Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

RADIO

John Zorn and The Downtown Scene (1983 - 1995)

Read "John Zorn and The Downtown Scene (1983 - 1995)" reviewed by Russell Perry

Never far from the pulse of jazz innovation, New York in the 1980s incubated what has become known as the “downtown scene." Radically multi-stylistic, the resulting music was unabashedly eclectic, celebrating influences from bebop to punk rock to cartoon music and eventually klezmer and Balkan music “From the shrill, colorful legacy of noise music and new wave, integrating and further developing these sounds, at the end of the eighties a dynamic experimental music scene arose on Manhattan's Lower East Side--the ...

ALBUM REVIEW

John Zorn: Nove Cantici per Francesco d'Assisi

Read "Nove Cantici per Francesco d'Assisi" reviewed by Don Phipps

Those who admire Spanish guitar music will greatly appreciate the beautiful airy set of compositions on Nove cantici per Francesco D'Assisi by John Zorn. Zorn, best known for his challenging, cerebral and complex avant-garde offerings, conjures up a set of pastoral tunes composed as part of a residency at New York's Frick Museum. The tunes feature the delicate interplay of a trio of guitarists, Bill Frisell, Julian Lage, and Gyan Riley. Some may be surprised that Zorn could ...

ALBUM REVIEW

John Zorn: Tractatus Musico-Philosophicus

Read "Tractatus Musico-Philosophicus" reviewed by Don Phipps

John Zorn begins his 38-minute musical treatise, Tractatus Musico-Philosophicus with a bitten reed while racing up and down the keys of his saxophone. What remains is some of the most interesting music in modern jazz—a wonderful treatise on the absurdity of life. Zorn wrote and plays all the instruments on this fascinating album--and the soundscapes he creates run the gamut from harsh confusion to mellow contemplation. Zorn's collage of sound creates a bold and awakening listening experience. At ...

RADIO

Jazz on the Moon

Read "Jazz on the Moon" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

On 20 July 1969, while Herbie Mann was over the figurative moon, because his Memphis Underground was the best selling jazz album in the country, the man was landing on the actual moon (apologies for the gender insensitivity here but otherwise the pun won't work...). What a day! 50 years later we celebrate the latter milestone with two hours of jazz inspired by the moon and the desire to break big divides. Happy listening!

LIVE REVIEW

Ojai Music Festival 2019

Read "Ojai Music Festival 2019" reviewed by Josef Woodard

Ojai Music FestivalLibbey Bowl, and other venues Ojai, California June 6-9, 2019 In the storied and still-evolving story of the Ojai Music Festival, one of America's most important contemporary music-minded festivals, the roots system run deep into mid-century Modernism and late 20th century post-Modernist impulses and up to the current, pluralistic musical minute. The idyllic hideaway town of Ojai—an hour and a world away from Los Angeles—drew Krishnamurti here as a pilgrimage site-maker and ...

IN PICTURES

Jazz em Agosto 2018

Read "Jazz em Agosto 2018" reviewed by Petra Cvelbar

For the first time in its history, the entire Jazz em Agosto programme was organised around a single musician. And the choice could hardly fall on a more striking name--both for the history of the festival and for the fundamental course of music he helped shape in the last decades: John Zorn, an artist with a highly personal style and whose activity is as prolific as it is varied. His music is so essential as a soundtrack for this time ...

ALBUM REVIEW

John Zorn: The Urmuz Epigrams

Read "The Urmuz Epigrams" reviewed by Don Phipps

Prolific composer John Zorn's The Urmuz Epigrams offers up an infectious mix of Stockhausen effects, polyrhythmic percussion, and twisty tunes, a combination which produces music that is unsettling, surprising, and humorous--often at the same time. All the pieces repeat themselves. Zorn notates the first rendition as “modern" and the second as “original." And while the dual versions of each piece offer variations, the general structures of the compositions remain similar. Zorn performs with Ches Smith, a ...


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