John Zorn
Zorn at the Newport Jazz Festival, 2014
Background information
Born (1953-09-02) September 2, 1953 (age 68)
New York City, U.S.
GenresAvant-garde, experimental, avant-rock, jazz, grindcore, avant-garde metal
Occupation(s)Musician, composer, producer
InstrumentsAlto saxophone, pipe organ, clarinet, flute, keyboards, vocals, guitar, double bass, drums, percussion, theremin, wind machine
Years active1973–present
LabelsTzadik, Avant, DIW, Elektra Nonesuch, Earache, Hathut, Shimmy-Disc, Eva, Toy's Factory, Nato, Lumina, Black Saint, Subharmonic, Parachute, Yukon, Rift
Associated actsNaked City, Painkiller, Masada, Masada String Trio, Bar Kokhba, Hemophiliac, Moonchild, Violent Femmes, Mr. Bungle, Secret Chiefs 3
Websitewww.tzadik.com

John Zorn (born September 2, 1953) is an American composer, conductor, saxophonist, arranger and producer who "deliberately resists category".[1] Zorn's avant-garde and experimental approaches to composition and improvisation are inclusive of jazz, rock, hardcore, classical, contemporary, surf, metal, soundtrack, ambient, and world music.[1][2] In 2013, Down Beat described Zorn as "one of our most important composers" and in 2020 Rolling Stone noted "Though Zorn has operated almost entirely outside the mainstream, he's gradually asserted himself as one of the most influential musicians of our time".[3][4]

Zorn entered New York City's downtown music scene in the mid-1970s, collaborating with improvising artists while developing new methods of composing experimental music.[1][2] Over the next decade he performed throughout Europe and Japan and recorded on independent US and European labels. He attracted acclaim with The Big Gundown, reworking the film scores of Ennio Morricone in 1986 and Spillane (1987) featuring collage-like experimental compositions.[1][5] Spy vs Spy (1989) and Naked City released in 1990 both demonstrated Zorn's ability to merge and blend musical styles in new and challenging formats.[1][2][6][7][8]

Zorn spent time in Japan in the late 1980s and early '90s but returned to Lower East Side Manhattan to establish the Tzadik record label in 1995.[9][10][11] Tzadik enabled Zorn to establish independence, maintain creative control, and ensure the availability of his growing catalog of recordings. He prolifically recorded and released new material for the label, issuing several new albums each year, along with recordings by many other artists.[12]

Zorn performs on saxophone with Naked City, Painkiller, and Masada but more often conducts bands like Moonchild, Simulcrum and several of his Masada-related ensembles or encourages musicians toward their own interpretations of his work.[4] He has composed concert music for classical ensembles and orchestras, and produced music for opera, sound installations, film and documentary.[4] Tours of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East have been extensive, usually at festivals with musicians and ensembles that perform his diverse repertoire.[13][14][15] Jazz critic Richard Cook observed "His greatest skill is in assembling often unexpected groups of players and getting a startling, unrepeatable result".[1]

Early life and career

Early life

John Zorn was born in New York City, to a Jewish family, attended the United Nations International School, and studied piano, guitar and flute from an early age.[16][17][18] Zorn's family had diverse musical tastes: his mother, Vera (née Studenski; 1918–1999), listened to classical and world music; his father, Henry Zorn (1913–1992), was interested in jazz, French chansons, and country music; and his older brother collected doo-wop and 1950s rock and roll records.[19] Zorn spent his teenage years exploring classical music, film music, "listening to The Doors and playing bass in a surf band."[4][19] He explored the experimental and avant-garde music of György Ligeti, Mauricio Kagel and Karlheinz Stockhausen as well as cartoon soundtracks and film scores.[4][12][20] He taught himself orchestration and counterpoint by transcribing scores and studied composition under Leonardo Balada.[21]

Zorn began playing saxophone after discovering Anthony Braxton's album For Alto (1969) when he was studying composition at Webster College (now Webster University) in St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended classes taught by Oliver Lake.[22][23] While at Webster, he incorporated elements of free jazz, avant-garde and experimental music, film scores, performance art and the cartoon scores of Carl Stalling into his first recordings.[24]

Leaving Webster after three semesters Zorn lived on the West Coast before returning to Manhattan where he gave concerts in his apartment and other small NY venues, playing saxophone and a variety of reeds, duck calls, tapes, and other instruments.[1][4][25] Zorn immersed himself in the underground art scene, assisting Jack Smith with his performances and attending plays by Richard Foreman.[26]

Early compositions and recordings

Zorn's early major compositions included many game pieces described as "complex systems harnessing improvisers in flexible compositional formats".[27][28] These compositions "involved strict rules, role playing, prompters with flashcards, all in the name of melding structure and improvisation in a seamless fashion".[2] Zorn's early game pieces had sporting titles like Lacrosse (1976), Hockey (1978), Pool (1979), and Archery (1979), which he recorded and first released on Eugene Chadbourne's Parachute label.[29][30] His most enduring game piece is Cobra, composed in 1984 and first recorded in 1987 and in subsequent versions in 1992, 1994 and 2002, and revisited in performance many times.[31][32][33]

