After over 40 years there is still no one who plays the sax quite like John Zorn. Using the instrument as sound maker, he commands a saxophone language of unmatched versatility. Collected under the enigmatic title of “The Classic Guide to Strategy,” five volumes were planned—“Volume 1” (1983), “Volume 2’ (1986), “Volume 3’ (2003) and now the penultimate “Volume 4” is finally made available on Tzadik. Filled with wit, drama, playfulness and intensity, the composer’s legendary virtuosity and powerful improvisational logic is on full display in this astonishing release recorded at EMPAC in early 2013. You have to hear it to believe it!
After 13 years and 32 CDs Zorn’s expansive “Book of Angels” project is now complete! This final installment presents the last 10 unrecorded compositions from “Masada Book Two” and the variety, drama and lyricism is just as strong as the very first volume. Mary Halvorson, a longtime Masada fan and one of the most acclaimed guitarists of her generation, leads a dynamic quartet featuring Miles Okazaki, Drew Gress and Tomas Fujiwara. The music is intense, wild and incredibly varied—a beautiful and fitting conclusion to this historic Masada series—hailed as one of Zorn’s best!
The infamous Moonchild/AstronomeTrio of Patton, Dunn and Baron returns to the studio this time aided by the searing organ of Jamie Saft, the complex electronics of Ikue Mori and a small female chorus to realize Zorn’s latest project Six Litanies for Heliogabalus. Inspired by the decadent excesses of the Roman emperor/child-god who made Caligula and Nero look like reasonable human beings—smothering his dinner guests to death in a rain of perfumed rose petals—these six compositions (including an outrageous new piece for solo voice) explode with color, imagery and intensity. A startling blend of Metal, Contemporary Classical, Jazz and Mediaeval Music, this is one of Zorn's most extreme and original creations.
World traveler, nomad, mystic and violist, Eyvind Kang has created several of the most wildly creative CDs on Tzadik. Here he turns his hand to ten tunes from Zorn’s remarkable Book of Angels. Featuring spectacular orchestral arrangements and brilliant studio techniques, Eyvind has put together a CD unlike anything on the Angels series, highlighting the spiritual side of the Angels project, the singular lyricism of Zorn’s compositions and his own richly inventive musical imagination. One of the most personal and gorgeous installments in the Masada series, Alastor is a modern orchestral reading of the mystical charts from the Book of Angels.
Ever curious, courageous and endlessly creative, virtuoso guitarist and musical mastermind Pat Metheny takes on John Zorn’s Masada songbook to create some of the most soulful and adventurous sounds yet heard in the Book of Angels series. Turn up the volume and revel in the breadth of imagination in these remarkable arrangements featuring Pat on a huge arsenal of instruments, and the powerful Antonio Sanchez on drums. Pat Metheny continues to surprise and experiment with new musical frontiers well into the 21st century. Released in coordination with Nonesuch, this is a match made in Heaven—essential!
Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz steps out on his own to make one of the most primal and tribal installments in the Book of Angels series. Drawing on his Sephardic roots, Shanir plays gimbri throughout, giving the music a primeval Moroccan edge. Featuring the intense guitar pyrotechnics of Eyal Maoz and Aram Bajakian (who recently has been tearing it up in Lou Reed’s new band) and the atavistic drumming of Kenny Grohowski, this is Ritualistic Jewish Rock for the 21st century by a brilliant young lion from the East Village via Brooklyn/Israel!