John Zorn / Masada String Trio: Azazel (2006)
Azazel is the second volume of recordings from the second book of Masada compositions (after the Jamie Saft Trio's Astaroth, Tzadik 2005) and the third disc by the trio. The musicians raise the excitement bar, however, delivering the most energetic performances they've yet recorded. That has something to do with the material: the first two pieces ("Tufiel and "Mibi ), and then the fourth ("Symnay ), proceed at breakneck speeds and most of the rest get pretty vivace. Who knew angels flew so fast?
Tzadik has built an expert production team, from Saft's bright, warm recording to Chippy's elegant design, and the label has built a sizeable audience as well, especially for the Masada projects. If, after a decade, a second set of compositions is what it took to keep the coal burning in the Masada oven, then Zorn is to be thanked. Azazel is guaranteed not to disappoint.
Track Listing: Tufiel; Mibi; Tabaet; Symnay; Mastema; Bethor; Uriel; Gurid; Gazriel; Azazel; Rssasiel; Garzanal; Ahiel.
Personnel: Mark Feldman: violin; Eric Friedlander: cello; Greg Cohen: bass.
Record Label: Tzadik
Style: Beyond Jazz