In the early 1980s, Zorn was heavily engaged in improvisation as both a solo performer and with other like-minded artists.[2] Zorn's first solo saxophone recordings were originally released in two volumes as The Classic Guide to Strategy in 1983 and 1986 on the Lumina label.[34] Zorn's early small group improvisations are documented on Locus Solus (1983) which featured Zorn with various combinations of other improvisers including Christian Marclay, Arto Lindsay, Wayne Horvitz, Ikue Mori, and Anton Fier.[35] Ganryu Island featured a series of duets by Zorn with Michihiro Sato on shamisen, which received limited release on the Yukon label in 1984.[36] Zorn has subsequently reissued these early recordings.[37]

Zorn in 1990
Zorn in 1990

Breakthrough recordings

Zorn's breakthrough recording was 1985's widely acclaimed The Big Gundown released on Nonesuch Records, where Zorn offered radical arrangements of Ennio Morricone's music for film.[38] The album was endorsed by Morricone himself, who said: "This is a record that has fresh, good and intelligent ideas. It is realization on a high level, a work done by a maestro with great science-fantasy and creativity ... Many people have done versions of my pieces, but no one has done them like this".[39]

Zorn followed with another major-label release Spillane in 1987 featuring performances by Albert Collins, the Kronos Quartet, and a "file-card" composition of film noir inspired collages.[40] This method of combining composition and improvisation involved Zorn writing descriptions or ideas on file-cards and arranging them to form the piece.[41] Zorn described the process in 2003:

I write in moments, in disparate sound blocks, so I find it convenient to store these events on filing cards so they can be sorted and ordered with minimum effort. Pacing is essential. If you move too fast, people tend to stop hearing the individual moments as complete in themselves and more as elements of a sort of cloud effect ... I worked 10 to 12 hours a day for a week, just orchestrating these file cards. It was an intense process.[42]

Zorn's file-card method of organizing sound blocks into an overall structure largely depended on the musicians he chose, the way they interpreted what was written on the file cards, and their relationship with Zorn. "I'm not going to sit in some ivory tower and pass my scores down to the players." said Zorn,

I have to be there with them, and that's why I started playing saxophone, so that I could meet musicians. I still feel that I have to earn a player's trust before they can play my music. At the end of the day, I want players to say: this was fun—it was a lot of fucking work, and it's one of the hardest things I've ever done, but it was worth the effort.[42]

Three further releases on Nonesuch followed; Spy vs Spy in 1989, Naked City in 1990, and Filmworks 1986–1990 (1992) before Zorn broke with the label.[2]

Music

All the various styles are organically connected to one another. I'm an additive person—the entire storehouse of my knowledge informs everything I do. People are so obsessed with the surface that they can't see the connections, but they are there.

—John Zorn[42]

Jazz

Writer Richard Cook noted "Zorn's relationship with jazz is side-long: while a dedicated improvisor and someone who plays with many 'jazz musicians', he deliberately resists category".[1] He formed the Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet recording Voodoo in 1986 and performed hardcore punk covers of Ornette Coleman's music with Tim Berne released as Spy vs Spy in 1989.[4][43][44][45] News for Lulu (1988) and More News for Lulu (1992) featured Zorn, Bill Frisell and George E. Lewis performing compositions by Kenny Dorham, Sonny Clark, Freddie Redd, and Hank Mobley.[46][47] According to Cook, "Zorn's admirers often consider him a masterful bebop alto player, but when he does perform in something approaching that style his playing has little of the tension and none of the relaxation of the great beboppers, often sounding more strangulated than anything".[1]

Film music

Zorn stated that "After my record The Big Gundown came out I was convinced that a lot of soundtrack work was going to be coming my way".[48] While interest from Hollywood did not flow freely independent filmmakers like Sheila McLaughlin and Raúl Ruiz sought his talents.[49] Filmmaker Walter Hill rejected his music for a film to be called Looters.[50] Although Zorn's score did not make the final cut he used the money he received to establish the record label, Tzadik, on which he released Filmworks II: Music for an Untitled Film by Walter Hill in 1995.[51] Zorn also produced a series of commercial soundtracks for the advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy, including one directed by Jean-Luc Godard, a long-term Zorn inspiration.[52] Zorn used his film commissions to record Naked City, Masada and the Masada String Trio. From the mid-1990s, Zorn composed film music for independent films dealing with BDSM and LGBT culture, documentaries exploring the Jewish experience, and films about outsider artists. In 2013, after releasing 25 volumes in his Filmworks Series, Zorn announced that he would no longer be releasing music for film.[53]

Hardcore: Naked City, Painkiller and beyond

Zorn established Naked City in 1988 as a "compositional workshop" to test the limitations of a rock band format.[54] Featuring Zorn (saxophone), Bill Frisell (guitars), Fred Frith (bass), Wayne Horvitz (keyboards), Joey Baron (drums), and vocalist Yamatsuka Eye (and later Mike Patton), Naked City blended Zorn's appreciation of hardcore punk and grindcore bands like Agnostic Front and Napalm Death with influences like film music, country or jazz often in a single composition.[55] The band performed pieces by film composers Ennio Morricone, John Barry, Johnny Mandel and Henry Mancini and modern classicists Alexander Scriabin, Claude Debussy, Charles Ives, and Olivier Messiaen and recorded heavy metal and ambient albums.

