Sunday, August 03, 2014

Zion80 - Adramelech: Book of Angels 22 (Tzadik, 2014)

Led by guitarist Jon Madof (podcast) Zion80 is a large band that covers a wide range of music, but have really come into their own on this album. Using compositions from John Zorn's Book of Angels songbook, the band takes the music into wild places that are ceaselessly entertaining throughout. What makes this album so interesting is the symbiosis of the compositions, arrangements, musicians and their improvisatory instincts. Tzadik's website compares the music that of the great musician and activist Fela Kuti, and the similarity is there, along with music of the middle east, and a warm summer night street party. In addition to Madof and the horns, Brian Marsella's keyboards, particularly his swirling organ is the key to the success of the music, giving a soul jazz and rhythm and blues edge to the proceedings. If you are under the impression that a lot of the albums associated with the Masada songbook are overwhelmingly sombre, this music might surprise you. The vibrancy and depth of musical color on this album shine through wonderfully and should appeal to any open-minded listener. And open a few closed-minded ones too. Well done. Adramelech: Book of Angels 22 - amazon.com

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