Thursday, January 14, 2010

John Zorn - The Big Gundown: John Zorn Plays the Music of Ennio Morricone (1986) [15th Anniversary Special Edition/2000]

| Avant-Garde | Avant-Jazz | Experimental Rock |

Considered by many one of the most essential Zorn albums, The Big Gundown is full of jazz, rock, and a somewhat mix of them. Opening with a resonant piano and growing drums, the album turns into a whole new world of improvisation. Unusual percussion, repetitive keyboards, free-form Sax, guitars and every kind of vocals from conversations to glorious choir-like chants. On this intriguing concept album, altoist John Zorn (who also "sings" and plays harpsichord, piano, and musical saw) utilizes an odd assortment of open-minded avant-garde players (with a couple of ringers) on nine themes originally written for Italian films by Ennio Morricone, plus his own "Tre Nel 5000." These often-radical interpretations (which Morricone endorsed) keep the melodies in mind while getting very adventurous. Among the musicians heard on the colorful and very eccentric set (which utilizes different personnel and instrumentation on each track) are guitarists Bill Frisell and Vernon Reid, percussionist Bobby Previte, keyboardist Anthony Coleman, altoist Tim Berne, pianist Wayne Horvitz, organist Big John Patton, and even Toots Thielemans on harmonica and whistling among many others. There are certainly no dull moments on this often-riotous program and surely one of the most intriguing and beautiful albums ever made.

Catalog: TZ 7328 (Tzadik)
Album Overview on Allmusic

1 comment:

  1. I never listen to this album, time to do so.

    You should listen to his Impressions Of Africa, it is a bootleg.