formed Masada, a more traditional jazz quartet (trumpeter Dave Douglas, bassist Greg Cohen and drummer Joey Baron) with an emphasis on klezmer melody, to explore the same vision of Kristallnacht, i.e. Jewish history, over the course of ten albums, from Alef (february 1994) to Yod (september 1997), with an artistic peak in Hei (july 1995). Masada's music was also re-arranged first for chamber ensemble on Bar Kokhba (march 1996) and The Circle Maker (december 1997), and then for guitar only (Bill Frisell, Tim Sparks, Marc Ribot) on Masada Guitars (2003). Masada-style klezmer jazz also surfaced on some of his movie soundtracks, notably The Port of Last Resort (november 1997), scored for jazz sextet (Feldman, Friedlander, bassist Greg Cohen, guitarist Marc Ribot, pianist Anthony Coleman and pipa virtuoso Min Xiao Fen).
An endless series of albums titled Filmworks collected Zorn's monumental (quantity-wise) output for the cinema. Mostly mediocre, his soundtracks recycled all sorts of disparate ideas from jazz, rock, avantgarde music and cartoon music. For example: She Must Be Seeing Things (1986), with Staley, Frisell, Emanuel, Coleman, Horvitz, Weinstein, Previte, Hofstra, Nana Vasconcelos on percussion, Shelley Hirsch on vocals, Marty Ehrlich on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Tom Varner on French horn; The Golden Boat (1990), with Coleman, Quine, Emanuel, Dresser, Previte, Vicki Bodner on oboe, David Shea on turntable, Cyro Baptista on percussion; The Thieves Quartet (1993), that debuted the Masada line-up of Zorn, Douglas, Cohen and Baron; A Lot of Fun for the Evil One (released in 1997), a computer collage of musical samples; Tears Of Ecstasy (october 1995), 48 one-minute fetishes of popular music performed by guitarists Robert Quine and Marc Ribot and percussionist Cyro Baptista; Trembling Before G-d (released in 2000), his first feature-length soundtrack, scored only for clarinet (Chris Speed), organ (James Saft) and percussion (Baptista); In the Mirror of Maya Deren (2001), one of the most romantic, with tender cello (Friedlander) and piano (Zorn and Saft) counterpoint and exotic overtones (Baptista); Secret Lives (2002) for string trio (Cohen, Feldman, Friedlander), one of his simplest compositions; Invitation to a Suicide (june 2002), perhaps the best one, performed by Ribot, Freidlander, Tin Hat Trio's accordionist Rob Burger, rock bassist Trevor Dunn and percussionist Kenny Wollesen; Hiding and Seeking (april 2003), a virtually Jewish fantasia for classical guitar (Ribot), vibraphone (Wollesen), Brazilian percussion (Baptista), acoustic bass (Dunn) and voice (Ganda Suthivarakom); Protocols of Zion (october 2004) for an ethnic trio (Zorn himself on piano, Baptista and bassist Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz); the electronic Workingman's Death (2005) for Saft, Zorn, Ikue Mori (all on keyboards), Blumenkranz and Baptista; Notes on Marie Menken (2005) for a free-jazz trio (Zorn on alto, Blumenkranz and Wollesen) plus guitarist Jon Madof; the exotic The Treatment (2005) for Latin-jazz quartet (Feldman, Burger, Blumenkranz and Wollesen).
Zorn's main contribution to the history of music was the invention of an anti-jazz style, a frantic and chaotic hodgepodge of cartoon music, chamber music, punk-rock and sheer dissonance grafted onto the body of improvised music. The sense of an agonizing civilization radiated from his multi-faceted musical neurosis.

John Zorn (New York, 1953), uno dei musicisti piu` prolifici e influenti della sua generazione, ha poco a che vedere con la scena del nuovo jazz. E' piuttosto l'ultimo dei grandi sperimentatori dadaisti, erede dei programmi aleatori di John Cage e della gestualita' Europea. Nei suoi lavori ha sempre avuto chiaro che l'armonia nasce dai rapporti che il compositore stabilisce fra gli strumenti dell'orchestra. Pertanto ha tentato di formalizzare questa prassi e di aumentare, secondo algoritmi diversi, il grado di liberta' concesso agli esecutori. In tal modo ha generato pastiche sempre piu' caotici, sempre piu' al limite del gratuito. Eppure proprio da quest'estrema anarchia ha saputo derivare un'arte di collage cinetico che ricorda le movimentate suite di Frank Zappa e che ne ha rivelato la caratura di arrangiatore. Allo strumento ha altresi' saputo inventare un nuovo stile, l'analogo per il sassofono del punk-rock chitarristico.

Il nomadismo stilistico della maturita' ha ridotto alquanto la portata della sua opera, pur consolidandone la fama di arrangiatore. In questo campo la sua opera costituisce una pietra miliare del post-moderno.

John Zorn (1953) studio' composizione a New York ma si diede ai primi esperimenti di improvvisazione a St. Louis, dove conobbe Joseph Bowie e altri musicisti di colore in erba, influenzato da fonti tanto diverse quali Igor Stravinsky, Anthony Braxton, il contrappunto, Edgar Varese, Partch, Derek Bailey. I suoi primi pezzi erano in effetti piu' vicini alla musica gestuale europea, ma l'influenza della musica creativa lo spinse ad abbracciare strutture sempre piu' improvvisate, e a suonare sempre piu' il sassofono.

Le piece razionali e cacofoniche che lo rivelano si chiamano Lacrosse (1977), Hockey (1978), Pool (1979), Croquet (1981), Track And Field (1982), nelle quali e' spesso coadiuvato da geni del calibro di Arto Lindsay, David Moss, Tom Cora, Fred Frith, Eugene Chadbourne. Sono lavori ispirati dalla rapidita' di cambiamento delle colonne sonore dei cartoni animati: analogamente le sue piece sono zeppe di discontinuita' apparentemente paradossali, in vivo contrasto con le prassi estetiche dominanti nell'ambiente della libera improvvisazione.

I dischi doppi School, condiviso con Chadbourne, che contiene tre versioni di Lacrosse per un totale di 48 minuti (electronics, violin, viola, guitars, dobro, banjo, saxophones, clarinet), Pool, che contiene 51 minuti della jam omonima (Polly Bradfield on violin, Mark Miller on vibraphone, Charles Noyes on percussion, Bob Ostertag on electronics, Lesli Dalaba on trumpet), e Archery raccolgono alcune di queste perfomance per "all-star cast" e per regole di comportamento, che costituiscono di fatto un'estensione degli assoli creativi del jazz degli anni Settanta: invece che far improvvisare un musicista alla volta (o un duo o un trio), Zorn fa improvvisare una decina di essi contemporaneamente fissando le regole secondo cui devono interagire.

Archery (composed in 1979) featured a mini-orchestra of Robert Dick on flutes, George Lewis on trombone, Anthony Coleman on organ, Wayne Horvitz on electronic keyboard, Mark Kramer on synthesizer, Eugene Chadbourne on guitars, Bill Horvitz on guitar, Bill Laswell on bass, Polly Bradfield on violin, Tom Cora on cello, David Moss on percussion. The cast was essential to make the best of the duo and trio permutations of twelve musicians set in motion by the the composer (Zorn), because such combinations have virtually complete freedom on what to play within the rules of the game.
Archery comprises four tracks, each about twenty-minute long: A1-D2, D3-G1, G2-L4, L5-O14.
True to Cage's indeterminate aesthetics, Zorn composed uncomposed music and conducted unrepeatable performances.

Hockey (1978), released both on Pool and later on Hockey (Tzadik, 2002), sets a limit on what each improviser can play (basically, only five sounds) and sets a tight context in which they can play it (a lattice of solos, duos and trios). The piece becomes almost a psychological study, as the improvisers try to build structure out of such minimal freedom.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Matteo Daniele)

Archery (composto nel 1979) si avvaleva della mini-orchestra di Robert Dick ai flauti, George Lewis al trombone, Anthony Coleman all'organo, Wayne Horovitz alle tastiere elettroniche, Mark Kramer al sintetizzatore, Eugene Chadbourne alle chitarre, Bill Horoviz alla chitarra, Bill Laswell al basso, Polly Bradfield al violino, Tom ciora al cello, David Moss alle percussioni. Il gruppo era composto dallo stretto necessario di musicisti affinchŠ si relizzassero, mediante lo scambio degli strumentisti stessi, i migliori duetti e trii dall'insieme dei 12 intorno al compositore (Zorn), affinchŠ queste combinazioni avessero la virtuale e completa libert… su cosa suonare rimanendo nelle regole del gioco. Archery comprende quattro tracce, ognuna della durata di circa 20 minuti:A1-D2, D3-G1, G2-L4, L5-O14. Allineandosi all'estetica indeterminata di Cage, Zorn compose musica "non composta" e diresse performance irripetibili.

Hockey (1978), uscito prima su Pool e pi— tardi su Hockey (Tzadik, 2002), fissa un limite al quale ogni strumentista pu• arrivare (basilarmente da soli 5 suoni) e fissa un contesto stretto in cui possono suonarlo (una griglia di soli, duetti e trii). L'opera diventa quasi uno studio psicologico nel momento in cui gli improvvisatori cercano di costruire una struttura da questa libert… minimale.

Zorn had a reputation for trying to play Charlie Parker's repertory backwards, but his real value was an a link between classical, jazz and rock musicians. He also formed a trio with Derek Bailey and George Lewis that crafted the glacial and cerebral geometries of City City City, The Legend Of Enos Slaughter and especially On Golden Pond on Yankees (1983). As a performer of horn instruments, he stunned the world of improvisors with an idiosyncratic, dadaistic and occasionally comic vocabulary of musical phonemes, notably in the two lengthy improvisations of Classic Guide To Strategy (1983): Senki and The Moon In The Cold Stream Like A Mirror. Rarely had the saxophone sounded so ugly and so inept, but also rarely had the saxophone mimicked the human voice, natural sounds and even city sounds in such a realistic manner. It wasn't just a matter of extending the vocabulary of the instrument: it was also an ideological attack against the very concept of what instruments are for. It was not about atmosphere, counterpoint or pattern: it was deliberately about chaos and noise. Senki is a festival of the imagination. At one point The Moon even sounds like musique concrete. Classic Guide To Strategy vol. 2 (Lumina, 1986) delivered a few more assaults against rationality (each titled after a fellow avantgarde musician), notably Aoyama Michi, that sounds like a cabaret performer imitating and mocking different celebrities.

Zorn displayed his passion for chromatic contrast when he engaged shamisen player Michihiro Satoh in duets such as Haguregumo, Kagemusha and Ganryu Island on Ganryu Island (1985).

Zorn reached a temporary artistic zenitch with the double-LP Locus Solus, that collects turntable players (Christian Marclay), no-wave musicians (Arto Lindsay, Peter Blegvad, Anton Fier and Ikue Mori), and jazz players (including Horvitz). Each of the four sides is devoted to a different trio combination, the only common factor being Zorn's demented saxophone timbre. The first side (Blegvad, Marclay, Zorn) contains eight brief surreal vignettes. The second side, with Lindsay and Fier, is perhaps the most inviting, despite being fragmented into hysterical miniatures. On the third side (Horvitz, Mori, Zorn) Mori's drums steals the show, and on the fourth one the lead instrument of sorts is dj Whiz Kid's turntable. This was "negative" improvisation, in which each member of the ensemble is de facto forced into zombie non-existence.

