John Zorn’s Naked City Turns 30

Source: The Quietus.

Long before John Zorn’s insanely versatile quintet Naked City released its eponymous debut album thirty years ago this month, the leader had already spent years experimenting with concepts that in many ways defined the band’s whiplash sound, particularly its jump-cut aesthetic. Yet Naked City was the project that elevated the notorious gadfly composer and saxophonist out of New York’s downtown ghetto and allowed to him reach a much wider and younger audience. In a sense this was his pop-rock band—albeit as uncompromising as anything he’s ever done–a nimble quintet driven by remarkable musicianship and a machine-gun spray of ideas that would seemingly make more sense in a rock club than the jazz festivals that usually programmed them.