Drawing inspiration from various Gnostic philosophies of the Nag Hammadi library, Transmigration of the Magus is a musical evocation of the mystical journey of the soul through the bardo. Lyrical and tender, the music has a lush orchestral sweep and features Bill Frisell and John Medeski reveling within the magical sonorities of vibraphones, bells and harps. Created to help the passing of Zorn’s dear friend Lou Reed through the bardo realms and released on the one year anniversary of his passing, Transmigration of the Magus is a memorial tribute to one of Zorn’s musical mentors and is one of his most touching and emotional projects—truly music of the angels.
Featuring the same magical Templar quartet from “In Sacred Blood”, “The Last Judgment” is the final CD in the remarkable Moonchild septology. This project has explored many different worlds in the past 8 years, and this CD takes a moody and lyrical approach with Medeski’s organ fully integrated into the band. Once again inspired by the legend of the powerful Knights Templar and their tragic demise under accusations of heresy in 1307, Zorn has composed a suite of pieces with a strong sense of continuity and emotional impact. Mike Patton draws on every vocal technique in his huge arsenal and the rhythm section of Dunn and Baron are tighter than ever. The last piece of the Moonchild puzzle—essential!
A fabulous and multifaceted suite celebrating the vibrant Italian dramatic form Commedia dell arte that began in the 16th century and flourishes to this day. The classic archetypical characters Harlequin, Colombina, Scaramouch, Pulcinella and Pierrot are evoked in five compositional miniatures for small chamber ensembles: brass quintet, cello quartet, piano trio, vocal quartet and woodwinds.
World traveler, nomad, mystic and violist, Eyvind Kang has created several of the most wildly creative CDs on Tzadik. Here he turns his hand to ten tunes from Zorn’s remarkable Book of Angels. Featuring spectacular orchestral arrangements and brilliant studio techniques, Eyvind has put together a CD unlike anything on the Angels series, highlighting the spiritual side of the Angels project, the singular lyricism of Zorn’s compositions and his own richly inventive musical imagination. One of the most personal and gorgeous installments in the Masada series, Alastor is a modern orchestral reading of the mystical charts from the Book of Angels.
Ever curious, courageous and endlessly creative, virtuoso guitarist and musical mastermind Pat Metheny takes on John Zorn’s Masada songbook to create some of the most soulful and adventurous sounds yet heard in the Book of Angels series. Turn up the volume and revel in the breadth of imagination in these remarkable arrangements featuring Pat on a huge arsenal of instruments, and the powerful Antonio Sanchez on drums. Pat Metheny continues to surprise and experiment with new musical frontiers well into the 21st century. Released in coordination with Nonesuch, this is a match made in Heaven—essential!
Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz steps out on his own to make one of the most primal and tribal installments in the Book of Angels series. Drawing on his Sephardic roots, Shanir plays gimbri throughout, giving the music a primeval Moroccan edge. Featuring the intense guitar pyrotechnics of Eyal Maoz and Aram Bajakian (who recently has been tearing it up in Lou Reed’s new band) and the atavistic drumming of Kenny Grohowski, this is Ritualistic Jewish Rock for the 21st century by a brilliant young lion from the East Village via Brooklyn/Israel!
David Krakauer is one of the greatest of all modern Klezmer clarinetists. A veteran of countless bands and ensembles and a founding member of the Klezmatics, his ensemble Klezmer Madness has been forging new roads in the world of Jewish music since the late 1980s. David and Zorn have a long history and friendship that began with Zorn's legendary Kristallnacht recording of 1992, followed thru with David’s guest appearances in various Masada ensembles and the release of his first CD with Klezmer Madness on Tzadik. Here David takes a variety of Masada compositions back to their roots, interpreting them brilliantly as traditional (and not-so-traditional) Klezmer tunes. A fascinating meeting of old and new by two of the most creative musicians in Modern Jewish music!