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The future of Zorn’s Masada Book Two

8th Jun 11 (Wed) Leave a comment

Every time I talk about it, I’ll state that Masada Book Two is one of the best series on John Zorn’s Tzadik label.  The quick premise: One page of music in a book of 300+ tunes, given to others to interpret and record.

Who has done it so far (bold being my faves so far): Jamie Saft Trio, Masada String Trio, Mark Feldman and Sylvie Courvoisier, Koby Israelite, The Cracow Klezmer, Uri Caine, Marc Ribot, Erik Friedlander, Secret Chiefs 3, Bar Kokhba Sextet, Medeski Martin & Wood, Masada Quintet featuring Joe Lovano, Mycale, The Dreamers, Ben Goldberg Quartet, Masada String Trio, and Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits.

All seventeen thus far as stupendous releases… you can’t go wrong, especially if you love improvisational jazz and klezmer.  Listen: Amazon search page.

Good Aural blog posted the following yesterday:

According to John Zorn, Tzadik records will release about four—possibly five—more Masada Book Two albums in 2012. It’s amazing to think that we’ll be hearing volumes 18, 19, 20, 21, and maybe even 22 of Zorn’s Book of Angels by the end of next year.

Want a preview of who’ll be playing on these upcoming volumes? Here are the new Book of Angels releases planned for 2012:

New Klezmer Trio

Clarinetist Ben Goldberg is a pioneer in avant-garde Jewish music. His New Klezmer Trio released their first album, Masks and Faces, in 1992; it was reissued on Tzadik in 1996. New Klezmer Trio has since released several more albums on Tzadik: Melt Zonk Rewire and Short for Something.

In 2010 Goldberg recorded Baal: the Book of Angels vol. 15 with Masada book veterans Greg Cohen, Jamie Saft, and Kenny Wollesen. This new Ben Goldberg Quartet was assembled and conducted by Zorn himself.

Finally, Goldberg plays clarinet with the acoustic ensemble Tin Hat, which appeared on the Masada anniversary album Voices in the Wilderness.

David Krakauer

David Krakauer is a clarinetist firmly rooted in both klezmer and classical music. His band, Klezmer Madness!, incorporates elements from funk, jazz, and a variety of other genres. He has collaborated with the Kronos Quartet and made several releases on Zorn’s Tzadik label, including Klezmer Madness! and Klezmer, NY.

Given that Krakauer has collaborated with Uri Caine and played both clarinet and bass clarinet on John Zorn’s seminal Kristallnacht, it’s only natural that he should (finally!) record a set of tunes from The Book of Angels.

Pat Metheny

Guitarist Pat Metheny recorded the acclaimed free jazz album Song X with Ornette Coleman and recorded Steve Reich’s “Electric Counterpoint” with Kronos Quartet. Metheny’s upcoming Book of Angels entry is planned as a solo performance.

And Beyond…

Whatever Masada Book Two compositions remain will be recorded on one or two albums by artists not yet announced. Once those are completed, we’ll have finally reached the end of this chapter in Masada’s legacy. But for hardcore fans of this music, there’s still plenty to come.

On the horizon: Masada Book Three.

Good Aural apparently heard the news from John Zorn himself.  I had heard rumors of the Pat Metheny one in the past, and the other conspirators are consistent with who Zorn has worked with in the past.  I’m hoping Mike Patton’s Fantômas does something in this series in the future.  It’s not out of the realm – they did one song for the Unknown Masada album in 2003 (a pre-cursor to the Masada Book Two concept).  Oh, or the Moonchild Trio!! That would kick ass.

http://tzadik.com/

~Dan – np: Red Hot Chili PeppersStadium Arcadium

‘Speak With Ghosts’ by Anakronic Electro Orkestra (now out on CD)

15th Apr 11 (Fri) Leave a comment

One of the late releases digitally in 2010… the fantastic Anakronic Electro Orkestra now has their full-length Speak With Ghosts out on CD.  It comes with three extra connecting snippets (“ghosts”) and is going to make it on my Best of CDs in 2011.  Sure, it made it on the list in 2010, but it’s sooooo good, I’ll break / make my own rules. :)

Do you like jazzy rock-fusion klezmer (great for fans of Beats Antique & Balkan Beat Box)?  Of course, you do! Find out more about Anakronic Electro Orkestra with the links below…

Read what I wrote last December below… or just take my word for it, and buy this albumYou won’t regret it!  Per the band, it’s also destined for a vinyl release later in 2011.

