Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet

JazzTimes has an interview with saxophonist, arranger, composer, John Zorn, who comes off as less a jazz man than some minor god or at least an angel of music pretending to be a jazz man. According to the article, Zorn records five to ten discs a year. He doesn't own a TV. At that rate, a listener would have to give up anything but Zorn just to get a handle on Zorn.

Most of Zorn's music, from my brief sampling, is way too far over the rainbow for my ear. I certainly like the themes: film noir to Jewish culture and history. But unfortunately, I own a TV. One of the "Zorn essentials" featured in a sidebar did catch my ear.

In 1986 he recorded Voodoo, a tribute to Sonny Clark. Wayne Horvitz plays piano, Ray Drummond is on bass, and Bobby Previte on drums. There is a little boundary stretching on the title cut, but it's mostly solid hard bop translated into contemporary jazz textures, with a lot of avante garde side streets. This is a great recording to slide into your stacks next to Sonny Clark's Cool Struttin' (see my review of this disc).

Here is the first cut. I especially like the way Zorn rolls over the piano.
Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet/Cool Struttin'/Voodoo

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