In 1991, Zorn formed Painkiller with Bill Laswell on bass and Mick Harris on drums.[56] Painkiller's first two releases, Guts of a Virgin (1991) and Buried Secrets (1992), also featured short grindcore and free jazz-inspired compositions.[57] They released their first live album, Rituals: Live in Japan, in 1993, followed by the double CD Execution Ground (1994), which featured longer dub and ambient-styled pieces.[58] A second live album, Talisman: Live in Nagoya, was released in 2002 and the band was featured on Zorn's 50th Birthday Celebration Volume 12 (2005) with Hamid Drake replacing Harris on drums and guest vocalist Mike Patton.[59]

Both bands attracted worldwide interest, particularly in Japan, where Zorn had relocated following a three-month residency in Tokyo.[60]

Moonchild at the Barbican: Mike Patton (facing away) and Trevor Dunn
Moonchild at the Barbican: Mike Patton (facing away) and Trevor Dunn

In 2006, Zorn formed the voice/bass/drums trio of Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn, and Joey Baron as “a compositional challenge, as a song cycle, songs without words” as he decided “I want to work with Patton more; Patton was very hungry to do more work together. ‘OK, so let's start it with just bass, drums, and voice".[4][61] Rolling Stone said Moonchild was "a band that, much like Naked City, mutated radically across its lifespan as Zorn kept raising his compositional bar. While it touched on similar extremes as that group... its episodes are more sustained, its structures more conventionally songlike" noting "For the first five of Moonchild's seven albums, released from 2006 through 2014, Patton utilized his full whisper-to-scream range while operating entirely without lyrics".[4]

Concert music

As Zorn's interest in Naked City waned, he "started hearing classical music in [his] head again."[62] Zorn started working on compositions that drew on chamber music arrangements of strings, percussion and electronic instruments. Elegy, a suite dedicated to Jean Genet, was released in 1992.[63] This was followed by the piece Kristallnacht recorded in November 1992, his premiere work of radical Jewish culture, featuring seven compositions reflecting the Kristallnacht ("Night of Broken Glass") in late 1938 where Jews were targets of violence and destruction in Germany and Austria.[64][65]

The establishment of Tzadik allowed him to release many compositions which he had written over the previous two decades for classical ensembles. Zorn's earliest released classical composition, Christabel (1972) for five flutes, first appeared on Angelus Novus in 1998.[66] Zorn credits the composition of his 1988 string quartet Cat O' Nine Tails (commissioned and released by the Kronos Quartet on Short Stories) to awakening him to the possibilities of writing for classical musicians. This composition also appeared on The String Quartets (1999) and Cartoon S/M (2000) along with variations on "Kol Nidre", inspired by the Jewish prayer of atonement which was written at the same time as the first Masada Book.[67]

Aporias: Requia for Piano and Orchestra (1998) was Zorn's first full-scale orchestral release featuring pianist Stephen Drury, the Hungarian Radio Children's Choir and the American Composers Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.[68]

Much of Zorn's classical work is dedicated or inspired by artists who have influenced him:

Several of Zorn's later concert works drew inspiration from mysticism and the works of Aleister Crowley in particular; Magick (2004) featured a group called the Crowley Quartet.[73] A 2009 performance of the album's centerpiece Necronomicon was described as "... frenetic vortexes of violent, abrasive motion, separated by eerily becalmed, suspenseful sections with moody, even prayerful melodies. The music is sensational and evocative, but never arbitrary; you always sense a guiding hand behind the mayhem".[74]

Later works expanded to include vocal and operatic works; Mysterium released in 2005 featured Frammenti del Sappho for female chorus;[75] Rituals (2005) featured Zorn's opera composed for the Bayreuth Opera Festival in 1998;[76] and La Machine de l'Être composed in 2000, premiered at the New York City Opera in 2011, and recorded for the 2012 album Music and Its Double.[77][78]

Zorn's concert works have been performed all over the world and he has received commissions from the New York Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic and BBC Radio 3.[79][80]

Masada books

Book One

Masada: Joey Baron (drums), Greg Cohen (bass), Dave Douglas (trumpet), John Zorn (alto saxophone)
Masada: Joey Baron (drums), Greg Cohen (bass), Dave Douglas (trumpet), John Zorn (alto saxophone)

The experience of composing Kristallnacht prompted Zorn to explore his Jewish heritage and examine methods of composing using the Phrygian dominant scale.[81][82] Zorn set himself the task of writing 100 compositions within a year.[83] Within three years, the number of compositions had grown to 205 and became known as the first Masada Book. Zorn explained:

The project for Masada was to create something positive in the Jewish tradition something that maybe takes the idea of Jewish music into the 21st century the way jazz developed from the teens and 1920s into the '40s, the '50s, the '60s and on ... My initial idea was to write a hundred tunes. And then I ended up writing over 200 for the first book and then performed it countless time for years.[84]


In 1996, Zorn released Bar Kokhba featuring Masada compositions recorded by a rotating group of musicians.[85] Two ensembles arose from this album: the Masada String Trio, composed of Greg Cohen (bass), Mark Feldman (violin), and Erik Friedlander (cello); and the Bar Kokhba Sextet which added Marc Ribot (guitar), Cyro Baptista (percussion), and Joey Baron (drums), both of which were featured on 1998's The Circle Maker.[86] The Masada String Trio were also featured on Zorn's Filmworks series, as part of his 50th Birthday Celebration, and released two albums as part of the Book of Angels project, Azazal and Haborym.[87][88][89][90] In 2003, Zorn formed Electric Masada, a band featuring Zorn, Baptista, Baron, and Ribot, along with Trevor Dunn (bass), Ikue Mori (electronics), Jamie Saft (keyboards), and Kenny Wollesen (drums) releasing their debut live album from Zorn's 50th Birthday Concert series and a double live CD recorded in 2004.[91]

