In an easy listening mode, Alhambra Love Songs is Zorn’s touching and lyrical ode to the San Francisco/Bay Area and the wonderful artists who have made it their home. Including tributes to artists as diverse as Vince Guaraldi, Clint Eastwood, David Lynch, Mike Patton and Harry Smith, the music is some of the most beautiful and soothing Zorn has ever written.
This two-disc anthology assembled by Mike Patton is, after the spaghetti Western soundtracks and themes, essential Morricone. Never has his music from the strange films he scored in the 1960s and '70s been showcased in such an original and powerful way. Patton has looked closely into the experimental nature of the maestro and found plenty here to offer as well as to crow about. Many of the scores he chose from would be known only to cineastes of minor and obscure Italian films. Yet, Patton understood that Morricone loved his own process and treated crime and exploitation flicks like L'Anticristo and Forza G with the same delightful sense of adventure that he approached The Godfather and The Mission with. Here, all manner of strangeness is on offer: from psychedelic guitars and tripped-out wordless vocals to sitars, layers and layers of percussion, acid-drenched strings, an Echoplexed celeste, toy pianos, psychotic operatic voices in chorus, and more.