Saturday, March 1, 2008

John Zorn- Dreaming Cinema

JZ can add another feather to his cap after a two night stint at St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn this weekend. I caught the second evening of "Essential Cinema" where his band provided a live soundtrack for five short films by Joseph Cornell, Kenneth Anger, Maya Deren and Harry Smith. The films were more a stunning collage of images than linear tales (definitely influencing the likes of David Lynch). Zorn had the right music to add to it, whether it was screaming jazz for Smith or literal heavy metal for an iron foundry scene in a Cornell movie or spacey jazz for Deren. Decked out in his trademark camouflage pants, Zorn mostly conducted, rarely picking up his sax as the band played behind the screen.

The real treat came next as he told the audience that the band had such a good time premiering his new piece "The Dreamers" that they were going to reprise it again for this show. Though they shined before, drummer Joey Baron and guitarist Marc Ribot pushed the group to dizzying heights here with Baron flailing his kit and Ribot tearing into wild surf music. It was some of the most hard-hitting, wonderful fusion music I'd ever heard and surely somewhere in another dimension, Frank Zappa was nodding in approval. Here's hoping that Zorn takes this music on the road and expands on it- it's some of the most impressive work he's done.


Blogger Clifford said...

Sounds pretty cool. However, I wonder if this is the gig where Zorn disallowed media to review it? Just curious.

March 11, 2008 at 1:42 PM  

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