Reso celebre dai ripetuti tentativi di suonare pezzi di Charlie Parker all'indietro, dall'ambizione di unificare musica classica, musica jazz e musica rock, da un trio con Derek Bailey e George Lewis (da cui le glaciali e cerebrali geometrie di City City City, The Legend Of Enos Slaughter e soprattutto On Golden Pond su Yankees) e dal vocabolario inusitato di fonemi musicali che estrae dagli strumenti a fiato piu' svariati (sulle due lunghe suite di Classic Guide To Strategy, Senki e The Moon In The Cold Stream Like A Mirror, e nei duetti con lo shamisen di Michihiro Satoh, in particolare Haguregumo, Kagemusha e Ganryu Island, su Ganryu Island), Zorn raggiunge un provvisorio zenith con il doppio Locus Solus, che raccoglie suonatori di giradischi (Christian Marclay), esponenti della no-wave come Arto Lindsay, Peter Blegvad, Anton Fier e Ikue Mori, e musicisti jazz (fra cui Horvitz), e propone una forma di improvvisazione "negativa" in cui l'ensemble e' di fatto legato a un'anonimato androide. Ognuna delle quattro facciate e' dominio di un trio diverso, tutti i pezzi rispettano la forma della canzone, e l'unica costante e', ovviamente, il registro squilibrato del sassofono di Zorn. La prima facciata (per Blegvad, Marclay e Zorn) contiene otto brevi vignette surreali. La seconda facciata, con Lindsay e Fier, strutturata in sketches brevissimi e isterici, e` forse la piu` intrigante. Sulla terza (Horvitz, Mori, Zorn) fa spettacolo la batteria di Ikue Mori, e sulla quarta gigioneggia Whiz Kid, disc-jockey alle prese con il suo giradischi.

After this groundbreaking work, Zorn's career turned to a completely different direction with the most ambitious of his "game pieces" (a form of structured improvisation controlled, but not determined, by a set of instructions). The double-LP album Cobra, that contains both a studio and a live version of Cobra (originally conceived in 1984), marked another zenith of his disjointed chaos, of his manner of abstract soundpainting that matches Jackson Pollock's paintings. The result is a dadaist symphony that, despite the pretentious premises, is rather the musical equivalent of a Marx Brothers' slapstick.
The studio version features Jim Staley on trombone, Carol Emanuel and Zeena Parkins on harps, Bill Frisell, Elliott Sharp and Arto Lindsay on guitars, Anthony Coleman and Wayne Horvitz on organ, piano, harpsichord and celeste, David Weinstein on sampling keyboards, Guy Klucevsek on accordion, Bob James on tapes, Christian Marclay on turntables, Bobby Previte on percussion. The two versions are different in structure. The studio version is a ten-movement suite (Allegro, Largo, Moderato, Fantasia, Presto, Adagio Maestoso, Violento, Capriccio Con Gusto, Scherzo, Epilogue) that represents his main effort to fuse classical composition and free improvisation. The Allegro is breathtaking: siren-like saxophone wails, the ringing of a house bell, metallic dissonances, Zappa-like convoluted orchestral cacophony, inconsequential jazzy harp chords, piano clusters, a distorted accordion polka... This is one of the loosest pieces, and the events chase each other blindly like in a labirynth, but there is method to this madness. The Largo picks up massive chords and stretches out in a melancholy accordion serenade. The Moderato is a more colorful and wittier collage, that overdubs a symphonic block with country guitar and Jewish accordion, then launches in a sprightly pianola ragtime, then indulges in grotesque acoustic tortures. a volcanic frenzy tempered by quiet intermezzi of harp and organ. The delirious Fantasia opens with an orgy of apocalyptic Jimi Hendrix-ian glissandos (while in the background a chicken cackles), followed by a sequence of human burps and moans, a few seconds of organic jazz playing, etc etc. Violento is a random collection of extreme, loud gestures (both verbal and instrumental). The Capriccio Con Gusto is a childish bacchanal with exotic overtones, amid cartoonish piano playing and out-of-tune guitar strumming, before an accordion restores some order. But waves of porcelain-like noise, plucked strings and hysterical scat. The Scherzo is a subtle collage of stylistic references (if not direct quotations), from circus music to film music, although derailed by free-form ramifications.
The live version has only four lengthy "movements" (Prologue/Maestoso, Capriccio, Lento/Mysterioso, Allegro), and is a more electronic work is scored for a smaller ensemble (Frisell, Sharp, Coleman, Horvitz, Weinstein, Klucevsek, James, Marclay, Previte). The (comic) fragmentation is replaced by a more cohesive (and serious) mood. The Prologue/Maestoso opens with haunting Jon Hassell-ian trombone wails and quotations from Latin and Jamaican rhythms. Even when pummelling noise and irregular rhythms takes over, the trombone maintains an elegant, melancholy mood. The Capriccio is a menacing industrial symphony that amasses a disorienting density of sounds, juxtaposing jackhammer rhythms and expressionist abstraction to a folkish accordion theme and a limping blues guitar riff. A dramatic organ solo is followed by cute imitations of ragtime rolls and square-bands, soon to be overtaken by a concrete collage of power-drills and electronic oscillations. A grander sense of cacophony permeates Lento/Mysterioso, that evokes charged disgregation of atonal music. Allegro opens with circus/fair music, cajun accordion and country guitar mixed with frantic exuberance. Other vestiges of popular music keep surfacing from the shroud of random dissonace, perhaps a metaphor for the conflict between nostalgia and modernism. This Allegro would remain one of Zorn's postmodernist masterpieces.
Cobra, as well as the equally colossal Track and Field, is what Zorn calls an "infinite system". A new version would be presented by Zorn 17 years later, documented on Cobra (Tzadik, 2002).
Dopo quest'opera di rottura la sua carriera prende una direzione completamente opposta con il principale dei suoi "game pieces" (a form of structured improvisation controlled, but not determined, by a set of instructions): Cobra, con Elliot Sharp, Lindsay e Bill Frisell alle chitarre, Previte alla batteria, Zeena Parkins all'arpa, Wayne Horvitz al piano, Marclay al giradischi, Anthony Coleman al piano, piu' nastri-collage, celeste, fisarmonica, trombone e sintetizzatore, e' un altro vertice del suo caos dissociato, di quello schizzare idee musicali nel vuoto che ricorda i dipinti di Pollock: e' un doppio album composto di due versioni (studio e live) del brano Cobra (concepito nel 1984); una sinfonia dadaista che, nonostante la pretenziosita' della teoria, in pratica assomiglia a una slapstick dei Marx Brothers.
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In quegli anni Zorn si emancipo` dall'austera musica d'avanguardia in cui era cresciuto attraverso una serie di opere di imitazione e demistificazione in cui si esprime al meglio il suo genio di arrangiatore. Big Gundown (Icon, 1986) e' un tributo surreale e sofisticato a Ennio Morricone. La suite omonima e' costruita su motivi di spaghetti-western, chitarrismi surf, jam improvvisate e musica sinfonica. Voodoo by the Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet (Wayne Horvitz on piano, Ray Drummond on bass, Bobby Previte on drums) was Zorn's first venture into bebop jazz. News For Lulu (hat Hut, 1988), il trio con il trombone di George Lewis e la chitarra di Bill Frisell, interpreta classici del post-bop con l'immaginazione della musica creativa, e in Spy Vs Spy (Elektra, 1989) Zorn, accompagnato da Tim Berne al sax, Mark Dresser al basso e Joey Baron alla batteria, se la prende con Ornette Coleman via l'enfasi teppista del punk-rock. Simpatiche trovate, ma poco di musicale. In quegli anni Zorn si emancipo` dall'austera musica d'avanguardia in cui era cresciuto attraverso una serie di opere di imitazione e demistificazione in cui si esprime al meglio il suo genio di arrangiatore. Big Gundown (Icon, 1986) e' un tributo surreale e sofisticato a Ennio Morricone. La suite omonima e' costruita su motivi di spaghetti-western, chitarrismi surf, jam improvvisate e musica sinfonica. Voodoo by the Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet (Wayne Horvitz on piano, Ray Drummond on bass, Bobby Previte on drums) was Zorn's first venture into bebop jazz. News For Lulu (hat Hut, 1988), il trio con il trombone di George Lewis e la chitarra di Bill Frisell, interpreta classici del post-bop con l'immaginazione della musica creativa, e in Spy Vs Spy (Elektra, 1989) Zorn, accompagnato da Tim Berne al sax, Mark Dresser al basso e Joey Baron alla batteria, se la prende con Ornette Coleman via l'enfasi teppista del punk-rock. Simpatiche trovate, ma poco di musicale.
The album Spillane (Elektra, 1987) contains three relatively unrelated works. Spillane (25:12), conceived in 1986, is a melodic fantasia that pays homage to the atmospheres of film noir. Coleman, Emanuel, Frisell, James, Previte, Staley, Weinstein, and David Hofstra on bass and tuba perform a score that glues together sixty soundtrack-like miniatures ranging from Telstar-like exuberance to languid piano-based lounge-jazz to visceral blues shuffles to dreamy twang-based spaghetti western adagio-like orchestral pieces to honky-tonk romps to nocturnal bebop meditations to cha-cha fanfares, enhanced with all sorts of cacophonous intermezzos (including windshield wipers and machine guns) and conversation pieces. While more refined and thematically centered, this suite is a lot less exciting than the raw, chaotic heap of distorted musical signs of Cobra's Allegro.
Two-Lane Highway (18:16) is a sequence of blues variations for the guitars of Albert Collins and Robert Quine (Big John Patton on organ, Wayne Horvitz on keyboards, Melvin Gibbs on bass, Ronald Shannon Jackson on drums, Bobby Previte on drums). It sounds like a cross between an Allman Brothers jam and a Raybeats spoof.
Forbidden Fruit (10:20) is a string quartet augmented with Christian Marclay's turntables and Ohta Hiromi's vocals. The wild dissonance of the first part eventually leads to a smoother texture, but fundamentally this is a cryptic score that pushes Zorn's collage technique to the limit (sixty blocks squeezed into ten minutes).
This is Zorn's (first) alter-ego: side to side with the disciple of Cage and Braxton, there is a post-modernist (or, better, cubist) artist who "quotes", deconstructs and reconstructs musical stereotypes while injecting the cacophony, frenzy and violence of the 20th century.

The 18-minute title-track of Godard (Nato, 1986), composed in 1985, is another mono-stylistic montage of the same kind. Godard/Spillane (Tzadik, 1999) collects both.

Ditto for Deadly Weapons (Nato, 1986), a collaboration with David Toop and John Zorn, which is the least hectic.