A Tenth Anniversary Series of Masada recordings was released by Zorn beginning in 2003. The series featured five albums of Masada themes including Masada Guitars by Marc Ribot, Bill Frisell, and Tim Sparks; Masada Recital by Mark Feldman and Sylvie Courvoisier; Masada Rock by Rashanim; and two albums featuring various artists, Voices in the Wilderness and The Unknown Masada.[37]

Bar Kokhba at 2014 Newport Jazz Festival with Marc Ribot, John Zorn, Cyro Baptista (left to right)
Bar Kokhba at 2014 Newport Jazz Festival with Marc Ribot, John Zorn, Cyro Baptista (left to right)

Book Two

In 2004, Zorn began composing the second Masada Book, The Book of Angels, resulting in an additional 316 compositions.[92][93] Zorn explained:

After 10 years of performing the first book, I thought "Maybe it'd be nice to write some more tunes." And I wrote 300 more tunes. When I started writing those it was "Let's see if I can write a hundred songs in a month this time." I've been working on these scales and playing these tunes all this time. In the back of my head somewhere are lodged all kinds of new ideas. Let's see if I can come up with 100 tunes in a month instead of in a year. So in the first month, I popped out a hundred tunes; the second month, another hundred; in the third month, a third 100 tunes. I had no idea that was going to happen.[84]

He has released twenty volumes of Masada Book Two compositions all performed by other artists.[94] The titles of many Masada Book Two compositions are derived from demonology and Judeo-Christian mythology.

The Masada quartet performed at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in March 2007 for what were billed as their final concerts.[95] Zorn reformed the band as a sextet with Uri Caine and Cyro Baptista in 2009 saying:[96]

I felt like we kind of hit a plateau a little bit with it in 2007 and I said, "Well, maybe the quartet is really done. Maybe we've accomplished what we can accomplish. Maybe it's time to put this to bed." And then I was asked by the Marciac Jazz Festival to put together a slightly larger group. They asked me what if I added a couple of people to Masada and I said, "I can't add anybody to the quartet. The quartet is the quartet, that's what we do." But then I thought, "Well, if I was going to add someone I would probably ask Uri and Cyro." So we tried it at Marciac and it was unbelievable. We didn't even have any rehearsal time. I just passed the charts out and said, "OK, just watch me because I'll be conducting. Let's just do it." And it was one of those magical clicks on the bandstand that sometimes happens. So yeah, this band is taking off again. After 15 years of doing this music, we can still find new things.

Zorn's Masada compositions and associated ensembles have become a central focus of many concerts and festivals and he has established regular 'Masada Marathons' that feature various bands and musicians performing music from the Masada Books.[92][97]

Book Three

Zorn completed the third Masada book, titled The Book Beriah, in 2014.[98]

The Dreamers

Zorn released one of his most popular albums, The Gift, in 2001, which surprised many with its relaxed blend of surf, exotica and world music.[99] On February 29, 2008, at St Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, Zorn premiered The Dreamers, which saw a return to the gentle compositions first featured on The Gift and established the band of the same name.[100] The Dreamers released their second album, O'o, in 2009, an album of Zorn's Book of Angels compositions in 2010 and a Christmas album in 2011.[101][102][103]

Other work

Zorn with Gavin Bryars and George E. Lewis at the Barbican Tribute to Derek Bailey, 2006.
Zorn with Gavin Bryars and George E. Lewis at the Barbican Tribute to Derek Bailey, 2006.

Tzadik Records

In 1992, John Zorn curated the Avant subsidiary of the DIW label and released several Naked City recordings on the label as well as many other albums featuring Zorn affiliated musicians including Derek Bailey, Buckethead, Eugene Chadbourne, Dave Douglas, Erik Friedlander, Wayne Horvitz, Ikue Mori, Bobby Previte, Zeena Parkins and Marc Ribot.[104]

In 1995, in co-operation with jazz producer Kazunori Sugiyama, Zorn established the Tzadik record label to ensure the availability of his catalogue and promote other musicians.[60][96]

The label's releases are divided into series:

Tzadik also releases special-edition CDs, DVDs, books and T-shirts. Since 1998, the designs of Tzadik releases have been created by graphic artist Heung-Heung "Chippy" Chin.[106]

The Stone (music venue)

Zorn's earliest New York performances occurred at small artist-run performance spaces including his own apartment.[2] As his profile grew, he became associated with several Lower East Side alternative venues such as the Knitting Factory and Tonic.[84] On Friday April 13, 2007, Zorn played the final night at Tonic before it closed due to financial pressures.[107][108][109]

