"49 Acts of Unspeakable Depravity in the Abominable Life and Times of Gilles de Rais" is the fifth CD by Simulacrum, an organ trio of unparalleled power that brings the sounds of heavy metal, blues, funk and jazz together with modern classical music. Tighter than ever and able to stop and start at breakneck speed, Medeski, Hollenberg and Grohowski are at their raging best as they blaze through Zorn’s wildest flights of fancy—a ten-movement suite evoking a sick and decadent descent into madness. Driven by an intense and powerful fury, this CD contains some of the craziest sounds you are ever likely to hear as genres, noise, instrumental colors and driving rhythms collide head-on. A jaw-dropping visit to a new musical world where absolutely anything is possible!
Inspired by the spiritual mythology of William Blake, A Vision in Blakelight is the latest in Zorn’s continuing series of 21st century mystical works. With a cinematic sweep reminiscent of his best film scores the music is alternately romantic, ominous, ecstatic, driving and meditative. Featuring the Nova quartet augmented by harp and percussion—and the charismatic Jack Huston reciting from Blake’s Jerusalem on one mysterious track—this suite of ten instrumental miniatures references jazz, classical, easy listening, film music and minimalism. A lovely and varied suite reflecting the humanistic philosophy of the immortal visionary William Blake with a dramatic and brilliant lyricism.
Drawing upon traditions as varied as Messiaen, Xenakis, Ligeti, Bach, Tournemire, Ives, Korla Pandit and The Phantom of the Opera, Zorn’s organ improvisations are transcendent, inspiring, ecstatic experiences, offering a direct line to the workings of his rich compositional imagination. Recorded at midnight on the eve of Halloween on the largest organ in New York City, Zorn approaches this performance as ritual, creating a mysterious mood of contrasts, colors, bells, drones, counterpoint and simultaneity. This fourth volume documenting Zorn’s legendary organ recitals presents organ improvisation at its most surprising, extreme and sublime.
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!
Uri Caine is a musician of astonishing virtuosity and versatility. Coming out of the legendary Philly Jazz scene, his playing is an encyclopedia of styles from Tatum to Evans and beyond. With Moloch he interprets tunes from Zorn’s Book of Angels in a breathtaking outing for solo piano. Virtuosic and soulful, this latest volume of material from Masada Book Two is an absolute tour-de-force. Fifteen musical miniatures by one of the world’s greatest piano virtuosos.