Spillane e' invece un omaggio surreale alle atmosfere dei film noir. Spillane (25:12), composto nel 1986, e' una fantasia "melodica" costruita cucendo una dietro l'altra sessanta miniature da colonna sonora che vanno dallo strumentale in stile Telstar al cocktail jazz piu' languido, con ogni sorta di intermezzi cacofonici e brani conversazione (Coleman, Emanuel, Frisell, James, Previte, Staley, Weinstein, David Hofstra). Two-Lane Highway (18:16) e' una serie di variazioni blues per le chitarre di Albert Collins e Robert Quine.
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Naked City was a quintet of irriverent jazz-surf-punk fusion delivered in the form of childish miniatures, amid his usual doses of private obsessions for the film music of Ennio Morricone, Henry Mancini, John Barry, etc. The development of these short bursts of music was unpredictable and mostly dissonant, as if the combo enjoyed not playing music but destroying music. Their aesthetic borrowed from Frank Zappa's We're Only In It For The Money, Ornette Colman's Free Jazz, the Germs and the Boredoms. De facto, it invented a new format and a new genre.
Their first album, Naked City, with Bill Frisell, Fred Frith, Wayne Horvitz and drummer Joey Baron, represents the ideal sum of Zorn's obsessions (film music, free-jazz, be-bop, country and western). Despite the colossal spoofs and blasphemous cacophony, the notable change in Naked City is the reliance on melody. Zorn returns to tonal music, albeit a rather unstable form of it. Second, this is mainly a semiotic game, in which Zorn undresses and re-dresses musical stereotypes: the vehement Batman weds Fleshtones and Colosseum, garage-rock and jazz-rock, while Latin Quarter delves sax-first into dancehall jazz and blues, and Snagglepuss sabotages bebop jazz. The musical chameleon Saigon Pickup casually strolls into honky-tonk music, swing jazz and reggae, before disappearing in a black hole. The quotation is explicit in the covers of Mancini's A Shot in the Dark, Morricone's The Sicilian Clan and Barry's The James Bond Theme. The effect is to create a schizoid form of the musichall.
Third, the music is drenched in urban neurosis, that derails the other directions of the album with brief eruptions of punk-rock frenzy (You Will Be Shot), and free-jazz anarchy (Reanimator). Punk China Doll runs the whole gamut, down-shifting from industrial-metal epilepsy to an ethereal moodscape a` la Pink Floyd. The first eight miniature tracks of the second half, between eight and 38 seconds in length, are played with a fury that is worthy of death-metal, replete with horrible voice noises. They feed on sudden discharges of animal energy.
Zorn revels in absolute chaos. At the same time, though, his alto-saxophone raids, that reinvent the tradition of the "yakety-sax" breaks of rhythm'n'blues combos, have no precedents in the annals of jazz and rock, at least in terms of lack fo decency and control.
Naked City, con Frisell, Frith, Horvitz e il batterista Joey Baron, e' un summa delle sue ossessioni (colonne sonore, free-jazz, be-bop, country and western). Assolutamente folli, i mille camuffamenti a rotta di collo di slapstick come Latin Quarter e Saigon Pickup rimandano a una forma moderna e schizoide del musichall. Gli sconquassi armonici di Zorn e Frisell in micro-cacofonie come Snagglepuss sono volutamente gratuiti e infantili. I primi otto brani della seconda facciata (ciascuno di trenta secondi o meno) sono suonati con ferocia da thrash-punk e alterando la velocita' di registrazione; totalmente anonimi, vivono soltanto di improvvise scariche epilettiche. Il pezzo piu' "distruttivo" in tal senso e' forse Punk China Doll. Sempre piu' celebrato per le sue libere interpretazioni di temi celebri (un'operazione peraltro un po' sterile), Zorn gode del caos piu' assoluto. Al tempo stesso le sue scorazzate di sassofono alto, che esasperano la tradizione dei break di yakety-sax del rhythm and blues, non hanno eguali negli annali del jazz e del rock per sfrontatezza e smodatezza.
Naked City was a quintet of irriverent jazz-surf-punk fusion delivered in the form of childish miniatures, amid his usual doses of private obsessions for the film music of Ennio Morricone, Henry Mancini, John Barry, etc. The development of these short bursts of music was unpredictable and mostly dissonant, as if the combo enjoyed not playing music but destroying music. Their aesthetic borrowed from Frank Zappa's We're Only In It For The Money, Ornette Colman's Free Jazz, the Germs and the Boredoms. De facto, it invented a new format and a new genre.

A long-time fan of cartoon music, Zorn also wrote and arranged the soundtrack for the cartoon show Cynical Hysterie Hour (october 1988 - CBS, 1989), later reissued as Filmworks VII (Tzadik, 1996). Far from being a mere detour in his career, this was one of his most ambitious attempts at deconstructing the western musical civilization. An impressive number of instruments (banjo, harp, turntables, percussion, violin, viola, cello, guitars and keyboards) and musicians (Frisell, Emanuel, Horvitz:, Previte, Marclay, Mori, Hofstra, Lindsay, Quine, Mark Ribot, Peter Scherer, etc).

Naked City's mini-album Torture Garden (Shimmy Disc, 1990) added the Boredoms's vocalist Yamatsuka Eye to the original quintet, and the result was quite devastating: 42 miniatures of psychotic hardcore that last one minute or less (one lasting only eight seconds). The vomiting vocals tend to dominate the atmosphere. The music finds a bit of orgasmic coherence in pieces like Sack of Shit, Trash Jazz Assassin and Osaka Bondage, but mostly this is just Zorn blowing his head off and Eye shrieking from hell. A bit more skilled is Speedfreak, a one-minute collage of a dozen different styles. In the middle of the apocalypse one can nonetheless enjoy an intermezzo of country & western music (Flat Top Box) as well as a cartoonish deconstruction of that genre (The Prestigitator).

Film Works (Wave, 1991) collects music for films composed between 1986 and 1990: 1986's mediocre White And Lazy (with Quine, Lindsay, Gibbs, Fier, Emanuel, Weinstein, and Ned Rothenberg on bass clarinet); 1990's brilliant The Golden Boat (with Coleman, Quine, Emanuel, Dresser, Previte, Vicki Bodner on oboe, David Shea on turntable, Cyro Baptista on percussion); and 1986's evocative She Must Be Seeing Things (with Staley, Frisell, Emanuel, Coleman, Horvitz, Weinstein, Previte, Hofstra, Nana Vasconcelos on percussion, Shelley Hirsch on vocals, Marty Ehrlich on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Tom Varner on French horn). This was the beginning of an endless series of "film works", most of them inspired by Carl Stalling's cartoon soundtracks.

Increasing his proximity to rock and punk music, Zorn also formed Painkiller with bassist Bill Laswell and drummer Mick Harris, and released The Guts Of A Virgin (Earache, 1991).
Tracks: Scud Attack, Deadly Obstacle Collage, Damage To The Mask, Guts Of A Virgin, Handjob, Portent, Hostage, Lathe Of God, Dr. Phibes, Purgatory Of Fiery Vulvas, Warhead, Devil's Eye.

Painkiller's brief Buried Secrets (Earache, 1992) is a powerful psychological experience. In Tortured Souls the saxophone truly sounds like the screaming of a tortured soul. Grindcore drumming pummels One-Eyed Pessary, but here the saxophone exudes titanic passion rather than mere grief. Trailmarker is three seconds of noise and The Ladder is 22 seconds of punk-rock. The Blackhole Dub ventures beyond the usual dreamy atmospheres of dub with waves of saxophone squeals. Even more adventurous is the other dub number, Black Chamber, that is also the most jazz moment on the album. One of the highlights is the hypnotic crescendo of Buried Secrets, built on minimalist repetition and gradual variation of distorted pitches. After three minutes, colossal drumming enforce geometry on what has become a stream of shrill noise. The orgy of saxophone squeals of Executioner is one long agony. The closer, The Toll, is an ultra-demented psychodrama (Justin Broderick on vocals) framed by spare beats, eerie distortions and booming bass chords (and, only at the end, the most scorching sax solo of the album).

Painkiller's Rituals (Toy's Factory, 1993) was recorded live in Japan in 1991.

More News For Lulu (hatART, 1992) is another collection of jazz themes performed by Zorn, Lewis and Frisell, while Live Vol 1 (Knitting Factory, 2002) documents a 1989 Naked City show.

Heretic (Avant, 1992) is Naked City's most radical work (and Eye's tour de force), 24 recombinant pieces that apply John Cage to atonal improvisation. Naked City's Grand Guignol (Avant, 1992) is simply the entire Torture Garden plus the 17-minute Grand Guignol (a rather different work that leans towards Japanese and Western classical music) and a few works of classical composers (Debussy, Skrjabin, Orlando DiLasso, Ives, Messiaen). Naked City's 31-minute Leng Tch'e (Toy's Factory, 1992) was inspired by the Melvins. Torture Garden and Leng Tch'e were reissued as the double-disc Black Box (Tzadik, 1996).

John Zorn did not play on Elegy (Eva, 1992), a short, four-part (Blue, Yellow, Pink, Black) tribute to writer Jean Genet, scored for flute, viola, guitar, turntables, percussion and voice. Its impressionistic nature was unique in Zorn's canon, but did not make for engaging music (avantgarde or otherwise).

Nor did he play on the even more tragic Kristallnacht (Eva, 1993), whose movements compose a historical requiem for the holocaust (with sequences of simulated audio verite') and an ideal summary of Jewish music: Shtetl for trumpet, clarinet, and violin; Never Again, Gahelet, the cartoonish Tikkun, Tzfia (noise of a crowd in the streets), Barzel (marching, pounding, sirens), Gariin. The (strictly Jewish) ensemble (Mark Feldman on violin, Marc Ribot on guitar, Anthony Coleman on keyboards, Mark Dresser on bass, William Winant on percussion) is unusually sober and subdued.

Naked City's Radio (Avant, 1993) was another (and perhaps the ultimate) exercise in quotation and collage at manic speed. Again Zorn focused on abrupt shifts of style (whether within the same song or from one song to the next), just like turning the tuning dial of a radio. Basically, an extension of the experiment of Speedfreaks.

While less satisfactory, its companion album Absinthe (Avant, 1993), an-all instrumental release, highlighted Zorn's alter-ego, the austere industrial nightmare of Grand Guignol and Leng Tch'e. The ambient music of some tracks (Val De Travers, Fleurs Du Mal, Notre Dame De L'Oubli, Rend Fou) was annoyingly static and uneventful; but elsewhere the musicians created psychedelic and ghostly atmospheres not too different from Pink Floyd's Atom Heart Mother (Une Correspondance, La Fee Verte).

Painkiller's double-disc Execution Ground (Subharmonic, 1994) is dominated by the ambient-dub aesthetic of Laswell and Harris, both on the three cinematic (and somewhat horror) tracks (Parish Of Tama, Morning Of Balachaturdasi, Pashupatinath) and especially on the two stationary monoliths (the second disc) that are derived from manipulating the first disc.

Not content with Naked City and Painkiller, Zorn created another outfit, Masada, to explore the apocalyptic vision of Kristallnacht (Eva, 1993), i.e. the Jewish holocaust. Masada was programmatically meant as a more traditional jazz band (mainly inspired by Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman), and it also displayed a more traditional approach to klezmer melody (Zorn wrote a canon of about 200 tunes). Dave Douglas on trumpet, Greg Cohen on bass, Joey Baron on drums and others helped Zorn achieve the status of jazz musician (composer, arranger and performer) that he never quite achieved. Shtetl sets the stage for the requiem by blending mournful and cinematic instrumental phrases, documentary nazi declamation and a Rota-like nostalgic melody. Never Again is dominated by an instrumental simulation of shattering glasses, artfully mixed with manipulated voices, that constitutes one of Zorn's most powerful uses of noise as metaphor. Tzfia bridges neoclassical chamber music and extreme cacophony, another metaphorical statement in itself. The concept ends with the discordant jamming of Gariin, mired in harsh minimalist repetition and prog-rock anxiety.

