PopMatters reviews a new book on Zorn.
Where does one start in analyzing the career of John Zorn? The avant-garde composer and saxophone player is among music’s most daring and productive artists, yet very few serious studies of his work have been attempted. Dissecting his work is like peeling back the layers of some sacred esoteric text. Speculating on its meanings and motives requires a level of skill and knowledge that rivals the man himself, and the work, densely layered and replete with references is a challenge to even the most learned musical and cultural scholars. It threatens to expose the observer’s shortcomings, and one must be willing to risk being consumed by the dark, cabalistic world Zorn has created around his art.