Top 10 John Zorn albums?

    • oeu said...
    • User
    • 24 Jan 2005, 04:00

    Top 10 John Zorn albums?

    I know it's hard to rate them, but here is my list:

    1. Naked City - Torture Garden (aka Black Box)
    2. Naked City - Radio
    3. Electric Masada - 50th Birthday Celebration Volume 4
    4. John Zorn - Filmworks VII - Cynical Hysterie Hour
    5. Xu Feng - Xu Feng
    6. John Zorn - Music Romance 3: The Gift
    7. John Zorn - Music Romance 4: Taboo & Exile
    8. John Zorn - The Circle Maker
    9. John Zorn - Big Gundown 15th Anniversary (Special Edition)
    10. John Zorn - Spy vs Spy

    For the noisy Zorn I'd have to say Naked City's Torture Garden, Radio and s/t are the best - true classic originality. For the softer Zorn, I think The Circle Maker (especially disc 2) and The Gift are brilliant. Beautiful guitar work by Marc Ribot on The Gift.

    Which do you prefer and why?

    • ja22 said...
    • User
    • 29 Jan 2005, 05:51
    I've only got 10 of his albums! I'll give you my favourite three: The Big Gundown, IAO and either Masada 1 or 9, I haven't decided yet.

    • shakes said...
    • User
    • 4 Feb 2005, 16:31
    I don't have 10 of his albums but my favourites of what i do have are : -

    Torture Garden - probably my all time JZ favourite - I bought it almost 15 years ago and it totally blew me away, i'd never heard anything like it

    Also love: -
    Spy vs Spy
    Filmworks I
    Locus Solus
    Cobra Live

    I've got a few of the Masada CDs too, hoping to get Electric Masada next

    Edited by shakes on 4 Feb 2005, 16:32
  • i think grand guignol is pretty good. am i alone on this?

    • oeu said...
    • User
    • 7 Feb 2005, 02:59


    Quoth busdriverstub:
    i think grand guignol is pretty good. am i alone on this?

    Grand Guignol is great! I would have put it in my list instead of Torture Garden but to me, Torture Garden exists by itself as an EP, just as the way it was first released. So no, you are not alone on this!

  • The dilemma is not even which projects to include, but which types of projects. Seeing as the Naked City stuff has gotten its' due (not that I don't love that stuff) I'll mention the Sonny Clark tribute record, which is an interesting case of Zorn playing it closer to the vest, so to speak. I have some of the music he wrote for string quartet, of which I like Cartoon/S+M the best. But the records I keep coming back to are Cobra and Archery. An interesting aside is his championing of one of my favorite organists of all time, John Patton. Zorn plays on Patton's DIW release Minor Swing, as Patton plays organ on some of the Big Gundown tracks.

  • So hard to say....

    But here's ten of my favorites today. Check back in a month or two and they might be different--although, some are such solid favorites of mine that I would be hard pressed to say what I would change...
    • voodoo--sonny clark memorial quartet
      filmworks 10--in the mirror of Maya Deren
      masada live in sevilla
      Taboo and Exile
      The Circle Maker
      Bar Kokhba
      Filmworks 13-Invitation to a Suicide
      Buried Secrets/Guts of a Virgin--Painkiller
      The Gift

    and I had to leave off quite a few off the list, so I call do over! Ahhh, and the second part of the question was why do I list these?

    The Sonny Clark qtet is one of the best avant-mainstream expeditions into the music of much neglected pianist Sonny Clark. The title tune is worth the price of admission alone. But it is also the album I pull out to refute the contention that avant-garde musicians cannot "play" jazz. Zorn, Horvitz et al totally reconstruct bop--faithfully and yet in a way that interprets the idiom and breathes new life into these 50 year old compositions..

    REdbird, for those who haven't heard it is a minimalist soundscape that explores the lower reaches of the subwoofer. perfect for those times when you just want to have sounds wash over the environment.

    In the Mirror of Maya Deren is not only an homage to a brilliant filmmaker, but is also a beautiful soundcycle interpreted by musicians who are completely in sync with Zorn's compositions.

