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Zorn @ Marciac (Aug 2010)

11th Dec 10 (Sat) Leave a comment

If you have 54 minutes to kill… and, well, maybe you should clear your schedule… John Zorn & Co @ Marciac Jazz Fest 2010

August 11, 2010

1. Little Bittern
2. Anulikwutsayl
3. Exodus
4. Karaim
5. Lilin

JOHN ZORN – direction, saxophone
MARC RIBOT – guitar
JAMIE SAFT – piano, orgue
TREVOR DUNN – bass
KENNY WOLLESEN – vibraphone
JOEY BARON – drums
CYRO BAPTISTA – percussion

~Dan – np: AutorYnoPastrami Bagel Social Club

the NMBT

31st Oct 08 (Fri) Leave a comment

In the liners to John Zorn‘s Filmworks XXI album, there’s a little snippet about the new Masada Book Two (NMBT) volume:

The next CD in the Book of Angels series will be the super band of Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, Uri Caine, Greg Cohen and Joey Baron – Wow ! Watch for it in the spring of 2009.

So, basically… awesome.

Other Masada Book Two posts of mine:

~Dan

astronome: a night at the opera

18th Oct 08 (Sat) Leave a comment

John Zorn’s Moonchild Trio (Mike Patton/Trevor Dunn/Joey Baron) is due out with a fourth recorded installment (The Crucible) later in 2008/early 2009.  Their second installment, 2006’s Astronome, is getting a revised treatment for the stage.  From the Downtown Music Gallery‘s newsletter this week:

ASTRONOME: A NIGHT AT THE OPERA!

Director Richard Foreman and musician John Zorn team up for Astronome: A Night at the Opera opening next year [2009] at Ontological-Hysteric Theater.

WATCH VIDEO FEED of rehearsals and see how Foreman develops this production… EVERY WEDNESDAY from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 26, 2008-Jan. 21, 2009 live from the Ontological-Hysteric Theater in Manhattan! [No rehearsals Dec. 24, 2008]

Tune in at http://www.free103point9.org

http://www.ontological.com/

hmm… No word in the above weblinks if the Patton/Dunn/Baron Moonchild Trio (pictured below) will be in the production.  I don’t know how it would work without them, but you never know.  I mean, it could probably only be non-rad if they got Renee Zellweger to play Mike Patton’s parts. :)  .

NYC trip in 2009 for me?  Unlikely.  But I can dream…

~Dan – np: Paul Brody’s SadawiFor the Moment


JZ’s The Crucible, The Dreamers, biography, and JFJO grumbles

13th Sep 08 (Sat) Leave a comment

Well, first.. I didn’t end up at the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (JFJO) show last night.  Boo.  Stupid Eugene Celebration blocking off within 60 yards of the art gallery where they were playing and wanting me to buy a wristband to see a show I’d have to pay for that’s not on a stage at Eugene Celebration.  I think me skipping it was on principle, not on lack for wanting to see JFJO.  Rassen frassen… but I hope to catch the free Richard Crandell show today at Cozmic Pizza.  He’s a mbira player, and I have one of his composer series CDs on Tzadik Records.  He’s from frickin’ Eugene and on Tzadik Records – – how cool is that?

Speaking of Tzadik… on to some upcoming Jay-Z news… and by Jay-Z, I mean John Zorn (founder of Tzadik).

Graphic design artist extraordinaire Heung Heung “Chippy” posted on her blog about some new design stuff that she’s been working on for Tzadik:

I’m designing a book jacket for John Brackett’s biography on John Zorn, published by Indiana University Press.  Title: John Zorn Tradition and Transgression.  Cover photo by Scott Irvine, Book Jacket Design by myself, Book Interior Design by Jamison Cockerham.  It’s nearly done and looking pretty good. Please look for it and buy this first biography ever on one of New York City’s heroes.

FOR MORE JOHN ZORN MUSIC, we have many treats for you–he’s been releasing amazing FilmWorks CDs (yes, prolific), another one is on its way–this one is extra special, one I’ve been listening to everyday–very meaningful, touching upon so many personal levels. (The Last Supper, FilmWorks XXII).

For those who are eagerly waiting for The Crucible (Moonchild’s 4th CD), it is coming very soon. Expect more killer photography by Scott Irvine (Tzadik’s official photographer–thank you to all who voted for him this summer), design by myself. Powerful music. And yes, you can have your Mike Patton too.

And it doesn’t stop there. The Dreamers will be expanding like a Chippy dream come true. For you audiophiles, this is our first yet–can’t say now until I’m working on it. Expect limited edition. Speaking of Limited Edition–The Dreamers’ shirts–they will now be considered limited edition, so please get them at Zakka in Dumbo (childrens are only available there or through me) or http://www.tzadik.com Note: once these go and we reprint, the artwork will be different.

