The Hermetic Organ Volume 8—For Antonin Artaud
Accused of being a flagrant “occultist” it took many years before Zorn was able to perform an organ recital in the former Yugoslavia. Finding churches completely unavailable, Zorn performed this Office of “The Hermetic Organ” at Gallus Hall during his residency at the Ljubljana Jazz Festival and it is one of his best. Including some extended moments with Zorn playing both organ and saxophone simultaneously, the improvisation is intense and varied, with a remarkable compositional arch and wildly dramatic changes of color and timbre. The saxophone blends beautifully with the organ, standing out at times while Zorn plays the organ with his feet, hands and elbows. A beautiful new installment of “The Hermetic Organ” that draws inspiration from the work of 20th century visionary Antonin Artaud.
John Zorn: Solo Organ, Sax Improvisation
Secret Chiefs 3
The Book Beri’ah Vol 10—Malkhut
Around since the mid-1990s, Secret Chiefs 3 is one of the most popular instrumental ensembles working today, with a devoted cult following and a constantly changing lineup of stellar musicians. Featuring one of the best groupings they have ever had, in “Malkhut” they turn their hand to twelve tunes from Zorn’s “Book Beri’ah.” Years in the making, SC3 mastermind Trey Spruance considers this to be one of his most ambitious and involved CDs to date. Even better than their “Masada Book of Angels” release “Xaphan”, “Malkhut” is filled with spiritual depth, meticulous detail and a amazing creativity. This is music that is essential to everyone interested in the Masada legacy—instrumental music from the outer realms!
Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz: Bass, Oud, Gimbri
Eyvind Kang: Viola, Violin
Jason Schimmel: Guitars, Electric, Acoustic 12-string Electric, Lapsteel, Sitar
Ches Smith: Congas, Vibes, Dumbek, Shakers, Drums
Trey Spruance: Guitars (electric, Baritone, J.j. Sitar Guitar), Analog Synth Pads, Extra Percussion Theater Organ, Clavinet, Kinnor, Nevel, Glockenspiel, Sound Fx
Kenny Grohowski: Drums, Congas
Matt Lebofsky: Hammond And Farfisa Organs, Piano, Electric Piano, Moog
Ryan Parrish: Kaval
Banquet of the Spirits
The Book Beri’ah Vol 9—Yesod
Working together since 1982, Cyro Baptista is one of Zorn’s closest friends and collaborators. Banquet of the Spirits is his tight touring quartet of young lions and features Brian Marsella, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz and Tim Keiper on keyboards, bass and drums. Here they follow up their acclaimed CD of the “Book of Angels Caym” with a Latin Jazz-tinged interpretation featuring the rising star Brian Marsella on piano and keyboards. Breathtakingly beautiful, this is one of the most seductive installments of the “Book Beri’ah”. Latin Jazz at its very best.
Cyro Baptista: Percussion
Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz: Acoustic Bass
Tim Keiper: Drums
Brian Marsella: Piano, Vibraphone
The Hermetic Organ vol. 7 — St. John the Divine 2013
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is a place of prayer, peace, spiritual renewal, and a temple to all who love the organ—and Zorn responds in kind with a remarkably soothing and peaceful exploration of lyricism and sonic variation. Interrupted only occasionally by a few trademark Phantom of the Opera explosions, the music is meditative, devotional, and at times achingly beautiful. Inspired by the mystical worlds of William Blake and the French organ traditions of Charles Tournemire and Olivier Messiaen, the music is an extended exploration in search of spiritual healing.
John Zorn: Solo Organ