Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers 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!

365

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

By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Zaebos: Book of Angels, Vol. 11 | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Tzadik


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Celebrating William Parker at 65 CD/LP/Track Review Celebrating William Parker at 65
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Eternal Life CD/LP/Track Review Eternal Life
by Jerome Wilson
Published: December 14, 2017
Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read "Compass" CD/LP/Track Review Compass
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "IZA" CD/LP/Track Review IZA
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists" CD/LP/Track Review Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 16, 2017
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Mississippi Slide!" CD/LP/Track Review Mississippi Slide!
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: October 6, 2017
Read "Slægt" CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017

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!