Speak With Ghosts by Anakronic Electro Orkestra One of my favorite EPs of 2009 was Anakronic Electro Orkestra’s The Yiddish Part.  My only complaint with the EP?  It was too short.  Well, in mid-November 2010, unbeknown to me at the time, they came out with their debut full-length Speak With Ghosts.  It’s digital only at this stage, with Amazon’s mp3 Download department being the best choice (which I found out after I bought it on iTunes).  Anyway, well worth the coin spent! AEO hail from Toul … Read More

~Dan – np: Anakronic Electro OrkestraSpeak With Ghosts

‘Speak With Ghosts’ by Anakronic Electro Orkestra

27th Dec 10 (Mon) 3 comments

One of my favorite EPs of 2009 was Anakronic Electro Orkestra‘s The Yiddish Part.  My only complaint with the EP?  It was too short.  Well, in mid-November 2010, unbeknown to me at the time, they came out with their debut full-length Speak With Ghosts.  It’s digital only at this stage, with Amazon’s mp3 Download department being the best choice (which I found out after I bought it on iTunes).  Anyway, well worth the coin spent!

AEO hail from Toulouse, France, and crank out a mighty fine mixture of drum & bass mixed with Eastern European-fused klezmer.  Their new album is a 40+ minute shuffle through a modern klezmer forest – including one song featuring David Krakaeur (another favorite musician of mine).  I think AEO is also great for fans of Beats Antique and Balkan Beat Box.

I just downloaded Speak With Ghosts, and it’s definitely vying for a favorite in 2010.  See, this is why it’s so hard to put these lists out.  December 26th, and I have a new one pop on to the list. :)

For more info… http://www.anakronic.com/

~Dan – np: Anakronic Electro OrkestraSpeak With Ghosts

Dave Douglas – Masada seminar at the Stone

7th May 10 (Fri) Leave a comment

If you’re in New York City next week and love jazz, you have to go to this…

John Zorn, Ner Tamid, from the Masada songbook.

Monday, May 10, 7PM – 10PM:
Stone Seminar 19 – Dave Douglas on the Music of Masada
At The Stone in NYC

When John asked me to present a seminar, I thought: why not take a handful of Masada tunes, old and new, and play them with people? We’ll have the charts in Zorn’s incredibly-expressive handwriting… Bring your instrument as the goal will be to play as many tunes as we can get through. I learned a lot playing these tunes, and I think people may enjoy coming to get a closer look at how the tunes look and how performances of them work. Word is the composer may even come by and answer some of the many remaining questions I have for him.

Playing this music has always been fun, challenging, and thought-provoking for me. I can’t say that I have any answers, but Monday we will open up the book and see where the charts take us. Each of these tunes points in a unique and inspiring direction.

More info and specifics at The Stone website.

I’m really, really, really jealous…

~Dan – np: KembweKembwe

Yoshie Fruchter of Pitom on Klezmer podcast

30th Apr 10 (Fri) Leave a comment

The latest Klezmer Podcast features an interview and tune from Yoshie Fruchter, front man for Judaic rock band PitomThe Pitom debut (2008) is one of my favorites from Tzadik‘s Radical Jewish Culture series… one of the rare rock bands in the John Zorn Jewish musical revolution…

Listen to the podcast HERE, or subscribe to the podcast in iTunes (free).

Check out Yoshie Fruchter‘s Pitom:

Find the Klezmer Podcast on the web, MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook.

~Dan – np: Michael KelseyGruvency

John Zorn – Masada Book Two Marathon (NYC)

22nd Jan 10 (Fri) 1 comment

MASADA ‘BOOK OF ANGELS’ MARATHON!
February 17th & 18th

2 nights. 10 bands. 19 musicians. 1 inspiring book of music!