Zorn was the principal force in establishing The Stone in 2005, an avant-garde performance space in New York's Alphabet City which supports itself solely on donations and the sale of limited-edition CDs, giving all door revenues directly to the performers.[110] Zorn holds the title of artistic director and regularly performs 'Improvisation Nights'.[111] Zorn feels that "The Stone is a unique space and is different from Tonic, the Knitting Factory, and most of the other venues we have played at as there is no bar ... so there is NO pressure to pack the house with an audience that drinks, and what night you perform has nothing to do with your power to draw a crowd or what kind of music you might play".[112] On January 10, 2008, Zorn performed with Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson at a special benefit night at The Stone which was also released on The Stone: Issue Three on CD.[113] In December 2016 Zorn announced that The Stone would close in February 2018 but that he was hopeful that a new location could be found, stating "Venues come and go, but the music continues on forever!"[114] By March 2017 Zorn had negotiated with The New School to move The Stone to Greenwich Village.[115] On February 25, 2018 the last performance was held at the original venue and Zorn moved operations to The New School's The Glass Box Theatre on the basis of a handshake deal.[116]

50th and 60th birthday concert series

In September 2003, Zorn celebrated his 50th birthday with a month-long series of performances at Tonic in New York, repeating an event he had begun a decade earlier at the Knitting Factory.[117][118][119] He conceptualized the month into several different aspects of his musical output. Zorn's bands performed on the weekends, classical ensembles were featured on Sundays, Zorn performed improvisations with other musicians on Mondays, featured his extended compositions on Tuesdays and a retrospective of game pieces on Wednesdays.[120] A total of 12 live albums were released on his 50th Birthday Celebration Series.[121]

John Zorn performing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in September 2013
John Zorn performing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in September 2013

Zorn's 60th birthday celebrations encompassed concerts across the globe from festival appearances to unique events in art galleries and unusual venues across 2013 and into 2014.[122] The first concerts under the Zorn@60 banner were performed at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in April 2013.[123] This was followed by performances at the Museum of Modern Art and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.[124][125] The European leg of Zorn@60 commenced at the Barbican Theatre in London in July 2013.[126] Festival appearances in Belgium, Poland, Spain and Germany followed soon after.[127][128][129][130][131] These were followed by concerts in Victoriaville, Canada.[132] Returning to New York City other concert appearances occurred at Alice Tully Hall and Lincoln Centre.[133][134]

Zorn undertook another of his celebrated Masada Marathons at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in August.[135] Further New York City concerts in September included performances of music for film at the Anthology Film Archives, classical works and Cobra at the Miller Theatre, a day-long concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art[136] and a performance of improvised duets with Ryuichi Sakamoto.[137][138][139] In October, the International Contemporary Ensemble performed a retrospective of Zorn's classical music at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.[140] The final Zorn@60 concerts were performed as part of the Adelaide Festival in Australia in March 2014 featuring a four concerts covering the breadth of his compositional and improvisational range.[141][142]

Arcana (book series)

In 2000, Zorn edited the book Arcana: Musicians on Music featuring interviews, essays, and commentaries by musicians including Anthony Coleman, Peter Garland, David Mahler, Bill Frisell, Gerry Hemingway, George E. Lewis, Fred Frith, Eyvind Kang, Mike Patton and Elliott Sharp, on the compositional process.[143] Zorn released the second volume of Arcana: Musicians on Music in the summer of 2007. According to the preface by Zorn, "This second installment of what will be a continuing series of books presenting radical, cutting-edge ideas about music is made, like the initial volume, out of necessity."[144] New volumes have since been released; the eighth volume was published in September 2017.

Awards

In 2001, John Zorn received the Jewish Cultural Award in Performing Arts from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.[145] In 2006, Zorn was named a MacArthur Fellow.[146][147] In 2007, he was the recipient of Columbia University's School of the Arts William Schuman Award, an honor given "to recognize the lifetime achievement of an American composer whose works have been widely performed and generally acknowledged to be of lasting significance."[148]

In 2011, Zorn was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame by Lou Reed, and was awarded the Magister Artium Gandensis, an honorary degree from the University of Ghent.[149] In 2014, he received honorary doctorates from The State University of New York and the New England Conservatory of Music.[150][151][152]