Masada recorded exactly ten albums: 1 aka Alef (DIW, 1994), with the nine-minute Janohah, 2 aka Beit (DIW, 1995), with the ten-minute Hadasha, 3 aka Gimel (DIW, 1995), with the nine-minute Ziphim and the nine-minute Tannaim, the EP 4 aka Dalet (DIW, 1995), 5 aka Hei (DIW, 1995), with the eleven-minute Hobah (a stylistic and technical tour de force by the combo) and possibly the best of the series, 6 aka Vav (DIW, 1995), with Debir and Miktav, 7 aka Zayin (DIW, 1996), with Shevet and Kedem, 8 aka Het (Tzadik, 1997), with Schechem and Ne'eman, 9 aka Tet (DIW, 1998), with Chayah, Meholalot and Acharei Mot, 10 aka Yod (Tzadik, 1998), with the 14-minute Abrakala. With few exceptions, Masada managed to produce an impressive amount of mediocre music that sounds all the same.

An appendix to Masada, the double-disc Bar Kokhba (Tzadik, 1996), mostly composed for a documentary, contains new arrangements of 22 of Masada's songs for chamber ensemble (cello, violin, guitar, piano, clarinet, organ), and even a 13-minute version of Mochin for solo gutiar (Marc Ribot). Zorn resurrected the idea for another double-disc reinterpreation of (29) Masada tunes: The Circle Maker (Tzadik, 1998), structured in two disc-long cycles, Issachar for string trio and Zevulun for sextet (string trio, guitar, two percussions). Both Bar Kokhba and The Circle Maker basically removed improvisation, removed Zorn from the players, and flattened the moody dynamics of Masada's performances.

Cobra's Live At The Knitting Factory (KFW, 1995) collects 14 live performances of Cobra held monthly in 1992.

First Recordings (Tzadik, 1995) collects unreleased (and awful) 1973-74 compositions, such as the three-movement Mikhail Zoetrope. Thankfully, The Parachute Years (Tzadik, 1997) collects his essential "game pieces" of 1977-80: Lacrosse, Hockey, Pool, Archery.

Zorn (disguised under the monikers, respectively, Dekoboko Hajime and Rav Tzizit) also recorded Nani Nani (Tzadik, 1995) and Mystic Fugu Orchestra's Zohar (Tzadik, 1995), two noise-fests with Yamatsuka Eye (disguised under the monikers, respectively, Yamantaka Eye and Rav Yechido),

The main collaborations of the period were Art Of Memory (Incus, 1995) with Fred Frith, Harras (Avant, 1995) with Derek Bailey and William Parker, In Memory Of Nikki Arane (Incus, 1996) with Eugene Chadbourne, Euclid's Nightmare (Depth Of Field, 1997) with Bobby Previte, and Downtown Lullaby (Depth Of Field, 1998) with Wayne Horvitz, Elliott Sharp and Bobby Previte.

Redbird (Tzadik, 1995), almost entirely taken by the 41-minute Redbird, presented a new side of Zorn, very much in the tradition of Morton Feldman's latter-day chamber music. Armed with Carol Emanuel on harp, Jill Jaffe on viola and Erik Friedlander on cello, Zorn (who does not play) conducts one of his most inspired neoclassical works. The music flows slowly, its nuances barely audible, as if the instruments had to ponder which note should follow the note that is droning away. The timbres are dense and elongated, evoking the glittering of dewdrops at sunrise. They are surrounded by a heavy silence, like an invisible atmosphere exerting the pressure that keeps things from flying away. There is a discreet order behind the chess-like moves of the instruments, there is a rational force at work hidden in the irrational layout of the game. The watery languor

John Zorn does not play either on The Book Of Heads (Tzadik, 1995), 35 "etudes" for solo guitar (originally composed in 1978 for Chadbourne but here performed by Marc Ribot).

Filmworks II (june 1992 - Toy's Factory, 1995) contains the score for a Walter Hill film that Zorn composed but that (thankfully) was rejected (Ry Cooder scored the one that was chosen). Filmworks III (Toy's Factory, 1996) contains the jazzy The Thieves Quartet (1993), that debuted the Masada line-up of bassist Greg Cohen, trumpeter Dave Douglas, drummer Joey Baron and Zorn, Hollywood Hotel (a series of duets between Zorn and Marc Ribot), Music For Weiden And Kennedy, etc. Despite the fact that Zorn's is some of the worst music ever composed for the cinematic media, the series continued with no mercy. Filmworks IV (Tzadik, 1997) contains a computer collage of musical samples, A Lot of Fun for the Evil One. Filmworks V (october 1995 - Tzadik, 1996) contains Tears Of Ecstasy, 48 one-minute fetishes of popular music performed by Robert Quine, Marc Ribot and Cyro Baptista. Filmworks VI (july 1996 - Tzadik, 1996), which contains Anton Mailman, Mechanics Of The Brain and The Black Glove, Filmworks VII was a reissue of the old soundtrack Cynical Hysterie Hour (october 1988).

Filmworks VIII (Tzadik, 1998) contains The Port of Last Resort (november 1997), scored for jazz sextet (Feldman, Friedlander, bassist Greg Cohen, guitarist Marc Ribot, pianist Anthony Coleman and pipa virtuoso Min Xiao Fen) and Latin Boys Go To Hell (percussion only).

Cobra's Tokyo Operations '94 (Avant, 1995) collects six collaborations with Japanese musicians on Japanese instruments

New Traditions In East Asian Bar Bands (Tzadik, 1997) collects unreleased music from 1986-90 that involves a narrator.

Duras; Duchamp (Tzadik, 1997) contains two chamber works, the sparsely textured Duras for sextet of two keyboards (Anthony Coleman, John Medeski), two violins (Mark Feldman and Cenovia Cummins) and two percussions (Christine Bard and Jim Pugliese); and the cacophonous and hyper-active Etant Donnes for violin (Feldman), cello (Erik Friedlander) and percussion (Pugliese).

Zorn's neoclassical ambitions permeate the anthology Angelus Novus (Tzadik, 1998), particularly For Your Eyes Only (1989) for chamber orchestra (another Carl Stalling-style score), Carny (1991) for solo piano, and the wind octet Angelus Novus (1993); culminating with the 10-part requiem Aporias (Tzadik, 1998), composed in 1994, for piano and (75-piece) orchestra. This displays his chaotic cut-up technique at its best, each of the ten movements being a collage of unrelated themes, tempos and events. The String Quartets (Tzadik, 1999) contains four of them: Cat O'Nine Tails (1988), perhaps his most obvious tribute to Carl Stalling, The Dead Man (1990), an extension of Naked City's cut-up aesthetics, Memento Mori (1992), a cryptic and pensive piece of atonal stream of consciousness, and Kol Nidre (1996).

The Bribe (Tzadik, 1998) contains three multi-part works from 1986 (originally composed for three radio plays): Sliding On The Ice, The Arrest, and The Art Bar. The "orchestra", which comprises Marty Ehrlich on saxophones and bass clarinet, John Zorn on alto sax, Jim Staley on trombone, Zeena Parkins on harp, Robert Quine on guitar, Anthony Coleman and Wayne Horvitz on keyboards, Christian Marclay on turntables, David Hofstra on bass, Bobby Previte on percussion, Carol Emanuel on harp, Ikue Mori on drum machines, seemed to hint at a return to his mid-period anti-jazz style, the chaotic collage of cartoon music, bebop jazz, Morricone soundtracks, surreal orchestrations and punk-rock.

Music Romance Volume 1 (Tzadik, 1998) collects music for children.

Not content with having flooded the market of mediocre Masada recordings, Zorn released a number of live performances: the Live (Jazz Door, 1995), Live In Jerusalem 1994 (Tzadik, 1999), Live In Taipei 1995 (Tzadik, 1999), Live In Middleheim (Tzadik, 1999), Live In Sevilla (Tzadik, 2000), Live At Tonic (Tzadik, 2001), First Live 1993 (Tzadik, 2002).

Lacrosse (Tzadik, 2000) is a 1977 recording of Zorn's atonal nightmare.

At times Taboo And Exile (Tzadik, 1999), the first "music romance" album, sounds like rock music (loud and rhythmic) but also minimalism (most songs use repetition), particularly Thaalapalassi (with Frith, Ribot and Laswell).

Xu Feng (1985), for six players (Fred Frith and John Schott on guitars, Chris Brown and David Slusser on electronics, William Winant and Slayer's Dave Lombardo on percussion), inspired to kung-fu martial arts, ended the series of the "game pieces" titled after sports (the "infinite system" series) and began a new series, titled with Asian names. They are collected on Xu Feng (Tzadik, 2000).

Cartoon S/M (Tzadik, 2000) revises some of his neoclassical compositions: the String Quartets, most of Angelus Novus and Music for Children.

Filmworks IX (Tzadik, 2000) contains Trembling Before G-d, his first feature-length soundtrack, scored only for clarinet (Chris Speed), organ (Saft) and percussion (Baptista). Filmworks X (Tzadik, 2001), containing In the Mirror of Maya Deren, is one of the most romantic, with tender cello and piano counterpoint and exotic overtones (Zorn on piano, Jamie Saft, Cyro Baptista, Erik Friedlander). Filmworks XI (Tzadik, 2002) contains one of his least experimental works, Secret Lives for string trio (Cohen, Feldman, Friedlander), which is basically kletzmer new-age music; Filmworks XII (Tzadik, 2002) ranks as one of the least organic and least inspired Homecoming for vocalist Jennifer Charles, violinist Mark Feldman, pianist Jamie Saft, and Zorn himself on organ). Filmworks XIII (june 2002 - Tzadik, 2002) is surprisingly one of his best, the score for Invitation to a Suicide (Ribot, Freidlander, Wollesen, Dunn and Tin Hat Trio's accordionist Rob Burger).

Madness, Love & Mysticism (Tzadik, 2001) contain chamber music, in particular Le Momo (1999) for violin and piano, a "ritual of exorcism and possession", and Amour Fou (1999) for violin, cello and piano.

By his standards, The Gift (Tzadik, 2001), ostensibly the follow-up to Taboo & Exile, is almost new-age music: calm, soothing, relaxing adagios for a thirteen-unit ensemble.

Songs from the Hermetic Theater (Tzadik, 2001) is a collection of radical computer-based experiments, mostly trivial.

Zorn introduced new elements in his music via another "music romance" album, I.A.O. (Tzadik, 2002), which has nothing in common with the previous ones: it is, basically, an exoteric mass a` la Aphrodite's Child's 666, devoted to visions such as Lucifer Rising (an angelic a-cappella choir), Leviathan (a burst of distorted heavy-metal fury) and Sex Magick (thirteen minutes of tribal drums), indulging in lugubrious Sacred Rites of the Left Hand Path (actually, one of his most effective electroacoustic compositions). Clavicle of Solomon, nine minutes of hissing alien radio signals, is one of Zorn's most successful excursions into musique concrete.