Written in a flash of creativity during three months at the end of 2004, the 316 compositions in John Zorn‘s Book of Angels (aka Masada Book Two) contain some of his most lyrical and inspiring music. Performed by a wide variety of ensembles over the past 5 years the music has generated 13 CDs to date, with 4 more scheduled for release in 2010. This special Marathon concert brings together 10 different groups in two evenings-five bands per night. Don’t miss this special downtown event presented at the historical Henry Street Settlement at the Abrons Art Center!  $30 in advance / $35 at the door (Separate admission each night)

Tickets at  https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/710455

Featuring: Uri Caine, Dave Douglas, Greg Cohen, Joey Baron, Cyro Baptista, Kenny Wollesen, Jamie Saft, Erik Friedlander, Mark Feldman, Ben Goldberg, Shanir Blumenkranz, Sylvie Courvoisier, Tim Keiper, Brian Marsells, Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Basya Schecter, Malika Zarra, Sofia Rei Koutsovitis, John Zorn, and more

DAY 1 February 17th (Wednesday) at 8pm

Banquet Of The Spirits
Ben Goldberg Quartet
Mark Feldman/Sylvie Courvoisier
Mycale
Masada Sextet

tickets for Day 1  https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/7904665

DAY 2 February 18th (Thursday) at 8pm

Uri Caine solo
Masada String Trio
Jamie Saft Trio
Erik Friedlander solo
Masada Quartet

tickets for Day 2  https://www.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/7904675

I wish I lived in NYC!

The Masada Book Two Series (to date):





~Dan – np: Yuka Honda Memories Are My Only Witness

Anakronic Electro Orkestra

21st Sep 08 (Sun) 6 comments

OK, I love Jewish music. I didn’t know I loved it until early 2006, when I got into John Zorn’s Masada, a great mixture of composed, yet improvisationally free jazz, grounded in Jewish melodies.


(Dave Douglas & John Zorn of Masada, photo courtesy of volume12)

Masada led to discovering many more great Jewish, Klezmer, and Slavic/Balkan music artists on John Zorn’s Tzadik label (and other labels):
……Electric Masada / Masada String Trio / Bar Kokhba Sextet (splinter bands from the Masada Book), Steven Bernstein (of Sex Mob), Jon Madof’s Rashanim & CircuitBreaker, Bester Quartet (formerly the Cracow Klezmer Band), Daniel Zamir & Satlah, David Buchbinder’s Jewban (or Cubish) cultural mash-up Odessa/Havana (and the similar mashups from Irving Fields and Roberto Rodriguez), David Krakauer’s Klezmer Madness, Jamie Saft, So Called, Balkan Beat Box, Slavic Soul Party!, Davka, Eyol Moaz, Jennifer Charles & Oren Bloedow’s La Mar Enfortuna (both from Elysian Fields), Koby Israelite, Marc Ribot’s Jewish music, Paul Brody’s Sadawi, Talat, Yoshie Fruchter, Z’ev, Zakarya, Klez-Factor, the Tiptons Saxophone Quartet, the Lithuanian Empire, the Alexandria Kleztet, Alex Kontorovich, et cetera…

Anyway, after I got into more John Zorn, I also got into more jazz and more Jewish music.  There are many cross-overs between the two worlds (jazz and klezmer).  Around that time, I was also getting into podcasts… and the only podcast that focused on klezmer music (that wasn’t always heavy on the vocals) was/is Keith Wolzinger’s Klezmer Podcast.

Recently, Klezmer Podcast #38 (from 9/3/08) focused on French record label, Jumu Music… and then had some clips from the Anakronic Electro Orkestra.

Wow… Anakronic Electro Orkestra is really fresh Jewish music, with a fun rock-meets-klezmer feel – – complete with accordion & clarinet.  They don’t have an album out yet, but they’re hoping to have an EP out later in 2008 and a full-length in 2009.  Check out some of their music on the MySpaces (Why Is It Funny” is my favorite):

~Dan – np: George CarlinIt’s Bad For Ya

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