:::50th Birthday Celebration Volume 4:::

Posted: Saturday, 16 April 2011 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , , , , , , ,

For whatever reason, what Miles Davis accomplished with Bitches Brew - arguably the album that put fusion on the map - has never been matched and has rarely been emulated. Fusion and various forms of jazz-rock abound thanks to Miles and other pioneering artists, but the sounds and textures of Bitches Brew remain nearly unique - fusion artists took different directions and, for whatever reason, ended up sounding more directly derived from groups like Mahavishnu Orchestra than the free-form, spacious Bitches Brew-era Miles.
John Zorn's Electric Masada, here recorded at a gig in New York, is one of the few fusion groups that actually sounds a lot like Miles circa Bitches Brew. The group takes seven Masada compositions and turns them into raging, energetic beasts. "Idalah-abal", from Alef, here becomes a ferocious number with Marc Ribot's guitar jamming on an anchoring riff while Zorn flails away at his saxophone. "Hadasha" is the most Bitches Brew-like number, what with Ribot's wah-wah guitar, Zorn's more controlled blowing, and an open, spacious texture. The performances are inspired and inspiring; fitting for the occasion, part of Zorn's massive 50th birthday bash in New York.
Throughout it all, the percussion holds the group together and provides a consistently interesting and controlled backdrop to the sometimes chaotic improvisation (particularly by Zorn and electronics whiz Ikue Mori). With two drummers and a percussionist, the rhythms here are fascinating yet always groovy; for instance lending the last track, "Kisofim", a Latin shuffle kind of feel. With such a reliably interesting rhythm section, Zorn and his cohorts are free to jam into outer space. And jam they do.
If you enjoy fusion a la Bitches Brew - wide-open improvs anchored by a great groove and the occasionally rocking riff (and spiced up, once in a while, by an intensity that compares best to Naked City) - Electric Masada is one of the best things that's come along in the past decade. No exaggeration.
:::Review by Brandon Wu:::

Electric Masada - 50th Birthday Celebration Volume 4 (2004)

1. Tekufah (14:33)
2. Idalah-Abal (6:18)
3. Hadasha (13:48)
4. Hath-Arob (4:07)
5. Yatzar (9:20)
6. Lilin (15:41)
7. Kisofim (8:41)

- Cyro Baptista / percussion
- Joey Baron / drums
- Trevor Dunn / bass
- Ikue Mori / laptop electronics
- Marc Ribot / guitar
- Jamie Saft / keyboards
- Kenny Wollesen / drums
- John Zorn / alto saxophone

2 komentarze:

  1. Me,Myself and I says:

    Excellent album! Thanks for turning me on to this.