Discography

Main article: John Zorn discography

Filmography

Bibliography

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cook, Richard (2005). Richard Cook's Jazz Encyclopedia. London: Penguin Books. pp. 685–6. ISBN 0-141-00646-3.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Milkowski, B., "John Zorn: One Future, Two Views" (interview) in Jazz Times, March 2000, pp. 28–35,118–121, accessed 24 July 2010.
  3. ^ Alkyer, F. First Take: Happy Birthday Mr Zorn, Down Beat, October, 2013, p. 10.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Steamer, H., ‘He Made the World Bigger’: Inside John Zorn's Jazz-Metal Multiverse, Rolling Stone, June 22, 2020.
  5. ^ Rockwell, J., Zorn Variations on Themes by Morricone, NY Times, November 2, 1986.
  6. ^ Watrous, P., "Spillane", a Blend of American Styles, NY Times, May 25, 1988.
  7. ^ Rockwell, J., As Important As Anyone In His Generation, NY Times, February 21, 1988.
  8. ^ Pareles, J., There Are 8 Million Stories in John Zorn's Naked City, NY Times, April 8, 1990.
  9. ^ Watrous, P., John Zorn Takes Over the Town, NY Times, February 24, 1989.
  10. ^ Fordham, J. (1993), The Essential Guide to Jazz on CD, Greenwich Editions: London.
  11. ^ Liner notes to Nani Nani (1995), Tzadik: New York.
  12. ^ a b Gordon, T., (2008), John Zorn: Autonomy and the Avant-Garde, accessed November 15, 2013.
  13. ^ John Zorn Festival in Israel 2008 website Archived 2008-05-08 at the Wayback Machine accessed 2 September 2008.
  14. ^ Kelman, J. Festival International Musique Actuelle Victoriaville Review at All About Jazz, 15 May 2008.
  15. ^ Moore, C. Adelaide Festival 2014: Loud and Proud Archived 2013-10-31 at the Wayback Machine, Limelight, October 29, 2014.
  16. ^ "Milken Archive of Jewish Music – People – John Zorn". milkenarchive.org.
  17. ^ At 60, 'Challenges Are Opportunities' For John Zorn, NPR.org, September 3, 2013.
  18. ^ Helland, D Downbeat.com John Zorn Biography
  19. ^ a b Bourgin, S. M. (ed.),(1996) Contemporary Musicians, Vol. 15: Zorn, John accessed May 26, 2008
  20. ^ Put More Blood Into the Music (1989)
  21. ^ Wendell, E. Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians: John Zorn Archived 2013-11-08 at the Wayback Machine; accessed October 9, 2013
  22. ^ Milkowski, B. (1998) John Zorn interview in Rockers, Jazzbos & Visionaries New York: Watson-Guptill Publications
  23. ^ Bartlett A Zorn of Plenty Archived 2007-11-03 at the Wayback Machine Seattle Weekly, June 23, 1999.
  24. ^ Zorn, J (1995) liner notes to John Zorn: First Recordings 1973 New York: Tzadik.
  25. ^ Pareles, J., Concert: Sounds of Staley And Zorn, NY Times, December 4, 1983
  26. ^ Blumenfield, L. Iconic New York composer John Zorn celebrates his 60th in Australia, The Saturday Paper, March 8, 2014
  27. ^ Zorn, J. The Game Pieces in Cox, C. & Warner, D., Eds. (2004) Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music, Continuum Press: New York (ISBN 0-8264-1615-2)
  28. ^ Duckworth, W. (1999) Talking Music, Da Capo Press (ISBN 0-306-80893-5) pp. 444–476
  29. ^ Poop, C. E. Pukekos Website, January 28, 2011
  30. ^ Roussel, P. (2013) John Zorn Discography, accessed November 1, 2013
  31. ^ Kozinn, A John Zorn and 'Cobra' NY Times, September 3, 1989
  32. ^ Ross, A Music and Plenty of It: 12 Hours' Worth In Fact NY Times March 15, 1993
  33. ^ Ratliff, B Stretching the Boundaries of the Things Musicians Do NY Times, August 5, 1996
  34. ^ Proefrock, S. Allmusic Review: The Classic Guide to Strategy, accessed November 1, 2013
  35. ^ Layne, J. Allmusic Review: Locus Solas, accessed November 1, 2013
  36. ^ Layne, J. Allmusic Review: Ganryu Island, accessed November 1, 2013
  37. ^ a b "Tzadik Complete Catalog". Tzadik.com.
  38. ^ Yanow, S. Allmusic Review: The Big Gundown; accessed November 1, 2013
  39. ^ Morricone, E. in liner notes to The Big Gundown – 15th Anniversary Edition Tzadik: New York
  40. ^ Watrous, P. "John Zorn Makes Radical Turn Chic", nytimes.com, September 16, 1993.
  41. ^ Cook, R. & Morton, B. (1992), The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD, LP and Cassette, Penguin Books
  42. ^ a b c Service, T. "Shuffle and Cut", The Guardian, March 7, 2003.
  43. ^ Yanow, S. Allmusic Review: Voodoo, accessed November 1, 2013.
  44. ^ Rockwell, J. Zorn & Berne Dowtown, nytimes.com, August 22, 1987.
  45. ^ Yanow, S. Allmusic Review: Spy vs Spy; accessed November 1, 2013.
  46. ^ Yanow, S. Allmusic Review: "News for Lulu"; accessed November 1, 2013.
  47. ^ Yanow, S. Allmusic Review: "More News for Lulu"; accessed November 1, 2013.
  48. ^ Zorn, J. (1992) liner notes to Filmworks 1986–1990 Tzadik: New York
  49. ^ Layne, J. Allmusic Review: Filmworks 1986–1990, accessed November 6, 2013
  50. ^ IMDB: Tresspass (1992) Trivia, accessed August 28, 2021