    Masada live in Sevilla--well I had to pick a Masada, dint I? I could have said Masada Aleph through Infinity. Masada, Masada, Masada. Klezmer through the lens of the tightest working band(s) in NYC. F that--The World.

    The Gift, because it is a gift to us. Psycho-surf music.

    Taboo and Exile--another one of those moving, shifting assemblages that the <i>bricoleur</i> Zorn tosses off as if effortlessly.

    At this point, anything I have to say about the others is just more yadda yadda yadda. How can you define the range and depth of Zorn's music? If there are to be giants of our age as there were with the Romantics, the Baroques, and so forth (and I believe that there are--Coltrane, Miles, Parker, Mingus, Monk, Ellington, are but a few) Zorn will be there, and from there you can draw a map of his sphere of influence on Wm. Parker, M. Shipp, Susie Ibarra and on and on......

    Edited by deconstructo on 7 Apr 2005, 01:15
    • TheMonk said...
    • User
    • 16 Jun 2005, 18:01

    Almost impossible!

    It's really hard to choose ten... I have most of Zorn's discography, along with pretty much all rare albums.
    I'll give you ten, but with no order of preference:

    # Naked City - Radio
    # John Zorn - Magick
    # John Zorn - 50th Birthday Celebration, Vol. 4 - Electric Masada
    # John Zorn - The Gift
    # John Zorn - Rituals
    # John Zorn - Cobra
    # John Zorn - Naked City
    # John Zorn - The Circle Maker
    # John Zorn - The Big Gundown (Special Edition)
    # Naked City - Live, Vol. 1


    As far as consistency of thought goes, I prefer inconsistency.
    • seborik said...
    • User
    • 11 Aug 2005, 21:43
    Too hard to choose with so many records and sideprojects. One of my all-time favorites is Naked City - Leng T'Che, but I love the Masada-records, his classical works and the game pieces just as much.

  • i recently aquired torture garden on vinyl. jealous?

    • andrkns said...
    • User
    • 1 Sep 2005, 05:35
    it is very difficult and unjust to pick only 10 albums by Zorn, but since everyone likes lists...

    - Masada: Live in Middelheim (more intense than the other live albums)
    - Naked City (so important)
    - Kristallnacht
    - Invitation to a Suicide (astonishingly beautiful)
    - Bar Kokhba
    - Goddard/Spillane
    - Electric Masada
    - Classic Guide to Strategy: The Fire Book
    - Big Gundown
    - Cartoon S&M

    it will probably change tomorrow :)

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 11 Sep 2005, 10:49
    hi all !

    Xu feng
    Filmworks - Invitation to a suicide
    The barKhoba Sextet
    MAsada live in sevillia
    Masada String trio - 50th celebration
    Zorn/ Milford Graves - 50th celebration (awesome!)

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 1 Apr 2006, 21:44
    the bribe
    grand guignol
    naked city
    electric masada at the mountains of madness
    spy vs spy
    50th bday vol 11-bar kokhba sextet
    the circle maker
    painkiller- execution ground
    music for children

  • 10, but not in the fav order:

    the Big Gundown
    Masada Beit
    Spy vs. Spy
    Filmowrks XIII
    Filmworks VII
    Naked City
    Torture Garden
    Unknown Masada
    News for Lulu ...

    hm.. its not easy to choose just ten ...;) you know

    • Flojob said...
    • User
    • 18 Apr 2006, 14:13
    Execution Ground(mainly the two ambient tracks)
    Grand Guignol
    Music for Children
    Masada at Tonic 2001(I haven't heard them in Sevilla)
    Naked City
    The Big Gundown
    The Gift
    Bar Kokhba
    At the Mountains of Madness

    • bklynd said...
    • User
    • 18 Apr 2006, 18:14
    OK, it looks like I've got 8 that I love unreservedly.

