Click here to [close]

Monday, March 4, 2013

A Week of John Zorn: Introduction

When you look at John Zorn’s creative output it is hard to believe that a day has only 24 hours. He has launched dozens of projects, among lots of others bands like Masada, Bar Kokhba or The Dreamers, projects like Radical Jewish Culture, his series of 21st century mystical works, or his soundtracks. He is the head of the Tzadik label and the artistic director of The Stone (a non-profit performance space for experimental music in New York), he publishes books and so forth.

In an interview with Jazz Times Zorn once said that the term “jazz” was mean­ingless to him. When he made music, a lot of things came together and that was why the music sometimes tended to be more classical, sometimes a little bit more jazz, sometimes more rock, some­times it didn’t fall anywhere, you could not categorize it, he said it didn’t really belong anywhere, but it was unique and dif­ferent because it came out of his heart. He said that the tradition he felt closest to was the avant-garde, experimental music - or maybe more general - creativity and productivity, even radicalism. Zorn has no TV, he doesn’t read magazines or newspapers, he has no family (except the musical one). His only purpose is to create art.

An important part of his cosmos is cooperation. He likes to work with people constantly if they share his ideas, for example Bill Frisell, Cyro Baptista, Joey Baron, Dave Douglas, Uri Caine, Marc Ribot, Greg Cohen, Mark Feldman, Erik Friedlander, Trevor Dunn, Mike Patton and many others. He likes to think of his collaborators as “a community the way we see the bebop community (...) in the ’50s or the existentialist community (…) in Paris or the abstract expressionists in the ’40s in New York”. They inspire each other, they sometimes live together, they simply communicate. This philosophy is reflected in his latest releases as well.

Today begins a week "rounding up" several of John Zorn's releases from the past year.

© stef