  51. ^ Layne, J. Allmusic Review: Filmworks II: Music for an Untitled Film by Walter Hill, accessed November 5, 2013
  52. ^ Zorn, J. (1997), liner notes to Filmworks III: 1990–1995 Tzadik: New York.
  53. ^ "Welcome to Tzadik". Tzadik.com.
  54. ^ Zorn, J. (1993) liner notes to Zornfest program Archived May 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  55. ^ Carla Chiti (1998), John Zorn in Sonora. Itinerari Oltre il Suono: John Zorn. Italy: Materiali Sonori Edizioni Musicali.
  56. ^ Huey, S. Allmusic Artist Biography: Painkiller, accessed November 4, 2013
  57. ^ Huey, S. Allmusic Review: Buried Secrets; accessed November 4, 2013
  58. ^ Rikard, M. Allmusic Review: Execution Ground; accessed November 4, 2013
  59. ^ "Welcome to Tzadik". Tzadik.com.
  60. ^ a b Goldberg, M. John Zorn Interview Archived 2013-11-02 at the Wayback Machine, BOMB Magazine, Issue 80, Summer 2002.
  61. ^ Walters, J.L. John Zorn: Crowley at the Crossroads The Guardian, June 21, 2006.
  62. ^ McCutchen, A. (1999) The Muse that Sings: Composers Speak about the Creative Process Oxford University Press: New York, p. 167.
  63. ^ Butler, B. Allmusic Review: Elegy, accessed November 4, 2013.
  64. ^ Pareles, J. "Evoking a Terrible Night in 1938", nytimes.com, December 19, 1992.
  65. ^ Layne, J. Allmusic Review: "Kristallnacht"; accessed November 4, 2013.
  66. ^ Proefrock, S. Allmusic Review: "Angelus Novus"; accessed November 4, 2013.
  67. ^ Tommasini, A "Finding, and Savoring, A Muse in 'McHale's Navy'", nytimes.com, December 5, 2001.
  68. ^ Layne, J. Allmusic Review: Aporias: Requia for Piano and Orchestra; accessed November 5, 2013.
  69. ^ Proefrock, S. Allmusic Review: Duras: Duchamp, accessed November 5, 2013
  70. ^ Jurek, T. Allmusic Review: Songs from the Hermetic Theatre, accessed November 5, 2013
  71. ^ Jurek, T. Allmusic Review: Madness, Love and Mysticism, accessed November 5, 2013
  72. ^ "Welcome to Tzadik". Tzadik.com.
  73. ^ "Welcome to Tzadik". Tzadik.com.
  74. ^ Smith, S. Music in Review, NY Times, April 4, 2009.
  75. ^ Sanderson, B. Allmusic Review: Mysterium, accessed November 5, 2013
  76. ^ Sanderson, B. Allmusic Review: Rituals; accessed November 5, 2013.
  77. ^ Woolfe, Z. To Get to City Opera, Mr. Downtown Practiced Eclecticism, NY Times, March 16, 2011
  78. ^ "Welcome to Tzadik". Tzadik.com.
  79. ^ liner notes to Madness, Love and Mysticism (2001) Tzadik: New York
  80. ^ "BBC SSO explore the kaleidoscopic world of John Zorn". BBC. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  81. ^ Paeles, J. Old and New in a Jewish Festival, nytimes.com, December 20, 1995.
  82. ^ Yaffe, D. Learning to Reed, New York Nightlife, April 5, 1999.
  83. ^ Kaplan, F. John Zorn's Joyful Jazz, Slate, October 3, 2003.
  84. ^ a b c Pehling, D. KTVU.com Talks To Saxophonist John Zorn, March 10, 2009. Archived April 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  85. ^ Gilman, M. Allmusic Review: Bar Kokhba accessed November 6, 2013.
  86. ^ Layne, J. Allmusic Review: The Circle Maker accessed November 6, 2013.
  87. ^ Jurek, T. Allmusic Review: Filmworks XI: Secret Lives accessed November 6, 2013.
  88. ^ Westergaard, S. Allmusic Review: 50th Birthday Celebration Volume 1 accessed November 6, 2013.
  89. ^ "Azazel – Book of Angels, Vol. 2 – John Zorn | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
  90. ^ "Haborym (Masada Book 2: Book of Angels, Vol. 16) – Masada, Masada String Trio, John Zorn | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
  91. ^ Fordham, J. John Zorn, The Guardian, July 22, 2003.
  92. ^ a b Ratliff, B. A Most Prolific Composer Opens His Book of Angels, NY Times, September 12, 2006.
  93. ^ Gilbert, A Music on the Edge San Francisco Chronicle, May 29, 2005.
  94. ^ Wolk, D. "Pat Metheny Mingles in the Weird World of John Zorn", MTVHive.com, May 29, 2013.
  95. ^ Ratliff, B. Barricades to Storm, Whether or Not Any Guards Were on Them, NY Times, March 13, 2007.
  96. ^ a b Milkowski, B. John Zorn: The Working Man Archived 2009-04-26 at the Wayback Machine, Jazz Times, May 2009.
  97. ^ Chinen, N. "Exploring the Topography of John Zorn's Continent", nytimes.com, February 19, 2010.
  98. ^ "John Zorn Introduces His Third Book of Masada Compositions – JazzTimes". JazzTimes. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  99. ^ "Welcome to Tzadik". Tzadik.com.
  100. ^ Chinen, N. "Twangy Tones and Vibes in a Fistful of Nostalgia", nytimes.com, March 3, 2008.
  101. ^ Jurek. T. Allmusic Review: O'o, accessed November 26, 2013
  102. ^ Allmusic entry: Ipos: Book of Angels Volume 14; accessed November 26, 2013
  103. ^ "A Dreamers Christmas – John Zorn, The Dreamers | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
  104. ^ "Avant". Discogs.com.
  105. ^ "Welcome to Tzadik". Tzadik.com.
  106. ^ "Heung-Heung Chin: The Awakening of the Empyrean Dominion at The Proposition". March 7, 2008. Archived from the original on March 7, 2008.