    Naked City:

    NC - self-titled (Weegee corpse record)
    NC - Absinthe


    Masada Live at Tonic
    Bar Kokhba Sextet (50th Bday)

    Spy v. Spy

    Madness, Love and Mysticism

    • pimy said...
    • User
    • 24 Apr 2006, 22:57
    - Kristallnacht
    - Masada 5
    - Bar Kokhba
    - The Big Gundown
    - Zevulun/The Circle Maker
    - Filmworks XIII - Invitation to a Suicide
    - Masada 8
    - Astaroth: Book of Angels vol. 1
    - Naked City
    - The Gift

    (You see, lotsa 'soft' Zorn - the guy just has an amazing ear for melody! I must subconsciously treasure that aspect more than the highly adventurous section of his catalogue. Aw shucks, I guess I'm jes a sucker fer romance...)

    Collectionnez-moi - Verzamel mij
    • blarkan said...
    • User
    • 30 Apr 2006, 15:59
    I think these ones are his best records:

    - 50th Birthday Celebration Vol.3 - Locus Solus (this one is EXCELLENT and extremly underrated)
    - Bar Kokhba
    - Grand Guignol
    - I.A.O
    - Magick
    - Naked City

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 7 May 2006, 19:48
    Hmm, just the ten, eh? Well, I couldn't hope to give them in any kind of order, but here's what's getting played most right now:

    -Taboo And Exile
    -50th Birthday Celebration Vol. 6: Hemophiliac (Zorn/Patton/Mori)
    -Filmworks V: Tears Of Ecstasy
    -Filmworks XIII: Invitation To A Suicide
    -Filmworks XVI: Workingman's Death
    Songs From The Hermetic Theater
    Nani Nani (Eye/Zorn Duo)
    Execution Ground (Ambient) - PainKiller
    Radio - Naked City
    Mysic Fugu Orchestra (Eye/Zorn)

    I always find MFO extremely hard to listen to. I've taken to putting it on at work, which sounds odd, but it's the only time it doesn't send me mad.

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 13 May 2006, 17:01
    I only own Big Gundown 15th Anniversary (Special Edition) & Naked City.

    I need some more Zorn in my collection, just don't know where to go, there is so damn much.

    • MoRt8 said...
    • User
    • 3 Aug 2006, 10:45

    JOHN ZORN - Moonchild (2006) .... Torrent

    John Zorn : Composer
    Mike Patton : Voice
    Trevor Dunn: Bass
    Joey Baron : Drums

    Zorn’s newest project is a hardcore song cycle scored for voice, bass and drums. This powerful rock unit features three of his most illustrious, longtime cohorts who have worked together in bands such as Naked City, Fantomas, Mr. Bungle and Electric Masada and are keenly in tune with Zorn’s language and aesthetic. Musicians are always at their best in Zorn projects and Moonchild is no exception. You have never heard these players as up front, on the edge or as inspired as they are here, raging through eleven pieces of terrifying intensity. Drawing on preverbal language and the primal power of rock music, this is Torture Garden with an alchemical twist—spontaneous, complex and evocative. Eleven new Zorn compositions executed with a ritualistic passion that will take your breath away.

    "On Your Knees, Bitch !!! I Wanna Satisfaction !"
    • bklynd said...
    • User
    • 5 Aug 2006, 20:11
    Why steal Moonchild when you can buy it legitimately from eMusic for about $2.75 USD?

    Support creative music - pay for it.

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 30 Nov 2006, 17:39
    no order :

    The String Quartets
    Naked City - Absinthe
    Angelus Novus (CARNY !!)
    Taboo and Exile
    Songs from the Hermetic Theater
    The Bribe
    Madness, Love and Mysticism

  • Hi everybody.

    My ten John Zorn albums (no order):

    Music Romance Vol.2: Taboo & Exile
    Music Romance Vol.3: The Gift
    Filmworks XIII: Invitation To A Suicide
    Naked City: Radio
    Zevulun/The Circle Maker
    Book Of Angels vol.6: Moloch (He doesn't play on this album but he wrote all tracks)
    Masada at Tonic (2001)
    Filmworks XIV: Hiding & Seeking

    • adistu said...
    • User
    • 7 Feb 2007, 00:28
    My favourite albums are:
    Naked City - Radio
    John Zorn - Naked City
    John Zorn - Spy Vs. Spy
    Top 10 is a bit extreme, even if we're talking about Zorn.

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