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John Zorn's Complete String Quartets Lincoln Center, July 20, 2013 — Program and Performers: Necronomicon — JACK Quartet The Dead Man — JACK Quartet Cat O'Nine Tails — JACK Quartet Mememto Mori — Alchemy Quartet The Alchemist — Alchemy Quartet Kol Nidre — JACK Quartet, Alchemy Quartet, and Brooklyn Rider If like me you spent July of 1990 listening to Naked City on crummy headphones [1], alone on the floor of your room, wondering how anyone could create something at once so flailing mad and anally precise, then like me you may not have predicted finding yourself twenty-four years later purchasing tickets, dressing up, and taking a date to Lincoln Center to watch a performance of string quartets composed by the same John … [Read more...]

The Big Gundown – Gui Las Testa (Duck, You Sucker!)

The Big Gundown (album) is John Zorn's tribute to Italian master film composer Ennio Morricone. The featured track, Giù la testa (Duck You Sucker!), is from the 1971 Sergio Leone spaghetti western Fistful of Dynamite. This remix is imposing. The color and diversity of the instrumentation alone makes for worthwhile listening. The opening Shakuhachi riff is an inspired imaging of the gangster theme. Our once grisly gunfighter collides head first into Burt Bacharach and emerges a shoop, shoop, Samurai Warrior. Zorn's witty re-paired soundtrack now is more resonant of Kurosawa's Yojimbo, the "eminent ur-text behind all Leone's movies".  The Ensemble: Ned Rothenberg...shakuhachi, orcarina, Jew's harp Michihiro … [Read more...]