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John Zorn - The Bribe - Variations And Extensions On Spillane CD (album) cover

THE BRIBE - VARIATIONS AND EXTENSIONS ON SPILLANE

John Zorn

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.55 | 6 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An interesting album that is more or less a continuation of the Zorn album Spillane (hence the album covers are similar and the subtitle of the album is Variations on Spillane). Anywho, this album takes the overall feel of the film-noir jazz epic that dominated said album and expands it into various atmospheres and textures. While not borrowing any music from the piece Spillane, one can definitely hear the various similarities with the album as a whole and the title track of Spillane.

If I were to choose highlight pieces, they would probably have to be the various recurrences of Gill's Theme throughout the entire album. This moody, gritty little ditty of acoustic bass and light piano melodies really sets a tone for nearly the entire album, since this motif is repeated at various points throughout. Other favorites of mine include the 11 minute Dreams of the Red Chamber, which invokes images of medieval Japan and broods about creating a tense but powerful atmosphere; the other favorite of mine is Strip Central. This piece is filled with raunchy yet subtle guitar lines that have a surf-guitar sound (a la Dick Dale) and create a vibrant atmosphere that can be only described as the song title suggests, like you were in the Red Light District of some city.

In the end, The Bribe is essential to those who enjoyed Spillane, as it takes everything Spillane had to offer, tweaks and expands upon it, and makes it ultimately something worthwhile to listen to. It may not be the best starting point for John Zorn, but once you've delved into his jazzier and easier works, this will be a piece of cake and a fulfilling listen. Highly recommended.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |

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