Thursday, February 09, 2006

John Zorn - Filmworks XVII (Tzadik, 2006)

John Zorn seems destined to approach one of his idols, Ennio Morricone, in the arena of prolific composers for film. On this, the seventeenth volume of music written for the screen, Zorn combines the soundtrack work from two films to come up with an interesting and diverse mix of music. "Menken" comes from the soundtrack of a documentary about an avant-garde filmmaker, and the music is performed by the guitar, bass and drums trio Rashanim and providing some haunting acoustic guitar and brushwork. "Skull" is from a much different film, a documentary about a skull collector (!) and the music has a dry, percussive feel with Cyro Baptista playing a variety of instruments. Zorn himself finally jumps in as something besides a composer with the appropriately titled "Gogogo" where he wakes everybody up with a blast of Ornette Coleman inspired alto saxophone and then takes things way out with an intense, scream filled solo. It's tough for people to keep up with Zorn's always growing discography but someone looking for an introduction into his film music techniques may find this to be a solid choice.

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