Painkiller's Talisman (Tzadik, 2002) documents a 1994 concert in Nagoya. Naked City's Live 1 (Tzadik, 2002) documents a 1989 concert.

Hemophiliac (Tzadik, 2002) is a collaboration with Mike Patton and Ikue Mori.

Resurrecting one of the best ideas of his career (the solo guitar version of Mochin on Bar Kokhba), Masada Guitars (Tzadik, 2003) presents 22 Masada tunes rearranged for guitars only (Bill Frisell, Tim Sparks, Marc Ribot).

The double-disc Voices in the Wilderness (Tzadik, 2003) contains yet another set of (24) Masada tunes arranged for chamber ensembles (trios and quartets).

Chimeras (Tzadik, 2003) documents another chamber work: Chimeras (2001) for operatic singer and twelve instruments. Zorn goes for sophisticated psychological atmospheres crafted via loose and abstract soundscapes. The highlight is a magic interplay of percussion and voice, 7. The operatic voice is not Zorn's most natural instrument and the effect is embedding its forceful wordless laments and declamations into brief instrumental chaos is mixed. The voice-less suspense of 9 comes as a welcome relief.

The Unknown Masada (Tzadik, 2003) collects a dozen unreleased Masada tracks but not performed by Masada.

Zorn also composed a new string quartet, Necronomicon (2003).

Filmworks XIV (april 2003 - Tzadik, 2003) contains Hiding and Seeking for classical guitar (Marc Ribot), vibraphone (Kenny Wollesen), Brazilian percussion (Cyro Baptista), acoustic bass (Trevor Dunn) and voice (Ganda Suthivarakom). Filmworks XV (october 2004 - Tzadik, 2005) contains the soundtrack for Protocols of Zion (Zorn himself on piano, percussionist Cyro Baptista and bassist and oud player Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz). Filmworks XVI (2005) contains Workingman's Death (percussionist Cyro Baptista, Ikue Mori on electronics, John Zorn on gamelan and organ, Jamie Saft on keyboards and guitars, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz on bass). Filmworks XVII (2005) contains Notes on Marie Menken (Zorn on alto, Kenny Wollesen on percussion, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz on bass, Jon Madof on guitar). Filmworks XVIII (2005) contains the soundtrack for The Treatment (Mark Feldman on violin, Kenny Wollesen on vibraphone, Rob Burger on accordion, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz on bass, Marc Ribot on guitar). Mostly his soundtracks were childish, amateurish and often tedious. Filmworks XIX (2005) contains the soundtrack for Rainhorse (Erik Friedlander on cello, Greg Cohen on bass, Rob Burger on piano).

The biggest problem with John Zorn is not that he is a mediocre musician (on the contrary) but that he lived in an age in which it is very easy and cheap to release music. Thus the average quality of his recordings is very low. That does not detract from the fact that some of his music was, indeed, worth releasing.

Masada String Trio (Tzadik, 2004) documents a live performance.

Naninani (Tzadik, 1995) and Naninani II (Tzadik, 2004) are collaborations with Yamataka Eye. Since printing CDs is cheap, Zorn released several volumes of 50th Birthday Celebration in 2005, each a collaboration with some of his friends.

Magick (Tzadik, 2005) is the real gem among so much filler. It contains the five-movement suite Necronomicon for strings and 2001 Sortilege for two bass clarinets, chamber music that highlights Zorn's talent for turning classical harmony upside down and shows how he has wasted most of his career in pointless collaborations.

Naked City's seven studio albums are collected on the five-CD box-set The Complete Studio Recordings (Tzadik, 2005).

Rituals (Tzadik, 2005), unrelated to Painkiller's namesake album, is an opera for voice and ten instruments composed for the Bayreuth Opera Festival in 1988.

John Zorn's 50th Birthday Celebration Vol. 12 (Tzadik, 2005) is a live album credited to Painkiller, but does not include Mick Harris (replaced by Hamid Drake) and features vocalist Mike Patton.

At the Mountain of Madness (2006) is a live album.

Mysterium (2006) compiled three major chamber compositions: Orphe for viola, harp, keyboard, percussion, electronics, flute; Frammenti del Sappho for voice, soprano, alto, soprano; Walpurgisnacht for violin, viola and cello.

The Stone - Issue One (2006) is a collaboration with trumpeter Dave Douglas, also featuring Mike Patton (voice), Rob Burger (keyboards), Bill Laswell (bass) and Ben Perowsky (percussion).

Moonchild (2006) is a new experiment combining composition and improvisation in a rock format (the trio of vocalist Mike Patton, bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Joey Baron) and dedicated to three controversial characters: magician Aleister Crowley, poet Antonin Artaud and musician Edgard Varese. The result is often pretentious and uninspired, despite Patton's vocal acrobatics and the frightening rhythm machine.

Astronome (2006) was meant as the continuation of Moonchild, as it featured the same line-up, except that this time the album was a rock opera in three acts. The format (three lengthy suites) seem to better suit the musical personae of the trio who, thanks or despite Zorn's conduction, unleash an inferno of deviant hardcore and heavy-metal.

Six Litanies For Heliogabalus (2007) was the third installment of music for the trio of vocalist Mike Patton, bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Joey Baron (plus Ikue Mori and keyboardist Jamie Saft).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Marco Spagnuolo)

Appassionato da sempre di cartoni animati, Zorn scrisse e arrangio’ anche la colonna sonora dello spettacolo di animazione Cynical Hysterie Hour (ottobre 1988 - CBS, 1989), inseguito reintitolato Filmworks VII (Tzadik, 1996). Lontano dall’essere una semplice deviazione nella sua carriera, e’ in realtà uno dei suoi piu’ ambiziosi tentativi di stravolgere la civilta’ musicale occidentale. Un’impressionante numero di strumenti vengono utilizzati (banjo, arpa, turntables, percussioni, violino, viola, violoncello, chitarre e tastiere) e musicisti (Frisell, Emanuel, Horvitz:, Previte, Marclay, Mori, Hofstra, Lindsay, Quine, Mark Ribot, Peter Scherer, ecc).

Il mini album realizzato con i Naked City, Torture Garden (Shimmy Disc, 1990) a cui si aggiunse il cantante dei Boredoms, Yamatsuka Eye, al quintetto originale, il risultato di questa collaborazione fu abbastanza devastante: 42 miniature di psicotico hardcore che durano su per giu’ un minuto (una di queste miniature dura solo 8 secondi)

Film Works (Wave, 1991) una raccolta di musica per film composta tra il 1986 e il 1990: la mediocre White and Lazy del 1986 (con Quine, Lindsay, Gibbs, Fier, Emanuel, Weinstein, e Ned Rothenberg al clarinetto basso); la brillante The Golden Boat del 1990 (con Coleman, Quine, Emanuel, Dresser, Previte, Vicki Bodner all’oboe, David Shea al turntable, Cyro Baptista alle percussioni); l’evocativa She Must Be Seeing Things ( con Stanley, Frisell, Emanuel, Coleman, Horvitz, Weinstein, Previte, Hofstra, Nana Vasconcelos alle percussioni, Shelley Hirsch al canto, Marty Ehrlich al clarinetto e al sassofono tenore, Tom Varner al corno francese). Questo e’ l’inizio di una serie infinita di "film works", la maggior parte dei quali ispirati alle colonne sonore per i cartoon di Carl Stalling.

Accostandosi sempre piu’ a sonorita’ punk e rock, Zorn mise in piede anche il progetto Painkiller con il basista Bill Laswell e il batterista Mick Harris, l’album era intitolato The Guts Of A Virgin (Earache, 1991).
Brani: Scud Attack, Deadly Obstacle Collage, Damage To The Mask, Guts Of A Virgin, Handjob, Portent, Hostage, Lathe Of God, Dr. Phibes, Purgatory Of Fiery Vulvas, Warhead, Devil's Eye.

Il breve Buried Secrets (Earache, 1992) dei Painkiller e’ una potente esperienza psicologica. In Tortured Souls il sassofono veramente sembra assumere le tonalita’ di un’anima torturata. Il battito grindcore fa a pugni su brani come One-Eyed Pessary, ma in questo caso il sassofono trasuda una passione titanica piu’ che semplice dolore. Trailmarker , 3 secondi di rumore, The Ladder, 22 secondi di punk rock. Il brano Blackhole Dub si avventura al di la’ della solita sognante atmosfera dub aggiungendo una serie di onde per sassofono stridente. Ancora piu’ avventurosa e’ l’altro numero dub, Black Chamber, che comunque e’ anche il momento piu’ jazz dell’album. Uno dei vertici di questo album e’ il crescendo ipnotico di Buried Secrets, una title-track costruita su una ripetizione minimalista e una graduale variazione di toni distorti. Dopo 3 minuti un battito colossale rinforza la geometria di quello che e’ diventato un flusso di rumore acuto. L’orgia che si viene a creare attraverso gli strillii del sassofono di Executioner e’ una lunga agonia. Il brano di chiusura e’ The Toll, e’ un psicodramma ultra-demenziale (Justin Broderick al canto)circondato da ritmi scarni, distorsioni da brivido e romboanti figure di basso (e , solo alla fine , il piu’infiammato assolo di sax dell’intero album).

Rituals (Toy's Factory, 1993) dei Painkiller fu registrato live in Giappone nel 1991.

More News For Lulu (hatART, 1992) e’ un’altra raccolta di brani jazz eseguiti da Zorn, Lewis e Frisell, mentre Live Vol 1 (Knitting Factory, 2002) testimonia uno show dei Naked City del 1989.

Heretic (Avant, 1992) e’ il lavoro piu’ radicale dei Naked City(e anche il tour de force di Eye), 24 brani ricombinati che appartengono tanto a John Cage quanto all’improvvisazione atonale. Grand Guignol (Avant, 1992) dei Naked City e’ semplicemente l’intero Torture Garden con l’aggiunta dei 17 minuti di Grand Guignol (anzi un lavoro molto diverso che si sposta piu’ verso la musica classica giapponese e occidentale)) e di alcuni lavori di compositori classici (Debussy, Skrjabin, Orlando DiLasso, Ives, Messiaen). I 31 minuti di Leng Tch'e (Toy's Factory, 1992) sempre dei Naked City, era ispirato ai Melvins. Torture Garden e Leng Tch'e furono ripubblicati insieme in un doppio cd Black Box (Tzadik, 1996).

John Zorn non suono’ su Elegy (Eva, 1992), un breve tributo in quattro parti (Blue , Yellow, Pink , Black), allo scrittore Jean Genet, registrato con flauto, viola, chitarra, turntables, percussioni e voce. La natura impressionista di questo lavoro fu unica nelle idee di Zorn, ma esso non lo trasformava in musica affascinante.(avanguardia o altro).

Zorn non suono’ neanche sul ben piu’ tragico Kristallnacht (Eva, 1993), i cui movimenti compongono una sorta di requiem storico relativo all’olocausto (con sequenze di audio-verite’ simulate) e una sintesi ideale della musica Ebraica: Shtetl per tromba, clarinetto e violino; Never Again, Gahelet, la caricaturale Tikkun, Tzfia ( rumore di una folla giu’ per le strade), Barzel (marce, battiti , sirene) Gariin. L’ensemble (rigorosamente ebraico) (Mark Feldman al violino, Marc Ribot alla chitarra, Anthony Coleman alle tastiere, Mark Dresser al basso, William Winant alle percussioni) e’ insolitamente calmo e attenuato.

