Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

421

John Zorn: The Crucible

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
John Zorn is not one to rest on his laurels. It is probably not possible for Zorn to rest, period. With The Crucible, the fourth installment of his Moonchild band, the saxophonist/composer delivers a recording that will be attractive to both hardcore metal and jazz fans.

Twenty years ago Zorn unleashed his band Naked City, its brand of noise/jazz/metal and predilection for musical violence a revelation. He had already shown, in his index card cues, a mix/match, start/stop method of composing; and a love for cartoon, film, and hardcore sounds that took shape in The Big Gundown (Tzadik, re-released 2000) and Spillane (Tzadik, re-released 1999). But it wasn't until Torture Garden (Shimmy Disc, 1989) and the self-titled Naked City (Nonesuch, 1989) that his vision was completely realized.

Naked City hit the senses and caused a protest like Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie's bebop music of the 1940s. Its freakish hard-hitting amalgam of musics were short (songs tended to be less than a minute) sharp shocks.

Zorn moved on to other things. Many other things, including chamber and classical music, film composing, Masada jazz, larger ensemble improvisation, radical Jewish music, and more.

His work with the Moonchild trio—Mike Patton (former lead singer of the band Faith No More), drummer Joey Baron and bassist Trevor Dunn—has kept the hardcore flames burning. The group's output includes Moonchild (Tzadik, 2006), Astronome (Tzadik, 2006), and Six Litanies for Heliogabalus (Tzadik, 2007).

The Crucible adds Zorn himself on his siren alto, and a guest appearance by Marc Ribot on "9 x 9," a Led Zeppelin tribute that rocks out between the now-patented screams of Patton via Yamatsuka Eye.

Certainly the window dressing is the ferocity; between Baron's pulse and Dunn's thunder the direction of this music is quite turbulent. Add to that the Zorn trademark upper register screams and the severity is complete. But that is not the whole story here. The exchanges are crisp and the musicianship (no surprise here) is top rate. The band displays a gentle beauty in the excess that is this music. "Hobgoblin" almost swings as a call-and-response set and the creepy "Maleficia" is a recitation of evil acts that is as scary as a midnight blackout.


Track Listing: Almadel; Shapeshifting; Maleficia; 9x9; Hobgoblin; Incubi; Witchfinder; Initiate.

Personnel: Mike Patton: voice; John Zorn: alto saxophone; Marc Ribot: guitar; Trevor Dunn: bass; Joey Baron: drums.

Title: The Crucible | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Tzadik

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: include(/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5:/data/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html:/usr/share/php') in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Vertical" CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "A Cast of Thousands" CD/LP/Track Review A Cast of Thousands
by Duncan Heining
Published: August 30, 2017
Read "In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording" CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 11, 2018
Read "Gold" CD/LP/Track Review Gold
by Jim Olin
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door" CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "The Quest: Live at the A.P.C." CD/LP/Track Review The Quest: Live at the A.P.C.
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 14, 2017