John Zorn: Masada Guitars (2003)
This recording also reveals how powerful the modern guitar can be. Zorn chose three very distinctive players to interpret these pieces. Each guitarist shapes and cuts his own world of sound out of Zorn's compositions. Bill Frisell imbues his selections with quiet grace, goofy wit, friendly challenges, and a depth of understanding that is downright humbling. He works and pulls at the edges of strong melodies, fashioning them into brilliant new colors. Listening to Frisell on this album is like taking a walk in a teeming ancient forest along with an old friend filled with stories and a talking bird on his arm that points the way home.
Marc Ribot is another kettle of fish altogether. His vision reveals a darker, edgier side of Zorn's pieces. Ribot's tone is gritty and elemental, cutting to the core of the tune right out of the gate. He brings a directness and muscularity to the songs that reflect the composer's New York roots. Listening to Ribot work these tunes is like driving an old green Dodge pickup truck down a gravel road with Sam Shepard and a dog. It's a trip worth taking!
Is Tim Sparks the secret son of John Fahey?' What a wonderful player. He approaches these songs with the expertise and conviction of a river gambler on the Delta. In his hands, the music surges and pulses with poise, bravado, and quick turns of phrase.
Masada Guitars speaks to the modern mind with ancient roots, and besides, it's loads of fun!
Track Listing: 1. Abidan 2. Kodashim 3. Kedem 4. Bikkurim 5. Ravayah 6. Hadasha 7. Katzatz 8. Kanah 9. Hodaah 10. Kisofim 11. Sippur 12. Sansanah 13. Galgalim 14. Elilah 15. Kedushah 16. Shevet 17. Kochot 18. Tzalim 19. Kivah 20. Avelut 21. Moshav
Personnel: Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, Tim Sparks: solo guitar.
Record Label: Tzadik
Style: Modern Jazz