My recap in backwards order…

I imagine The Dreamers limited edition thing for audiophiles may very well be a vinyl issue.  That’s my inkling and heretofore a rumor.  Tzadik hasn’t done a vinyl yet, and what else for audiophiles is considered limited edition these days?  Sweet… The Dreamers is a fantastic, exotica meets Electric Masada ventures out earlier this year on Tzadik.  It’s one of my favs of 2008 so far.

The Crucible… yay!  A 4th installment from the noisemetal Moonchild Trio of Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn, and Joey Baron was inevitable.

I dig JZ’s Filmworks series… Sholem Aleichem: Filmworks XX is on its way to me now.

Additional info on the John Zorn biography… it’s due out in early 2009.  It’s a book.  With pages.  Some probably graphic (just judging based on JZ’s Naked City album artwork and Dr. Brackett’s recent presentations at recent conferences).

~Dan – np: The Tiptons Sax QuartetLaws of Motion

did he just say Masada Book THREE?

8th Aug 08 (Fri) Leave a comment

Happy 8/8/8…

Jazz trumpeter/composer/bandleader Dave Douglas posted this on his Greenleaf Music blog today:

In the months since the “Final Acoustic Masada” appearances[1], there have been a number of developments in John Zorn’s presentation of the Masada material. This past week saw a few shows in Europe reflecting this new phase. John’s preference at this point seems to be exposing multiple facets of the Masada music in one night or over the course of a week: from solos to string trio or guitar trio, from various quartets up to sextets and larger, sometimes with electronics. It’s an approach that gets at the real variety and depth found in the book, showing not only how many different kinds of pieces are in it, but how many ways it can be played.

This week saw the first shows of what feels like a whole new band: the Masada acoustic quartet (John Zorn, Dave Douglas, Greg Cohen, Joey Baron), plus Uri Caine on piano and Cyro Baptista[2] on percussion. There was an incredible amount of electricity for what is essentially a totally acoustic band. The new tunes (Book 2, Book of Angels) drive the music in unexpected new directions and provoke unusual instrumental combinations. And the old tunes exploded into completely new territory, each one we played reinventing itself with new improvisational dimensions. At this point I’ve lost track of how many tunes there are. No matter, apparently there is a third book coming[3].

Hells yeah… I may get a chance to see Zorn/Douglas/Cohen/Baron + Caine/Baptista eventually… :D

~Dan – np: ElsianeHybrid

[1]– referring to the acoustic quartet, of which I got to see twice… once at Duke University, once at Lincoln Center in NYC.
[2]– Cyro’s a wicked good, fun percussionist.
[3]– um… fuck yeah…

“Jazz Snob: Eat Sh*t”

16th Jun 08 (Mon) Leave a comment

Some recent DIME torrents of old Naked City shows got me to wishing I could be nostalgic (even though I didn’t get into them until 3 or 4 years ago)…

Don’t have your speakers on too loud… here’s 28 seconds of delish jazz-core (mp3 link) from Naked City (a supergroup of misfits in John Zorn, Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, Fred Frith, Joey Baron, Yamataka Eye).

from Torture Garden and Grand Guignol

Definitely not for everyone. The bleeding edge of art jazz…

~Dan – np: (oddly enoughnot art jazz) Extreme‘s new song on MySpace called “Star” (it’s very Queen-y)

REVIEW: John Zorn’s Moonchild @ The Moore Theatre / Earshot Jazz (Seattle, WA – – 11/4/07)

6th Nov 07 (Tue) 6 comments

Two statements needed to be made prior to really starting this review… 1) caveat for the non-Moonchild enthusiast: “They’re like an audible Jackson Pollock,” and 2) I feel sorry for the ushers who obviously didn’t know what they were getting into when they signed up for this.

A little background / sidenote… I came into being a John Zorn fan through first being a Mike Patton fan. One of Mike Patton’s (and Trevor Dunn’s) early bands, Mr. Bungle, had a Zorn link early on (JZ produced their Warner debut in 1991). However, I didn’t really start getting into Zorn until about 2-3 years ago when I stumbled on his jazz-klez band Masada. I didn’t know that John Zorn did such melodic work; so Masada totally caught me off guard. Anyway, by that time in my musical meanderings, my interests had started getting into more experimental bands anyway. When I dug deeper into John Zorn’s back catalog I really dug most of his work – whether it be the melodic Masada incarnations, Bar Kohkba, FilmWorks, et cetera or the experimental, harder-edged Naked City, Painkiller, et cetera.

By the time the first mention of the upcoming album Moonchild: Songs Without Words (on his label Tzadik or an email from Downtown Music Gallery), I about flipped… as an experimental/avant-garde trio with Mike Patton (the aforementioned Mr Bungle, Fantômas, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom, Faith No More, many many more), Trevor Dunn (the aforementioned Mr Bungle, Fantômas, Trio Convulsant, many more), and Joey Baron (Masada, Barondown, many more) was right up my alley. After that initial album in early 2006, Moonchild: Songs Without Words, the trio has put out two more albums of John Zorn’s compositions… Astronome (late 2006) and Six Litanies for Heliogabalus (early 2007) which also includes a chorus and other players (Ikue Mori, Jamie Saft, and Zorn himself).

