168

John Zorn: Birthday Celebration Vol. 8 & Vol. 9

Kurt Gottschalk By

Sign in to view read count
John Zorn
Birthday Celebration Vol. 8
Tzadik

Among accomplishments John Zorn has achieved with his label Tzadik is the championing of others in the improv world and perhaps the figure he's held up the most is trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith. With six releases of new material and a four-disc set of reissues, Smith has now issued more recordings on Tzadik than any other label. Drummer Susie Ibarra has appeared on no less than 11 Tzadik discs, including four as leader and two more by Mephista. Ibarra and Smith, then, were a pair of obvious invitees during Zorn's 50th birthday celebration at Tonic in September 2003.

The two sets are presented in their entirety on the eighth installment of Zorn's birthday CD series, clocking in at 76 minutes with Zorn duetting with both of his guests and then in trio. Zorn and Ibarra have played together before, but the only previous release was a 5-minute track on AUM Fidelity's 1997 Vision Festival compilation. She is a great foil for him, forcing melodicism as opposed to the fine bluster of his birthday duet with Milford Graves. What Smith brings to the proceedings is a sense of patience and quietude, which is another good pull for Zorn. From beginning to end, the disc makes for a nice reminder that slow and thoughtful improvisation can be more rewarding than simply putting the pedal to the metal.


John Zorn
Birthday Celebration Vol. 9
Tzadik

Zorn might have done a disservice to himself by including The Classic Guide to Strategy Volume Three in his birthday series. His solo outings are rare enough that it will likely get the attention it deserves regardless of the cover-art motif, but in the hierarchy of Tzadik pigeonholes, Strategy Three probably deserved placement in the Composer Series; it's too important within the man's discography to risk the appearance of a party favor. Some 20 years ago, Zorn set out to record a series of five solo albums, but only got through the first two. Those two, however, remain among Zorn's most powerful recordings - intense, fragmented and challenging - and the third is no less a statement. It's not easy listening and with the plethora of Masada records and chamber compositions, it's good to hear him blow his stack again.

Vol. 8
Tracks:

1 Meridian Ibarra, Smith, Zorn 4:19

2 Rising Sign Ibarra, Smith, Zorn 7:01

3 Spirit Writing Ibarra, Smith, Zorn 6:09

4 By the Mark, Eight Ibarra, Smith, Zorn 7:06

5 Visitation Ibarra, Smith, Zorn 8:33

6 Ipsissimi Ibarra, Smith, Zorn 15:59

7 Ghost Writing Ibarra, Smith, Zorn 11:56

8 The Ascending Arc Ibarra, Smith, Zorn 8:02

9 Full Fathom Five Ibarra, Smith, Zorn 6:50

Personnel: John Zorn - sax

Wadada Leo Smith - trumpet

Susie Ibarra - drums

Vol. 9
Tracks:

Personnel:

John Zorn - sax


Shop

More Articles

Read Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago Multiple Reviews Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 21, 2017
Read New, Notable and Nearly Missed Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas Multiple Reviews Blues Deluxe: Colin James, Matthew Curry and Johnny Nicholas
by Doug Collette
Published: January 14, 2017
Read Weekertoft Hits Its Stride… Multiple Reviews Weekertoft Hits Its Stride…
by John Eyles
Published: January 7, 2017
Read Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon Multiple Reviews 2016: An Ivo Perelman Marathon
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "NendoDango Records: Reinventing Tradition" Multiple Reviews NendoDango Records: Reinventing Tradition
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Calling Ra, Mr. Sun Ra your rocket ship is ready" Multiple Reviews Calling Ra, Mr. Sun Ra your rocket ship is ready
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO" Multiple Reviews Blue Side of Lonesome: Country Crooners on BGO
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "John David Souther: Black Rose and Home By Dawn" Multiple Reviews John David Souther: Black Rose and Home By Dawn
by Doug Collette
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "Allison Miller & Honey Ear Trio: Lean; Swivel" Multiple Reviews Allison Miller & Honey Ear Trio: Lean; Swivel
by Doug Collette
Published: November 4, 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!