Radio(Avant, 1993) dei Naked City fu un altro(forse l’ultimo) esercizio nella citazione e del collage a velocita’ maniacali. Di nuovo Zorn concentro’ la sua attenzione su rapidi cambiamenti di stile(sia all’interno di una stessa canzone o anche da una canzone alla seguente), anche soltanto muovere il tasto "tuning" di una radio. Fondamentalmente, risulta essere una estensione di quell’esperimento che fu Speedfreaks.

Mentre desta molto meno soddisfazione, il suo album, per così dire gemello, tutto strumentale Absinthe (Avant, 1993), che focalizza l’attenzione sull’alter-ego di Zorn, l’austero incubo industriale di Grand Guignol e Leng Tch'e. Sono presenti anche alcuni brani ambient (Val De Travers, Fleurs Du Mal, Notre Dame De L'Oubli, Rend Fou) fastidiosamente statici e inconcludenti. Tuttavia i musicisti riuscirono a creare atmosfere eteree e psichedeliche non molto differenti da quelle presenti in Atom Heart Mother dei Pink Floyd (Une Correspondance, La Fee Verte).

Il doppio disco dei Painkiller Execution Ground (Subharmonic, 1994) e’ dominato dall’estetica dub- ambient di Laswell ed Harris, visibile sui tre brani da cinema(a dire il vero piuttosto horror) (Parish Of Tama, Morning Of Balachaturdasi, Pashupatinath) e specialmente sui due brani monolitici del secondo disco, che risultano essere una manipolazione derivante dal primo disco.

Zorn , non contento di aver dato luce ai Painkiller e ai Naked City, "partorisce" una nuova esperienza , i Masada, per esplorare la visione presentata in Kristallnacht (storia Ebraica). I Masada assunsero una forma piu’ tradizionale, simile alle jazz-band(essenzialmente ispirata a Miles Davis e Ornette Coleman), assumendo anche un approccio piu’ tradizionale alla "Klezmer Melody"(Zorn scrisse un canone di 200 toni). Dave Douglas come trombettista, Greg Cohen al basso e Joey Baron alla batteria aiutarono Zorn a raggiungere lo status di musicista jazz (compositore, arrangiatore, e performer) che non aveva quasi mai raggiunto. I Masada registrarono esattamente 10 album: 1 aka Alef (DIW, 1994), con i 9 minuti di Janohah, 2 aka Beit (DIW, 1995), con i 10 minuti di Hadasha, 3 aka Gimel (DIW, 1995), con i 9 minuti di Ziphim e i 9 minuti di Tannaim, l’ EP 4 aka Dalet (DIW, 1995), 5 aka Hei (DIW, 1995), con gli 11 minuti di Hobah (un vero e proprio tour de force tecnico e stilistico del combo) e probabilmente il migliore della serie, 6 aka Vav (DIW, 1995), con Debir e Miktav, 7 aka Zayin (DIW, 1996), con Shevet e Kedem, 8 aka Het (Tzadik, 1997), con Schechem con Ne'eman, 9 aka Tet (DIW, 1998), con Chayah, Meholalot e Acharei Mot, 10 aka Yod (Tzadik, 1998), con i 14 minuti di Abrakala. Con poche eccezioni, i Masada sono i fautori di musica mediocre che sembra sempre la stessa.

Un’appendice dei Masada, il doppio disco Bar Kokhba (Tzadik, 1996), di cui la maggior parte composto per un documentario, contiene nuovi arrangiamenti di 22 brani dei Masada per ensemble da camera( violoncello, violino, chitarra, pianoforte, clarinetto, organo), e anche una versione di 13 minuti di Mochin per sola chitarra(Marc Ribot). Zorn riprese l’idea per un ‘altra re-interpretazione (in doppio disco) di (29) brani dei Masada: The Circle Maker (Tzadik, 1998), strutturato in due dischi long-cycles, Issachar per trio d’archi e Zevulum per sestetto(trio d’archi, chitarra, due percussionisti). Sia Bar Kokhba che The Circle Maker fondamentalmente hanno rimosso l’improvvisazione , Zorn dai musicisti, e spianano le dinamiche lunatiche delle performances dei Masada.

Live At The Knitting Factory (KFW, 1995) dei Cobra raccoglie 14 performances dal vivo del brano Cobra tenute con cadenza mensile nel 1992.

First Recordings (Tzadik, 1995) raccoglie materiale inedito(e orrendo), composizioni del periodo 1973-74, come i tre movimenti di Mikhail Zoetrope. Per fortuna, The Parachute Years (Tzadik, 1997) raccoglie i suoi "game pieces" essenziali compresi tra il 1977 e il 1980: Lacrosse, Hockey, Pool, Archery.

Zorn (adoperando vari moniker, rispettivamente, Dekoboko Hajime e Ray Tzizit) registro’ anche Nani Nani (Tzadik, 1995) e Zohar (Tzadik, 1995) dei Mystic Fugu Orchestra, due lavori del rumore con Yamatsuka Eye (adoperando vari moniker, rispettivamente, Yamantaka Eye e Rav Yechido).

Le principali collaborazioni del periodo furono Art Of Memory (Incus, 1995) con Fred Frith, Harras (Avant, 1995) con Derek Bailey e William Parker. In Memory Of Nikki Arane (Incus, 1996) con Eugene Chadbourne, Euclid's Nightmare (Depth Of Field, 1997) con Bobby Previte, e Downtown Lullaby (Depth Of Field, 1998) con Wayne Horvitz, Elliott Sharp e Bobby Previte.

Redbird (Tzadik, 1995), quasi interamente coperto dai 41 minuti di Redbird, presenta un nuovo lato di Zorn, molto piu’ nella vena tradizionale dell’ultima musica da camera di Morton Feldman. A questo album partecipano Carol Emanuel all’arpa, Jill Jaffe alla viola e Erik Friedlander al violoncello, Zorn(che non suona) conduce uno dei suoi piu’ ispirati lavori neoclassici.

John Zorn non suona neanche su The Book Of Heads (Tzadik, 1995), 35 "etudes" per sola chitarra(originariamente composto nel 1978 per Chadbourne, ma in questo caso eseguito da Marc Ribot).

Filmworks II (Giugno 1992 - Toy's Factory, 1995) contiene i brani per un film di Walter Hill composti da Zorn ma che (per fortuna) fu scartata(fu scelta in seguito i brani eseguiti da Ry Cooder). Filmworks III (Toy's Factory, 1996) contiene The Thieves Quartet (1993) che vira verso il jazz, fu il debutto della nuova formazione dei MASADA che vedeva tra le sue fila, il bassista Greg Cohen, il trombettista Dave Douglas, il batterista Joey Baron e Zorn; Hollywood Hotel ( una serie di duetti tra Zorn e Marc Ribot), Music For Weiden And Kennedy, ecc. Malgrado il fatto che rappresenta una delle peggiori musiche fatte per il cinema da parte di Zorn, la serie continua senza tregua. Filmworks IV (Tzadik, 1997) contiene un computer collage per sample musicali, A Lot of Fun for the Evil One. Filmworks V (ottobre 1995 - Tzadik, 1996) contiene Tears Of Ecstasy, 48 feticci da un minuto di musica popolare eseguiti da Robert Quine, Marc Ribot, e Cyro Baptista. Filmworks VI (luglio 1996 - Tzadik, 1996), che contiene Anton Mailman, Mechanics Of The Brain and The Black Glove, Filmworks VII era una riedizione della vecchia colonna sonora Cynical Hysterie Hour (ottobre 1988). Filmworks VIII (Tzadik, 1998) contiene The Port of Last Resort (novembre 1997), brani per sestetto jazz (Feldman, Friedlander, il bassista Greg Cohen, il chitarrista Marc Ribot, il pianista Anthony Coleman e il virtuoso della pipa Min Xiao Fen) e Latin Boys Go To Hell (solo percussioni).

Tokyo Operations '94 (Avant, 1995) dei Cobra raccoglie sei collaborazioni con vari musicisti giapponesi adoperando strumenti di quella nazione.

New Traditions In East Asian Bar Bands (Tzadik, 1997) raccoglie musica inedita eseguita tra il 1986-90 che coinvolge anche un narratore.

Duras; Duchamp (Tzadik, 1997) contiene due lavori da camera, Duras scarsamente strutturata composta per un sestetto comprendente due tastieristi(Anthony Coleman, John Medeski), due violinisti (Mark Feldman e Cenovia Cummins) e due percussionisti(Christine Bard e Jim Pugliese); e la cacofonica e iper-attiva Etant Donnes per violino (Feldman), violoncello(Erik Friedlander) e il percussionista (Pugliese).

Le ambizioni neoclassiche di Zorn permeano l’antologia Angelus Novus (Tzadik, 1998), notevole For Your Eyes Only (1989) per orchestra da camera (altro brano alla Carl Stalling), Carny (1991) per solo pianoforte, e Angelus Novus (1993) per ottetto a fiato; le sue ambizioni culminano nel requiem in 10 parti di Aporias (Tzadik, 1998), composta nel 1994, per pianoforte e orchestra(75 brani). Questo lavoro mostra la meglio la tecnica caotica del "cut-up" di Zorn, ognuno di questi 10 movimenti costituisce un collage di temi , tempi ed eventi senza nessuna relazione. The String Quartets (Tzadik, 1999) contiene Quattro di loro: Cat O'Nine Tails (1988), forse il suo più ovvio tributo a carl Stalling, The Dead Man (1990), una estensione del "cut-up" dei Naked City, Memento Mori (1992), un brano criptico e penoso di uno "stream of consciousness" atonale, e Kol Nidre (1996).

The Bribe (Tzadik, 1998) contiene tre lavori in più parti datate 1986( originariamente composte per esecuzioni radio): Sliding On The Ice, The Arrest, e The Art Bar. L’Orchestra, che comprende Marty Ehrlich al sassofono e al clarinetto basso, John Zorn al sassofono alto, Jim Staley al trombone, Zeena Parkins all’arpa, Robert Quine alla chitarra, Anthony Coleman e Wayne Horvitz alle tastiere, Christian Marclay al turntables, David Hofstra al basso, Bobby Previte alle percussioni,Carol Emanuel all’arpa, Ikue Mori alla drum machine, sembrava insinuare un ritorno al suo stile anti-jazz, e al collage caotico della musica d’animazione, bepop jazz , colonne sonore alla Morricone, le orchestrazioni surreali e il punk-rock.

Music Romance Volume 1 (Tzadik, 1998) raccoglie musica per ragazzi.

Non contento di aver inzuppato il mercato con le mediocri registrazioni dei Masada , Zorn da alle stampe diversi performances live: Live (Jazz Door, 1995), Live In Jerusalem 1994 (Tzadik, 1999), Live In Taipei 1995 (Tzadik, 1999), Live In Middleheim (Tzadik, 1999), Live In Sevilla (Tzadik, 2000), Live At Tonic (Tzadik, 2001), First Live 1993 (Tzadik, 2002).