  107. ^ Sisaro B Avant-Garde Music Loses a Lower Manhattan Home, NY Times, March 31, 2007.
  108. ^ Chinen N Requiem for a Club: Saxophone and Sighs, NY Times, April 16, 2007.
  109. ^ Romano, T. Dead Again, Village Voice, April 3, 2007.
  110. ^ Ratliff B For Jazz Musicians and Fans, a (Tiny) Room of Their Own, NY Times, April 5, 2005
  111. ^ Fitzell, S.P. The Stone: John Zorn's Latest Downtown Venture, All About Jazz, April 7, 2005.
  112. ^ Eisinger, D. W. Altered Zones Artist Profilë: John Zorn Archived 2013-12-04 at the Wayback Machine, accessed November 25, 2013.
  113. ^ "Welcome to Tzadik". Tzadik.com.
  114. ^ Chinen, N. The Stone Announces Its End Date, NY Times, December 27, 2016
  115. ^ Woolfe, Z. The Stone, an Influential Music Space, to Move to the New School, NY Times, March 1, 2017
  116. ^ Russonello, G. John Zorn's Club the Stone Begins a New Life on the Other Side of Town, NY Times, February 27, 2018
  117. ^ Pareles J 40 Years of Restless Music NY Times, September 3, 1993
  118. ^ Price, E & Roussel, P Zornfest pages at WNUR at www.wnur.org Archived October 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  119. ^ Ratliff, B. Fluttering Rat-a-tats to Celebrate a Birthday, NY Times, September 9, 2003.
  120. ^ Zorn, J. (2003) 50th Birthday Celebration program
  121. ^ Davis, F. Overcoming Irony, John Zorn Goes for the Heart, Not for the Easy Kill, Village Voice, March 23, 2004
  122. ^ Sisario, B. Lionized, but Restless as Ever, NY Times, July 10, 2013.
  123. ^ Schell, J. If You Don't Catch It, It's Gone: Zorn @ 60, Walker Art Centre Green Room, April 10, 2013
  124. ^ "MoMA Events". Archived from the original on 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2013-10-07.
  125. ^ Smith, S. Under Installation, Vocal Colors, NY Times, June 24, 2013.
  126. ^ Kilbey, P. How it's done: John Zorn celebrates his 60th birthday at the Barbican, Bachtrack, July 16, 2013
  127. ^ Terrie, S. Gent Jazz 2013: John Zorn at 60, DeMening, July 14, 2013
  128. ^ "John Zorn na Warsaw Summer Jazz Days 2013". Jazzarium.pl.
  129. ^ Zorn@60 at Warsaw Summer Jazz Days 2013, (Free) Jazz Alchemist, July 9, 2013
  130. ^ "moers festival 2018". Moers-festival.de.
  131. ^ Weir, B. Review: San Sebastian Jazz Festival Archived 2013-11-02 at the Wayback Machine, Jazz Journal, accessed October 7, 2013
  132. ^ Woodard, J. Avant-Garde Artists Thrive Annually at Victoriaville Archived 2013-11-02 at the Wayback Machine, Down Beat, September 27, 2013
  133. ^ Sahr, D. Waving a Wand: The Magic of John Zorn's Quartets, Seen and Heard International website, August 1, 2013
  134. ^ Schweitzer, It's His Party, He Can Play With Elbows if He Wants, NY Times, July 19, 2013.
  135. ^ Pareles, J. A Fraction of a Repertory Is Enough for a Celebration of Productivity, NY Times, September 16, 2013.
  136. ^ Watch John Zorn and Mike Patton Terrorize the Met Museum for 11 Hours... in 77 Seconds!, Christopher R. Weingarten Spin, September 30, 2013
  137. ^ Smith, S. A Stage Buckling With New-Music Luminaries Has Space for Orchestral Scores, NY Times, September 26, 2013.
  138. ^ Smith, S. Surrounding Art With the Sounds of 60, NY Times, October 2, 2013.
  139. ^ HC John Zorn + Ryuichi Sakamoto, PopMatters, October 6, 2013
  140. ^ Reich, H. Celebrating John Zorn's 60th, with plenty of ICE, Chicago Tribune, October 24, 2013
  141. ^ McBeath, J. Zorn and co display dazzling versatility, The Australian, March 13, 2014
  142. ^ Whittington, S. Adelaide Festival review 2014: Zorn in Oz – Zorn@60, The Advertiser, March 16, 2014
  143. ^ Zorn. J. (editor) Arcana: Musicians on Music, Hips Road: New York (2000) (ISBN 1-887123-27-X)
  144. ^ Zorn. J. (editor) Arcana II: Musicians on Music, Hips Road: New York (2007) (ISBN 0-9788337-6-7)
  145. ^ Merkin Concert Hall Composer John Zorn to Present Chimeras at Merkin Concert Hall, press release, May 8, 2002 Archived February 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  146. ^ Lee, FR This Years MacArthur Awards Cover Many Fields NY Times, September 19, 2006
  147. ^ "2006 Overview – MacArthur Foundation". Archived from the original on September 28, 2006.
  148. ^ Columbia News (2007) Composer John Zorn Garners William Schuman Award, March 2007
  149. ^ University of Ghent Hogeschool website accessed August 31, 2011 Archived October 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  150. ^ The Music of John Zorn: A 35-Year Retrospective, New England Conservatory, accessed August 1, 2016
  151. ^ NEC Honorary Doctor of Music, New England Conservatory, accessed August 1, 2016
  152. ^ Purchase College 2014 Commencement Celebrates Creativity and Achievement, SUNY, accessed August 1, 2016
  153. ^ Cf. website of filmmaker Henry Hills. Retrieved June 16, 2013 Archived October 10, 2013, at the Wayback Machine