314

John Zorn: Filmworks XIII: Invitation To A Suicide

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
John Zorn: Filmworks XIII: Invitation To A Suicide John Zorn’s film score work has been wildly incongruous. But then again, not many of us have seen the films these recordings were made to accompany. From S&M flicks to Japanese cartoons to documentaries about gay Orthodox Jews, and just about everything in between, Zorn’s film works output has something for everyone (punks, minimalists, Masada fans, classical buffs, etc.) yet together they are nothing that everyone will dig. If you own them all, some strike your fancy; others are to be avoided.

Allow me to be so bold as to indicate that Film Works XIII: Invitation To Suicide is his finest film work. The only caveat is this creation has a sweeping universal appeal to lovers of bluesy film noir themes. But then again, who doesn’t love film noir themes?

Zorn’s choice of instrumentation colors this session, matching accordionist Rob Burger (Tin Hat Trio) with guitarist Marc Ribot and drummer Kenny Wollessen who doubles on vibes and the marimba. Rounding out the band are Zorn regulars Trevor Dunn (bass) and Erik Friedlander (cello). The music comes from somewhere North of Astor Piazzolla’s Tango and West of Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti gangsters.

While the liner notes tell us this is a dark comedy, this fact is inherently evident in the music. Ribot, a veteran of Tom Waits’ carnival barker music, applies his twisted sense of guitar disfigurement in adroit harmony to the mysterious music. The music (probably cues to the progression of the story) repeats a continuous theme throughout ala Hitchcock, by way of Wolleson’s repeated patterns. Different configurations of music from a waltz, blues, tango, to the Naked City-ish noisy end track, are thrown against this progression. And it’s all very comforting, in a very dark way.

The star here is Burger. His accordion takes the center throughout. He plays a unique blend of Cajun, tango, circus, and folk music. As unusual as the accordion is to American sensibilities, it certainly sparks the odd nature of Zorn’s vision of black comedy.


Track Listing: Invitation To Suicide; Suicide Waltz; Shifting Sands; East Greenpoint Rundown; Time Twist; The Suicide Kid; Billet Doux; Suicide Blues Pt. 1; Trance Dance; Lonely Are The Dumb; Moon Moods; Bugsy

Personnel: Marc Ribot

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Tzadik | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Atticus Live!" CD/LP/Track Review Atticus Live!
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Waltz About Nothing" CD/LP/Track Review Waltz About Nothing
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "The Journey" CD/LP/Track Review The Journey
by James Nadal
Published: January 5, 2017
Read "Instants Of Time" CD/LP/Track Review Instants Of Time
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "Greatest Hits" CD/LP/Track Review Greatest Hits
by Doug Collette
Published: November 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!