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

ALBUM REVIEWS

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 REVIEWS

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Winged Serpents: Six Encomiums for Cecil Taylor

Read "Six Encomiums for Cecil Taylor" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The link between the late Cecil Taylor and the members of the Winged Serpents collective is one driven by admiration and inspiration, from a distance, rather than through collaboration. Taylor, in fact, had only shared billing twice in his half-century of recording. The Mary Lou Williams duet Embraced (Pablo, 1977) and Max Roach's 1979 recording of Historic Concerts (Soul Note, 1984) constitute the entire library of his communal projects and date back at least a generation before any of the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mary Halvorson: Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32

Read "Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32" reviewed by Don Phipps

Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32 offers up the final installment in prolific composer John Zorn's 32-album sojourn (titled Book of Angels). It is an exciting and fitting capstone. From the start, the music dances its way through contrasts of exciting, mysterious, probing, exotic, and shifting musical folk-jazz idioms, improvisations and compositions. The Mary Halvorson Quartet are Tomas Fujiwara on drums, Drew Gress on bass, Mary Halvorson on guitar, and Miles Okazaki on guitar. There is ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Burning Ghosts: Reclamation

Read "Reclamation" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Reclamation is Burning Ghosts second album and first for John Zorn's Tzadik label. Based in Los Angeles, the band's fire and brimstone-like overtures are seated in doom metal-jazz along with renegade fuzoid bop movements. The musicians dole out sheets of torrential soundwaves via fluently enacted unison runs and booming cadenzas that spark a tidal wave of fun factors on a recurring basis. Led by gifted trumpeter Daniel Rosenboom and nascent guitar hero Jake Vossler, the group's intense modus ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Craig Taborn/Ikue Mori: Highsmith

Read "Highsmith" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Craig Taborn--who seems an artist unconcerned with striking a commercial chord--climbed into a higher profile with three terrific releases on ECM Records: Avenging Angel (2011); Chants (2013); and Daylight Ghosts (2017). Beyond those, his discography as a leader is slim--as opposed to his prodigious sideman contributions. He and his artistry have been described as “elusive." Go ahead and try to find the category for him. And if ECM Records has a place for his wide-ranging vision, so does John ...


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