Lacrosse (Tzadik, 2000) e’ una registrazione del 1977 di un incubo atonale di Zorn.

Taboo And Exile (Tzadik, 1999), il primo album di "music romance", sembra piu’ vicino alla musica rock(sia in termini di volume sia di ritmica) ma anche vicino al minimalismo(la maggior parte dei brani fanno leva sulla ripetizione), notevole Thaalapalassi ( con Frith, Ribot e Laswell).

Xu Feng (1985), per sei musicisti (Fred Frith e John Schott alle chitarre, Chris Brown e David Slusser all’elettronica, William Winant e dave lombardo degli Stayer alle percussioni). Ispirato al kung-fu, terminava la serie dei "game pieces" intitolata proprio "Sports" (the "infinite system" series) e ne comincio’ un’altra, intitolata con nomi Asiatici. Esse sono raccolte su Xu Feng (Tzadik, 2000).

Cartoon S/M (Tzadik, 2000) riprende alcune sue composizioni neoclassiche: String Quartets, la maggior parte di Angelus Novus e Music For Children.

Filmworks IX (Tzadik, 2000) contiene Trembling Before G-d, la sua prima colonna sonora per lungometraggio, eseguita solo per clarinetto (Chris Speed, organo (Saft) e percussioni (Baptista). Filmworks X (Tzadik, 2001), contenente In the Mirror of Maya Deren, e’ uno dei piu’ romantici, con un delicato violoncello e piano contrappunto ed overtones esotici (Zorn al piano, Jamie Saft, Cyro Baptista, Erik Friedlander). Filmworks XI (Tzadik, 2002) contiene uno dei suoi lavori meno sperimentali, Secret Lives per trio d’archi (Cohen, Feldman, Friedlander), la quale e’ fondamentalmente new age-klezmer; Filmworks XII (Tzadik, 2002) comprende una delle sue formazioni minori e risulta essere uno dei meno organici e meno ispirati, Homecoming per la cantante Jennifer Charles, il violinista Mark Feldman, il pianista Jamie Saft e Zorn stesso all’organo. Filmworks XIII (giugno 2002 - Tzadik, 2002) e’ sorprendentemente uno dei suoi migliori , notevole Invitation to a Suicide (Ribot, Freidlander, Wollesen, Dunn e la fisarmonica dei Tin Hat Trio, Rob Burger).

Madness, Love & Mysticism (Tzadik, 2001) contiene musica da camera, in particolare Le Momo (1999) per violino e piano, un rituale di esorcismo e possessione, e Amour Fou (1999) per violino, violoncello e piano.

Per i suoi standard, The Gift (Tzadik, 2001), apparentemente fa da seguito a Taboo & Exile, il quale risulta essere quasi musica new-age: calma, consolante, e adagi rilassanti per un ensemble di 13 unita’

Songs from the Hermetic Theater (Tzadik, 2001) e’ una raccolta di esperimenti per computer music, tutto all’insegna della trivialita’

Zorn finalmente introduce nuovi elementi nella sua musica, e lo fa con un altro album "music romance", I.A.O. (Tzadik, 2002), il quale non ha niente in comune con gli album addietro; e’ , fondamentalmente, una messa esoterica a’ la 666 degli Aphrodite Child, devoto alle visioni come Lucifer Rising e Sex Magick (13 minuti di trialismo), indulgendo nella lugubre Sacred Rites of the Left Hand Path.

Talisman (Tzadik, 2002) dei Painkiller documenta un concerto a Nagoya nel 1994. Live 1 (Tzadik, 2002) dei Naked City, documenta un loro concerto del 1989

Hemophiliac (Tzadik, 2002) e’ una collaborazione con Mike Patton e Ikue Mori.

Riprendendo una delle migliori idee della sua carriera(la versione per sola chitarra di Mochin on Bar Kokhba), Masada Guitars (Tzadik, 2003) presenta 22 brani dei Masada riadattati per sole chitarre (Bill Frisell, Tim Sparks, Marc Ribot).

Il doppio disco Voices in the Wilderness (Tzadik, 2003) contiene ancora un altro set di (24) brani dei Masada riadattati per ensemble da camera(trii e quartetti).

Chimeras (Tzadik, 2003) e’ un’altra musica da camera: Chimeras (2001) per voce e dodici strumenti

The Unknown Masada (Tzadik, 2003) raccoglie una dozzina di materiale inedito dei Masada ma non eseguiti dai Masada

Zorn ha anche composto un nuovo brano per quartetto d’archi, Necronomicon (2003).

Filmworks XIV (aprile 2003 - Tzadik, 2003) contiene Hiding and Seeking per chitarra classica (Marc Ribot), vibrafono (Kenny Wollesen), percussioni brasiliane (Cyro Baptista), basso acustico(Trevor Dunn) e voce (Ganda Suthivarakom). Filmworks XV (ottobre 2004 – Tzadik, 2005)) contiene la colona Sonora di Protocols of Zion (Zorn stesso si siede al piano, il percussionista Cyro Baptista e il bassista nonche’ suonatore di oud Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz). Filmworks XVI (2005) contiene Workingman's Death (il percussionista Cyro Baptista, Ikue Mori all’elettronica, John Zorn al gamelan e all’organo, Jamie Saft alle percussioni, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz al basso), Filmworks XVII (2005) contiene Notes on Marie Menken (Zorn all’alto sassofono, Kenny Wollesen alle percussioni, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz al basso, Jon Madof alla chitarra). Filmworks XVIII (2005) contiene la colonna sonora di The Treatment (Mark Feldman al violino, Kenny Wollesen al vibrafono, Rob Burger alla fisarmonica, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz al basso, Marc Ribot alla chitarra). La maggior parte delle sue colonne sonore sono bambinesche, amatoriali e spesso noiose.

Il piu’ grande problema con Zorn non e’ il fatto che egli e’ un musicista mediocre(tutt’altro) ma egli vive in un’epoca in cui stampare un cd e’ diventato facile e a basso costo. Quindi la maggior parte delle sue registrazioni risultano mediocri, tuttavia parte della sua musica rimane di notevole valore.

Masada String Trio (Tzadik, 2004) documenta una performance live.

Naninani (Tzadik, 1995) e Naninani II (Tzadik, 2004) sono collaborazioni con Yamataka Eye. Da quando stampare cds e’ diventato facile e basso costo, Zorn ha dato alle stampe diversi volumi del 50th Birthday Celebration nel 2005, ognuno dei quali e’ una collaborazione con parte dei suoi amici musicisti.

Magick (Tzadik, 2005) e’ la vera gemma in mezzo a tanta spazzatura. Contiene la suite Necronomicon una suite in 5 movimenti per archi e 2001 Sortilege per due clarinetti basso, musica da camera che focalizza il talento di Zorn nel capovolgere l’armonia classica e mostra come Zorn ha sprecato la maggior parte della sua carriera in collaborazioni inutili.

I sette album dei Naked City sono raccolti in un box-set di 5 cd The Complete Studio Recordings (Tzadik, 2005).

Rituals (Tzadik, 2005), non relativo all’album omonimo dei Painkiller, e’ un opera per voce e 10 strumenti composto per il Bayreuth Opera Festival nel 1988.

John Zorn's 50th Birthday Celebration Vol. 12 (Tzadik, 2005) e’ un album live accreditato ai Painkiller, ma questo lavoro non vede la presenza di Mick Harris (sostituito da Hamid Drake) e ha come protagonista il cantante dei Faith No More, Mike Patton.

At the Mountain of Madness (2006) e’ un album live.

Mysterium (2006) raccoglie le tre maggiori composizioni di musica da camera: Orphe per viola, arpa, tastiera, percussione, elettronica, flauto; Frammenti del Sappho per voce , soprano , contralto; Walpurgisnacht per violino, viola e violoncello.

The Stone - Issue One (2006) e’ una collaborazione con il trombettista Dave Douglas, Mike Patton(canto), Rob Burger(tastiere), Bill Laswell(basso) e Ben Perowsky(percussioni).

Moonchild (2006) e’ un nuovo esperimento nel combinare composizione e improvvisazione in un formato rock, al servizio del trio composto dal cantante Mike Patton, il bassista Trevor Dunn, e il batterista Joey Baron; questo lavoro e’ dedicato a tre controversi personaggi storici: il mago esoterico Aleister Crowley, il poeta Antonin Artaud, il musicista Edgar Varese. Il risulta e’ spesso pretenzioso e poco ispirato, malgrado lo spaventoso ritmo della batteria e le acrobazie vocali di Patton.

Astronome (2006) che puo’ essere visto come la continuazione naturale di Moonchild, del quale riprende la stessa formazione, eccetto che questa volta l’album e’ una vera opera rock in tre atti. Il formato (tre lunghe suite) sembra voler rispecchiare le tre personalita’ che compongono questo trio che , grazie o malgrado la conduzione di Zorn, mettono in scena un inferno di hardcore deviato ed heavy-metal.

Six Litanies For Heliogabalus (2007) e’ il terzo album messo su da Zorn per il trio "rock" , Mike Patton(voce), Trevor Dunn(basso) e Joey Baron (batteria), questa volta con l’aggiunta di Ikue Mori e del tastierista Jamie Saft.

Dreamers (Tzadik, 2008) is an eclectic, post-modern multi-stylistic romp for the quintet of Jamie Saft on keyboards, Kenny Wollesen on vibraphone, Marc Ribot on guitar, bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Joey Baron. The project was continued on O'o (february 2009), featuring Cyro Baptista and Joey Baron (drums), Trevor Dunn (bass), Marc Ribot (guitar), Jamie Saft (piano, organ) and Kenny Wollesen (vibraphone).

Lucifer (Tzadik, 2008), performed by Bar Kokhba twelve years after their recording debut, was his best chamber project in a while, thanks mainly to the ensemble (Mark Feldman on violin, Erik Friedlander on cello, Greg Cohen on bass, Marc Ribot on guitar, Joey Baron on drums).

A live 2008 performance of Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson and John Zorn was documented on The Stone Issue 3 (Tzadik, 2008).

Moonchild featured John Zorn (alto sax), Joey Baron (drums), Trevor Dunn (bass), Mike Patton (voice) and Marc Ribot (guitar) on The Crucible (2008).

Masada returned with Zaebos: The Book of Angels, Vol. 11 and Stolas: The Book of Angels, Vol. 12 (february 2009), featuring a quintet with Joey Baron (drums), Uri Caine (piano), Greg Cohen (bass), Dave Douglas (trumpet) and Joe Lovano (tenor sax).

John Zorn's Femina (december 2008) featured Jennifer Choi (violin), Sylvie Courvoisier (piano), Carol Emanuel (harp), Okkyung Lee (cello), Ikue Mori (electronics), Shayna Dunkelman (percussion) and Laurie Anderson (narration).

The 13th "Book of Angels", Mycale (2009) offers an a cappella concert for Basya Schecter, Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Malika Zarra and Sofia Rei Koutsovitis, who interpret eleven Zorn songs with lyrics in Hebrew, Yiddish, Ladino, French and Arabic drawn from Rumi, Fernando Pessoa, The Hebrew Bible, etc.

