Nova Express is one of Zorn’s most dynamic and sensitive ensembles: an MJQ-tinged quartet featuring piano, vibraphone, bass and drums. For their first foray into the world of Masada, they are joined by the ever-popular Brazilian percussionist Cyro Baptista to create a fabulous program of space-age bachelor pad music for the 21st century. Relaxing and unique instrumental music performed by an all-star quintet of musical masters touching upon the exotic language of The Dreamers, Les Baxter, Martin Denny, Bert Kaempfert, Afro-Cuban bop and more.
Their 5th CD and their first in over 4 years, Zorn’s most delightful and popular instrumental unit returns with nine compositions inspired by the imaginary worlds of fantasy literature. Featuring some of Zorn’s catchiest hooks and plenty of fiery solos from Ribot, Saft and Wollesen, “Pellucidar blends soul, surf, jazz, minimalism, rumba, tango, samba, exotica and more in classic Dreamers style. Accompanied by a 36-page booklet filled with colorful art by Tzadik’s exclusive designer Chippy, Pellucidar is a long awaited addition to the sparkling Dreamers legacy! Exotic music for the 21st century that is an absolute delight from first note to last.
"The dynamic sextet featured in two of Zorn's most recent and popular musical projects-The Dreamers and O'o-jump another level in Ipos, their most beautiful and powerful recording to date. Featuring ten new compositions from the lyrical Book of Angels, the music draws exotica, surf, world music, latin jazz, rock, film music and more into a seductive new musical world. Perfect for the early morning, late at night, at home or in the car, The Dreamers play Masada is truly a magical combination. Powerful new music performed by an all-star band of downtown masters."
The Dreamers, by John Zorn and his septet, is for all practical purposes a sequel of sorts to 2001's The Gift, which was – and perhaps remains – Zorn's most "accessible" record. That said, there some key differences in the approach to this new set. Most of the band from the former record are back: guitarist Marc Ribot is here, as are keyboardist Jamie Saft, drummer Joey Baron, bassist Trevor Dunn (who was one of three bassists on The Gift), and percussionist Cyro Baptista. Zorn does play some alto saxophone as well, but his performance is not prevalent as an instrumentalist. Dave Douglas' trumpet is absent, and has been replaced by the vibes work of Kenny Wollesen.
Essentially, John Zorn's O'o (named for an extinct Hawaiian bird) is a sequel to his brilliant and wonderfully breezy 2008 set, DREAMERS. The band is exactly the same: guitarist Marc Ribot, keyboardist Jamie Saft, drummer Joey Baron, bassist Trevor Dunn, percussionist Cyro Baptista, and vibraphonist Kenny Wollesen. If anything, this is an intricately sequenced, impeccably performed series of tunes that meld together in a cycle that is seamless yet wildly diverse and more detailed than DREAMERS. Careful attention reveals a wealth of musics on display.
Roberto Rodriguez’s dynamic blending of Cuban music with the Jewish tradition has produced some of the most popular and best selling CDs on the Radical Jewish series. Here he turns his brilliant arranging skills and fabulous all-star ensemble to nine beautiful melodies from Zorn’s lyrical Book of Angels. Recorded in Israel with some of the strongest musicians out of the exciting Israeli music scene the music is at once familiar and surprising, touching on traditions while bringing them into the 21st century with imagination, wit and a passionate creativity.
The long awaited follow-up to Borah Bergman’s critically acclaimed solo recording Meditations for Piano takes his lyrical cross hands contrapuntal technique into the dynamic context of the classic piano trio. Rich and soulful, this is Borah at his most thoughtful, supported by a fabulous rhythm section and performing music very close to his heart. Influenced by the exotic melismas of cantorial singing, the counterpoint of Bach and the harmonic beauty of Alban Berg and Bill Evans, Borah forges a new language of joy and sadness, firmly rooted in the Jewish tradition. John Zorn guests on one track.