Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

365

Medeski Martin and Wood: Zaebos: Book of Angels, Vol. 11

By

Sign in to view read count
Medeski Martin and Wood: Zaebos: Book of Angels, Vol. 11 Just take a moment to absorb this disc's exhausting title; yeah... this probably isn't what you should pick up after drawing the name of your Erskine Hawkins-loving grandpa when figuring out whose Secret Santa you're going to be; that is, unless said grandpa has a penchant for atonal, acid-tinged klezmer-jazz. Hey, you never know. To the uninitiated, this title certainly might seem, on the surface, somewhat imposing. "Should I first check out Volumes 1-10? Will I have the slightest clue what is going on?" Zaebos definitely serves as a solid jumping-off point for those who initially might find John Zorn's own music a little too overwhelming, Medeski Martin & Wood translating his work into a funky, accessible, groove-oriented experience. John Medeski (keyboards), Chris Wood (bass) and Billy Martin (drums) infuse 11 of the composer's spiritual instrumentals with the trademark blend of jambient jazz that quietly made them one of the top-drawing acts of the jamband scene.

It's necessary to surrender all expectations for this disc to occupy easily the rest of the familiar MMW canon. In fact, the challenging opener "Zagzagel" appears to exist in order to weed out any stragglers not yet ready to submit. Survive through but half of the first song, however, and things will become much clearer. By the fifth track "Chafriel," you'll feel like you're listening to the soundtrack for the fourth entry in the Oceans' Eleven series...albeit one that involves the epic heist of a row of jewelry stores in the Hasidic Diamond District! Don't think you've gotten off easy, though, because Zaebos takes plenty of unexpected musical turns into the land of the modal and even atonal. At one point it sounds like Martin actually drags a piece of wrought-iron furniture across his patio while his bandmates groove independently. Not so surprisingly, it works. This music never feels pretentious, only exciting and even celebratory. MMW fans will no doubt embrace this as another unpredictable-yet-enjoyable entry into their steadily growing discography.


Track Listing: Zagzagel; Sefrial; Agmatia; Rifion; Chafriel; Ahaij; Asaliah; Vianuel; Jeduthun; Malach ha-Sopher; Tutrusa'i.

Personnel: John Medeski: keyboards; Chris Wood: bass; Billy Martin: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Tzadik | Style: Jam Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Umbrella Weather CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Born In An Urban Ruin CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs) CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Elevenses" CD/LP/Track Review Elevenses
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 5, 2016
Read "And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley" CD/LP/Track Review And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Home" CD/LP/Track Review Home
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 10, 2016
Read "Time Never Pauses" CD/LP/Track Review Time Never Pauses
by Budd Kopman
Published: April 10, 2016
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Celebrating Elvin Jones" CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating Elvin Jones
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!