Posts Tagged ‘John Zorn’

New Albums Zorn, Blake and Cheek and Bowers


Continuing with the recent spate of releases, today we have reviews of new John Zorn material as interpreted by the guitar heavy Abraxas band, a much more traditional sax led quintet and Kris Bower’s new debut release.

I believe that part of the secret to lunatic genius John Zorn’s extensive output of consistently high quality work in recent years is in part his tendency to hand out compositions to, or write specifically for, different bands of frequent, or infrequent, collaborators and bands that often do not include him as an instrumentalist. Perhaps I would personally like to see more albums with him on saxophone, since he has a staggering command of the instrument, but the benefit of this system of passing out music to other artists is the ability to create a wide and diverse repertoire of music, where each release can explore sometimes very different things with a band best suited to do so. Read more…


Cross Culture: Joe Lovano Us Five

Joe Lovano Us Five Cross Cultural

Welcome to the first new reviews of the year. Today we cover some brand new Joe Lovano and a not quite as new John Zorn release: both deliver. This will be the first set of reviews to utilize the new Foresight and Afterthought stars system, the guidelines to which can be found here.

Joe Lovano ‘Us Five’: Cross Culture

Joe Lovano has just released a new record with the workhorse band behind his last two excellent albums, the ‘Us Five’. Last time the Us Five, a double drum quintet with James Weidman on piano, Esperanza Spalding on bass and drummers Francisco Mela and Otis Brown III, tackled the Charlie Parker songbook, although in a way barely recognizable to the originals. This time the band takes on a much more expansive project, the “notion of a universal musical language”. Although this seems to me a rather nebulous project to take on, the result is undoubtedly successful. Cross Culture is possibly my favorite so far of the three Us Five albums.

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