Monday, 7 November 2011

John Zorn - In Case You Didn't Know

There will always be independent artists, there will always be some freak that says, “This is not right, I’m gonna do it my way.” There will always be experimental music. There will always be people who wanna listen to it. But I just don’t see them taking over the world, you know? Maybe when I was 22 years old I thought we were gonna take over the world, that this was the real music. But now that I have a perspective and I’m 46, 1 look back and I say, “Look at the his tory.” Look at thousands of years of how it’s been and how people are manipulated and how greed functions in our society. - John Zorn

JZ is something of a hero 'round here. I even forgive him his trousers. I've had a Zornological afternoon, and as is usually the case when delving into his musical universe, my mind's reeling from the diversity and dazzling brilliance of much of what he's done. Like Sun Ra, his is a creative cosmos, the totality of which is almost impossible to fully explore. But you can spend a fascinating few hours trying. From minimalist electronic experiments to speed metal, chamber music, rockabilly, surf, blues, jazz, noise and on, he's got to be the most eclectic cat in town. I mean, sometimes I wonder if he has time to do anything else, his output is so enormous. Can you imagine him getting a girlfriend? Perhaps he has one. I don't know and shouldn't comment. Wearing those trousers, I don't reckon his chances much. If by chance you've never heard a John Zorn album, I recommend starting with Film Works III because it offers a good taster of various styles. My favourites include The Bribe and The Big Gundown  but that's because I'm also a fan of film noir and Morricone. The more adventurous amongst you might try Cobra: Game Pieces Vol II. As a regular IMO reader, I know you're pretty adventurous musically, aren't you? I know you have great taste too, which leads me to think you must be into Zorn, and I'm probably wasting my time but, you know, strangers might wander in here looking for something new...strangers for whom Zorn is an unknown entity, perhaps. If you're one of them, I hope this leads you on a mind-boggling musical trip. I've learnt almost nothing over the years, but one thing I have learnt is that it's wrong to assume that 'everyone' appreciates certain great artists, and I don't mean because they should , but that it seems logical, allowing for taste, of course. I'm still surprised, though, when someone expresses total ignorance of Kenyon Hopkins, but that's another matter.

Here is a site you might want to visit for more Zorn. 

And there's a great recent interview here


  1. Thanks for the link, man. You have a great blog. You're a really entertaining writer. If you ever get a chance, you should check out my radio show. It's on every Sun. from 530 to 730pm PST at

  2. Thanks for the compliment Justin. The feedback is much appreciated. I'll tune in to your show.


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