music clip of the day


Tag: John Zorn

Monday, December 5th

like nobody else

John Zorn (composition, alto saxophone, direction) with Marc Ribot (guitar), Kenny Wollesen (vibraphone), Jamie Saft (keyboards), Trevor Dunn (bass), Cyro Baptista (percussion), Joey Baron (drums): “Karaim,” France (Marciac), 2010



random sights

this morning, Chicago

Thursday, April 21st

sounds of New York

John Zorn (1953-, alto saxophone), Tyshawn Sorey (1980-, drums), live, 2011



random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

Tuesday, February 8th

like nobody else

John Zorn’s Acoustic Masada (JZ, 1953-, alto saxophone, compositions; Dave Douglas, trumpet; Greg Cohen, bass; Joey Baron, drums), live, Vienne (France), 2006



random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.

Saturday, May 17th

beyond category

John Zorn, Book of Angels (excerpts); Uri Caine, piano; Masada String Trio (Mark Feldman, violin; Erik Friedlander, cello;* Greg Cohen, bass); live, France (Marciac), 2008



reading table

There’s a line in Tarkovsky’s Solaris: we never know when we’re going to die and because of that we are, at any given moment, immortal.

—Geoff Dyer, “Diary,” London Review of Books, 4/3/14


*It’s all related: Erik’s the son of photographer Lee Friedlander, whose work is often featured here.

Tuesday, November 5th

This guy, like another New Yorker,* contains multitudes.

John Zorn (with Marc Ribot, guitar; John Medeski, keyboards, et al.), live, Poland (Warsaw), 2013



musical thoughts

All the various styles are organically connected to one another. I’m an additive person—the entire storehouse of my knowledge informs everything I do. People are so obsessed with the surface that they can’t see the connections, but they are there.

—John Zorn


*Walt Whitman (“Song of Myself”): “I am large, I contain multitudes.”

Saturday, July 13th

sounds I miss*

Albert Collins (1932-1993), “Two-Lane Highway” (John Zorn, Spillane, 1987)



musical thoughts

[A] particular brand of comment showed up enough [on the Alan Lomax Archive recordings on YouTube] that I started a collection. I call them “blues affirmations.” They number in the dozens, posted to an assortment of clips of black vernacular music. These performances don’t necessarily pertain to the song structure or performance style called “blues”—they could be field hollers or minstrel pieces—but the commentary was single-mindedly focused on it.

The notion of a “pure” culture, of any kind, is informed by ignorance and/or ideology and/or romanticism. I feel set upon by a thick, dumb fog just looking at the phrase. But the Blues Affirmations stir something in me; they insist, childlike, on something real, true, forever enduring, constructed of unadulterated and unmediated purity. I look forward to them, and they undo me a bit when they arrive.

They feel authentic, so I’d like to give them the last word:

one word: BLUES…

This is blues

The real blues

Real O.G. Blues. No fancy shit!

This is the real face of the blues right here.

this is how it’s done with real blues!

this that old school real sittin on your porch blues!

That’s REAL old school blues

Oh man….. that’s the Blues baby….. that’s the real, down South, low down, heartfelt blues.

Authentic, real Blues, Love it.

it doesnt get anymore authentic than this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now that is the blues.


true blues

Pure Blues

Blues is timeless.

there is nothing as hard as the blues

This man over here folks is the blues himself!

Great melody that shows blues music comes from the soul.

The blues is very expressive, and it is the foundation of rock music!

True music, with emotion, feelings.. His soul is speakin

the Blues needs no roaring electric guitars and smashing drums to show all the hard aspects of life without disguise

Clapton who?…THIS IS THE BLUES, R.L. shows you how it smells, looks, taste, sounds, and most importantly how it feels. Clapton never had babies cry in the background of his performances

it’s only perfect because he’s authentic

that look in his eyes at 4:05…. thats the blues right there

The blues is real, that’s why the blues lives on.

That’s from far one of the best blues I never heard… real blues… from the guts… not from the wallets !!!

This is where the blues started – AND THIS IS WHERE THE BLUES ENDS.

—Nathan Salsburg (curator, Alan Lomax Archive), “Part V of Against Authenticity,” Oxford American (6/21/13)


*As I’ve mentioned, I had the great pleasure of working with Albert, co-producing his 1978 album Ice Pickin’ (Alligator)—singular guitarist, sweet guy.

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