AMN Reviews: John Zorn – Multiplicities: A Repository Of Non-Existent Objects (2022; Tzadik)

It is hard to keep track of how many John Zorn releases are drawn to particular themes or that feature particular bands or lineups. But if the math is correct, this is the third release from Chaos Magick, an ensemble consisting of Brian Marsella on Fender Rhodes, John Medeski on organ, Kenny Grohowski on drums, and Matt Hollenberg on guitar. Chaos Magick is essentially the addition of Marsella to Simulacrum, a longstanding Zorn trio that has recorded ten more albums.

Multiplicities is just the first ten tracks of twenty that Zorn has composed based on the writings of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Thus, there may be a follow on release in the coming months or years, though it is not clear whether the lineup of recording musicians will be the same.

In any event, you can expect the usual heavy riffing, blistering solos, and on-a-dime tempo changes from Chaos Magick on this release. The resulting amalgams of metal, jazz, and blues are punctuated by bursts of sheer noise and energy. Zorn sets forth tuneful melodies and themes that the band expands upon with its collectively staggering technical proficiency. In between the more structured passages, there are a few interludes that seem largely improvised. In short, Multiplicities is similar to other Chaos Magick and Simulacrum releases in its brain-feeding information density as well as its general approach. And to that point, the album is also full of echoes of earlier pieces. Zorn quotes himself quite liberally, incorporating familiar bits and pieces from the Simulacrum discography.

Even though this release is somewhat cumulative when viewed in that light, Multiplicities is another enjoyable and worthwhile offering. Solid recommendation.