I like music. Those who know me are very familiar with this. My tastes are pretty extreme in the eyes of many, but experimental music (whether that be electronic, jazz, rock, [insert industry-defined genres here]) is something I love to listen to. I try to be open-minded when it comes to music, and other peoples perceptions of music (I often fail in this quest, but I nonetheless try).
I am going to review CDs here occasionally, perhaps trying to bring an artist I love to light. So, without further ado:
Naked City – John Zorn
I picked this CD up for many reasons… First of all, I became aware of John Zorn a few years back through a friend (James Izzo), who purchased a CD from Zorn’s Painkiller project (with Mick Harris of Napalm Death/Scorn). Zorn’s horn playing amazed me. John Zorn also produced Mr. Bungle’s eponymous debut album, although I didn’t know of him when I first picked that one up. In retrospect, you can certainly hear his influence on the band.
“Naked City” was released in 1989 (or 1990, depending on which copyright notice you believe on the packaging) on Elektra/Nonesuch records. The tracks range from traditional jazz pieces to mind-blowing chaotic noise. John Zorn is known for bending the common perception of jazz, and this album is no exception. Zorn and his merry band of musicians have done incredible arrangements with both Zorn’s original pieces and the few songs they have selected done by other composers. Their rendition of Henry Mancini’s “A Shot in the Dark” is wonderful, and when placed in contrast with the insane chaos of other tracks (such as “Blood Duster”), you get a feel for the talent of both Zorn and the musicians he selected to work with him.
I strongly recommend this album to everyone, you simply must give it a listen (if you are reluctant to lay down the coin, ask me to borrow it.. :P). This album is not only interesting, but it also is quite enjoyable and listenable. I give it my full endorsement (whatever the hell that means).