All beautifully packaged and musically brutal, I don’t know where composition from Zorn stops and improvising by the Trio begins, but it can be as breath-taking as it is ear-hurting (remember my line above about it being an “audible Jackson Pollock“…?).

OK, now on to the concert review… note: 6 video snippets and 14 pictures are linked at the bottom of this review.

I took this concert trip alone… While I ease my lovely wife into listening to some of Zorn’s music (like Masada), I know when to not even bother (like Moonchild). I’m sure she’ll check out the video below and think I’m even more crazy than she already thinks I am for all of the cross-country concerting. But I think she’ll at least be thankful that I didn’t try to drag her to it, too… :)

I really had no idea or expectations for this show. I mean, I knew what to expect musically, but I didn’t know what to expect of the venue or the crowd. The venue, the Moore Theatre in downtown Seattle, was um… OK. I’ve been in better places, but I’ve been in worse. I was surprised at how big it was (capacity of 1419) compared to what I was thinking (a small venue, maybe not as small as The Stone, but not much bigger than 100 people). By the time the start time rolled around, the theatre was fairly full (the main floor was sold out, and I know the balcony was also open, too). Great turnout maybe due to the Earshot Jazz Festival or maybe due to the potentially “handful of shows only” nature of this band.

The band came on around 8:15pm… and blistered through around a solid hour of compositions. All three of them had sheet music on stands; so I’m fully aware that it’s somewhat composed music. Again, where the composition stops and the improvisation begins… your guess is as good as mine. Due to the lack of other players (like Saft, Mori, Zorn), and my lack of identifying the Moonchild trio’s “song” names… let’s just say that they stuck to a good mix of Moonchild and Astronome tracks.

Mike Patton was fairly wild for most of the set: jumping, squat-walking, tying himself up in the mic cord, swallowing the mic while screaming into it, spitting and belting out noises that made my throat sore just listening. He left the stage maybe 30-40 minutes in to let Joey Baron and Trevor Dunn have their way with our ears. I’d only previously seen Dunn in Mr. Bungle and Baron in Masada. In this entirely different setting with Moonchild, they really put out a veritable wall of sound. Even without Mike Patton’s screeching and guttural belts, Dunn and Baron were menacing in their own right.

The sound in the room was brutal. Loud, loud, loud. I thank my local music store for Hearos(tm). And, again, bless those poor ushers who didn’t know what they were getting into. I bet they were equally stunned with this “music” and the overwhelming positive crowd response. I wonder what they told their loved ones after going home from this ushering gig. hmmm…

The capper for the show proper was when Joey and Trevor left the stage. Mike Patton ripped into a 12-minute vocal solo which to me had many elements of “Litany IV”… probably the only Six Litanies piece in the set.

After a short break, they all came back for an encore… with the man himself, John Zorn. I had hoped that he was there, but after the main set was half over, I had written that off. He came out and directed them through a rippin’ tune… it could’a been 10 minutes, it could be 20 minutes, it could’a been 2 minutes. All I know was that it was intense, and Mike/Joey/Trevor definitely fed off of his energy on stage with them. My only desire on this one would have been for John Zorn to come out with his alto sax and do some of the call-and-repeat sax vs. voice that he did with Patton on Six Litanies… alas, I’ll have to wait another lifetime, perhaps.

All in all… great show – probably an hour twenty or just shy of an hour thirty of Zorn/Patton/Dunn/Baron. Worth the 8 hour roundtrip from Eugene, Oregon. Worth losing a little bit of sleep and homework time reading accounting valuation doctoral papers (blah blah blah). The Earshot Jazz Festival, or at least the only piece I could attend, was fantastic!! Being one of a potential handful of Moonchild appearances ever, I was happy to be in attendance and happy to document some of it in words above and in {cheap/low quality} video/pictures below.

Enjoy! :)

VIDEO SNIPPETS (6 totaltoggle amongst them in lower section of YouTube screen)

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=B84E0210411747E9

These are digital camera “movie file” snippets. Low quality? Sure. Posted mainly for “(blurry) fly on the (noisy) wall” add-on to this review. MOONCHILD is Mike Patton (voice), Trevor Dunn (bass), Joey Baron (drums), and John Zorn (director/composer). All music copyright John Zorn, 2006-2007.

PICTURES
(14 totalclick thumbnail for larger)

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~Dan – np: Hiromi’s SonicbloomTime Control

PS– to the guy who was handing out free CDs after the show… I got one… maybe you were trying to give them to Earshot Jazz “bigwigs,” but somehow I got one. I love it!!! Anyone interested in some great instrumental music, The Coma LiliesMemento Mori -EP- is GREAT!! The Coma Lilies‘ MySpace page is HERE. Listen to their stuff, it’s goooood.

PPS– other related MySpace & other Links (some fan sites, some official):

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