Zorn arranged the music of In Search Of The Miraculous (december 2009) for the Alhambra Trio, i.e Rob Burger on piano, Greg Cohen on acoustic bass and Ben Perowsky on drums, plus guests Kelly Wollesen (vibraphone), Carol Emanuel (harp) and Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz (electric bass). It was followed by Gnostic Preludes (december 2011), performed by the trio of guitarist Bill Frisell, harpist Carol Emanuel and vibraphonist Kenny Wollesen, and The Mysteries (december 2012).

Goddess: Music For The Ancient Of Days (december 2009 - Tzadik, 2010)

Haborym (march 2010), chapter 16 of "Book of Angels", was the first studio recording from the Masada String Trio in five years.

The three-movement suite Interzone (july 2010) featured Mark Ribot (guitars, banjo, sinatir and cumbus), Cyro Baptista (percussion), Ikue Mori (electronics), Kenny Wollesen (drums, vibes, chimes, tympani, wollesonics, percussion), John Medeski (keyboards) and Trevor Dunn (basses).

Dictée/Liber Novus (Tzadik, 2011) collects two file-card compositions: Dictée, dedicated to Korean-American writer Theresa Hak-Kyunch Cha, and Liber Novus, inspired by Carl Jung's "Red Book", both recorded in 2009.

Nova Express (2011) featured Zorn with John Medeski (piano), Kenny Wollesen (vibes), Trevor Dunn (bass) and Joey Baron (drums) performing new compositions.

The Receiving Surfaces (august 2010) documents a live performance by the Rova-John Zorn sax quintet. Enigmata (Tzadik, 2011) contains brief compositions performed by Marc Ribot (electric guitar) and Trevor Dun (electric 5-string bass).

At The Gates Of Paradise (may 2011) features John Medeski (piano and organ), Kenny Wollesen (vibes), Trevor Dunn (bass), and Joey Baron (drums).

Nosferatu (june 2011) features Rob Burger on piano and organ, Bill Laswell on bass, Kevin Norton on vibraphone, drums, orchestral bells and Tibetan prayer bowls, and John Zorn on piano, alto sax, fender rhodes and electronics.

Zorn conducted an ensemble of Mike Patton (voice), John Medeski (organ), Trevor Dunn (bass) and Joey Baron (drums) performing his "songs" on Templars - In Sacred Blood (january 2011 - Tzadik, 2012), part of his "Moonchild" series.

The Hermetic Organ (december 2011) documents solo organ improvisations in churches around the world.

Abraxas (Tzadik, 2012) chapter 19 of "Book of Angels", was recorded with Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz on gimbri, guitarists Eyal Maoz and Aram Bajakian, and drummer Kenny Grohowski.

The Hermetic Organ (december 2011) was the first volume documenting Zorn's solo church organ improvisations.

Rimbaud (march 2012) is a chamber suite in four movements performed by Trevor Dunn (bass), Brad Lubman (conductor), Ikue Mori (laptop, electronics), Kenny Wollesen (drums), Mathieu Amalric (voice), Steve Beck (piano), Erik Carlson (violin), Stephen Gosling (piano), Chris Gross (cello), Al Lipowski (vibraphone), Rane Moore (clarinet), Tara O'Connor (flute), Elizabeth Weisser (viola) and Zorn himself on samples, electronics, alto sax, piano, organ, guitar, drums and foley effects.

Music And Its Double (Tzadik, 2012) collects chamber works, notably A Rebours, Ceremonial Magic, and an excerpt from the opera La Machine del'tre.

The Concealed (may 2012) contains mostly solos and trios for Joey Baron (drums), Trevor Dunn (bass), Mark Feldman (violin), Erik Friedlander (cello), John Medeski (piano) and Kenny Wollesen (vibes).

A Vision in Blakelight (december 2011), inspired by William Blake's poems, was performed by John Medeski (piano, organ), Kenny Wollesen (vibes, bells), Carol Emanuel (harp), Trevor Dunn (bass), Joey Baron (drums), Cyro Baptista (percussion) and Jack Huston (reading).

City Of Slaughter/Schmatta/Beyond The Infinite (may 2012) containes music for solo piano, originally composed as soundtracks.

Lemma contains two works for solo violin: the Bach-based Passagen and the four-movement Ceremonial Magic, as well as Apophthegms, a 12-movement suite for two violins.

Volume 20 of John Zorn's "Book Of Angels" series, titled Tap (Tzadik, 2013), was mostly performed by Pat Metheny on guitars, bass, keyboards, "orchestrionics", electronics, bandoneon, percussion and flugelhorn.

Dreamachines (april 2013) features nine Zorn compositions performed by Nova Express: John Medeski (piano), Kenny Wollesen (vibes), Trevor Dunn (bass) and Joey Baron (drums).

The Road To Jajouka (2013) features music by Ornette Coleman and John Zorn (alto saxes), Marc Ribot (banjo), Lee Ranaldo (guitar), John Medeski (Hammond organ), Bill Laswell and Chris Wood (basses), Billy Martin and Mickey Hart (drums) along with the Master Musicians of Jajouka from Morocco.

@ (february 2013) documents a collaboration with guitarist Thurston Moore.

On The Torment Of Saints, The Casting Of Spells And The Evocation Of Spirits (Tzadik, 2013) contains more chamber pieces, notably All Hallows' Eve (2004) for string trio; The Tempest from Shakespeare; the concerto for chamber ensemble Anthony (2 cellos, 2 violas, 2 flutes, 2 violins, 2 clarinets, 2 horns, bassoon, piano, bass and drums).

Painkiller's live shows are documented on The Prophecy - Live In Europe 2004-2005.

Zorn returned to William Blake for In Lambeth - Visions From The Walled Garden Of William Blake (april 2013), the third album credited to the Gnostic Trio (Carol Emanuel on harp, Bill Frisell on guitar and Kenny Wollesen on vibraphone and bells), except that this time it also adds Ikue Mori on electronics. The Gnostic Trio's fourth album was The Testament Of Solomon (march 2014).

The Sapphites were an a cappella quintet that performed vocal music inspired by medieval and Renaissance music as well as 20th century music on Shir Hashirim (september 2010).

Volume II - Great Duo Live (Chadula, 2013) collects live performances with Eugene Chadbourne from 1977 to 1980.

The suite Psychomagia (december 2013) was performed by the Moroccan Abraxas quartet. The Alchemist (october 2013) contains the title-track and Earthspirit. Fragmentations, Prayers And Interjection (2014) contains four compositions for large ensembles, including Orchestra Variations (1996), the string orchestra version of Kol Nidre, Suppots et Suppliciations (2012), and the violin concerto Contes de Fees.

John Zorn composed Alastor (Tzadik, 2014) for Eyvind Kang and large ensemble.

Sonic Rivers (december 2013) was a collaboration among George Lewis on trombone and electronics, John Zorn on alto sax and Wadada Leo Smith on trumpet.

Stephen Gosling (piano), Greg Cohen (bass) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums) played Zorn's music on In The Hall of Mirrors (february 2014).

John Zorn's "Book of Angels" serie continued with Adramelech (may 2014), that merges Klezmer and Afro-pop.

Nova Express with John Medeski, Trevor Dunn, Kenny Wollesen and Joey Baron returned with On Leaves Of Grass (Tzadik, 2014), also featuring Ikue Mori.

The Dream Membrane (june 2014) was a collaboration with Bill Laswell (bass and drones) and writer/illustrator David Chaim Smith. Valentine's Day is a reworking of Enigmata performed by Trevor Dunn (electric 5-string bass), Marc Ribot (electric guitar) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums). Aguares was the 23th volume of Book of Angel's serie, performed by Masada Octeto.

The Gnostic Trio expanded to a sextet with Bill Frisell (guitar), John Medeski (organ), Bridget Kibbey and Carol Emanuel (harps), Al Lipowski and Kenny Wollesen (vibes, bells) for Transmigration Of The Magus (Tzadik, 2014).

The Last Judgement (Tzadik, 2014), performed by Mike Patton (vocals), Trevor Dunn (bass), Joey Baron (drums) and John Medeski (organ), concluded the "Moonchild" saga.

The Hermetic Organ Vol. 3 (november 2013) was his third solo organ album.

Amon (Tzadik, 2015) was the 24th volume in the "Book of Angels" series.

Olympiad The Early Game Pieces (Tzadik, 2015) delivered compositions of the 1970s and 1980s, including the first recordings of Fencing and Curling.

Simulacrum (december 2014), composed by John Zorn, inaugurated the organ trio of John Medeski, Cleric's Matt Hollenberg and Kenny Grohowski. Simulacrum, featuring Trevor Dunn (bass), John Medeski (organ), Marc Ribot (guitar), Abraxas' Kenny Grohowski (drums) and Cleric's Matt Hollenberg (guitar), returned with The True Discoveries Of Witches And Demons (Tzadik, 2015).

The 25th Book of Angels, Gomory (Tzadik, 2015), was performed by Mycale, i.e. the cappella vocal quartet of Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Sofia Rei, Sara Serpa and Malika Zarra.

The instrumental Inferno (june 2015) featured John Medeski on organ, Matt Hollenberg on guitar and Kenny Grohowski on drums and included the 21-minute Inferno.

Cerberus (august 2015), the 26th volume of Book of Angels series, was performed by the Spike Orchestra, an 18-musician ensemble comprising of 11 reedists, plus guitar, accordion, voice, piano, keyboards and drums.

The Book Of Angels Volume 27: Flaga (Tzadik, 2016) was performed by Craig Taborn, Christian McBride (double bass) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums).

John Zorn debuted a new ensemble, the Nova Express for Andras (november 2015), volume 28 in the "Book of Angels" series. This was a quartet consisting of Joey Baron (drums), Trevor Dunn (basses), John Medeski (organ and piano) and Kenny Wollesen (vibraphone), joined by the Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista.

The Painted Bird (Tzadik, 2016) was instead recorded by a quintet with John Medeski (organ), Ches Smith (congas, Voudun drums), Kenny Wollesen (vibes), Kenny Grohowski (drums) and Matt Hollenberg (guitar).

The Mockingbird (december 2015) was Zorn's sixth collaboration with the Gnostic Trio.

Sacred Visions (premiered in may 2015) contains the 23-minute The Holy Visions and the 15-minute The Remedy Of Fortune, with a vocal quartet and a string quartet.

Flauros (2016), the 29th volume of the "Book Of Angels" series, contains renditions of Masada pieces by the AutorYno trio (bassist Bertrand Delorme, drummer Cyril Grimaud and guitarist David Konopnicki).

The Garden Of Earthly Delights (december 2016), a tribute to Hieronymus Bosch, contains ten pieces composed by John Zorn and performed by his Simulacrum ensemble (Trevor Dunn, John Medeski, Kenny Grohowski, Matt Hollenberg and Sara Serpa). There is No More Firmament (Tzadik, 2017) collects nine John Zorn compositions from 2013-2016, works for brass ensembles, a woodwind quintet, jazz piano trio, string trio and two solo pieces for clarinet and trumpet.

Buer (Tzadik, 2017), volume 31 of the endless "Book Of Angels" series, contains 16 Masada compositions performed by the trio of pianist Brian Marsella, bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Kenny Wollesen.

Three works inspired by Luis Bunuel and William Burroughs appeared on The Interpretation Of Dreams (may 2017).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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