The classical works of Tan Dun typically fuse compositional elements from the East and the West, but for his soundtrack to Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, musical cultures aren't so much blurred as coexistent side-by-side. While the magical martial arts film doesn't boast music as stunning as its visuals, this soundtrack is still beautiful and elegant, a perfect complement to the movie's mysticism. Just don't expect epic, John Williams-inspired bombast here. On "A Wedding Interrupted," the riveting brass and string section introduction segues into soft-hued meditations; "Night Fight" boasts spiky percussion but sounds more reminiscent of Stomp than a kung-fu scene. That said, Dun's understated score–filled with Asian instrumentation, Romantic cello solos from Yo-Yo Ma, and a token theme song with vocals by Asian pop star CoCo Lee–is still a fascinating listen. Fans of Ma and Dun shouldn't pass this up.
Zappa in New York was recorded in December 1976 at the Palladium and originally intended for release in 1977. It was held up due to arguments between Frank Zappa and his then-record label, Warner Bros. When the two-LP set finally appeared in March 1978, Warner had deleted "Punky's Whips," a song about drummer Terry Bozzio's attraction to Punky Meadows of Angel. When Zappa reacquired the album and released it as a double CD in 1991, he restored "Punky's Whips" and added four bonus tracks.