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Zorn was a big influence as a teenager. The Big Gundown and Naked City blew my mind.
More as a composer, I guess producer, actually, than a saxophonist. There was a really early duo thing with Eugene Chadbourne that I really liked, sax wise. Generally his really far out impro saxophone playing is more interesting to me.

 

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Have seen John Zorn a few times, unfortunately not for many years. Really enjoyed Spillane and The Big Gundown. Also saw a Naked City quintet with a sort of directed improvisation approach. Then saw the Masada quartet in an early incarnation - they had a 3 night stand at the Knitting Factory, I went one night with a friend, and it was so strong I went back the next night to take my little brother to see it. Some of his noisier far out stuff is interesting, yet I can't really listen to a whole set of it (sort of like a flavored beer where 3 sips are interesting but I could never finish a whole glass).

one of Masada's downright approachable songs:
(Joey Baron is great)
 

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YSS62, YAS62, YTS62, YBS62, Sopranino
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I’m more a fan of his creative energy and engagement with the tradition (or extension of) than his actual horn playing.

The fact that those guys are in his band and that his other collaborations have included some of the finest musicians alive speaks volumes.

I suspect apart from being a creative dynamo, he’s probably also a hell of a nice guy.
 

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I have several stories about John, but my favorite one is when I saw him playing at the Knitting Factory with Madeleine Albright and Vaclav Havel in attendance. For some reason they were speaking to each other somewhat loudly during a quiet part of the set and John told them to shut up from the bandstand. He really cares a lot about the music. A lot.
 

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I was lucky enough to see him at the Village Vanguard back in...2019, I want to say. It was a quartet with Julian Lage, Kenny Wollesen and a bassist whose name I don't recall but who was fantastic. The group was reading out of huge binders of music and it seemed like Zorn was calling tunes out of the binders on a whim. They played every tune like they'd been playing together for years. The solos were all over the place (in the best kind of way) and the group felt like it could turn on a dime to a new style, a new tempo, a new song. It was brilliant.

My buddy had gotten us tickets and, after we left, he looked at me and said: "We only made it to one show while you were out here, but I'm pretty sure that was the best one in town tonight!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Zorn was a big influence as a teenager. The Big Gundown and Naked City blew my mind.
More as a composer, I guess producer, actually, than a saxophonist. There was a really early duo thing with Eugene Chadbourne that I really liked, sax wise. Generally his really far out impro saxophone playing is more interesting to me.

Wow John is ripping it up in this track. Super funky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I try to be open about music (heck, I love post "A Love Supreme" John Coltrane), and I'm sure he's an amazing talent (he certainly has a cool alto sound), but when I hear stuff like this it does nothing for me.
Oh man that's pure funk. Serious shred action. Killin' it. Im gonna transcribe it tonight. The vocals are off the charts.
 
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