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John Zorn - Spillane CD (album) cover

SPILLANE

John Zorn

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.72 | 15 ratings

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snobb
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Spillane is John Zorn's tribute to Mickey Spillane, American thriller writer ( I think almost everyone know TV serial about private detective Mike Hammer, based on his book). The album is one between few Zorn's first "movie" albums, and one of popular as well.

Whenever there are at least three great reviews on PA , I just will try to concentrate on my impressions.

There are two long compositions on this album. The first one is longest (25+ minutes) and is named by the album name. The composition has a bit unusual structure ( but quite characteristic for Zorn's music): short musical pieces were recorded on what is named "cards", and after John just combined these cards in order it looked best to him. Whenever the music on each card was very different - from free jazz, to 60-s movie soundtrack sound, to some bluesy and classic pieces, to avant-garde sounds, - all combination presents very eclectic mix, but organically melted in one composition. Big importance in this mixture is given to some spoken words (as movie fragments, in English and even in Russian - as short citation from Soviet propaganda-style movie) and many different movie-like noises. So, even if not all pieces are equally attractive, you wouldn't be bored.

Three other, shorter, album compositions are more usual, but again, in quite Zorn- ish style. Two-Lane Highway ( part I and II) both are excellent electric blues based compositions ,played by renowned blues guitarist Albert Collins. Zorn by himself (as often) doesn't play there at all, but are more idea author and manager. Both songs , even if based on bluesy roots, sounds enough fresh and attractive ( and are real gem for electric blues lovers). Not too much experimental, to be honest.

Last, fourth song, is longer composition again. It is pure avant-garde track based on strings cacophony, very nervous sound and occasional vocals in Japanese. Even if strange construction, this song build a logical frame for two bluesy compositions, placed between two much more unusual songs.

Everything in total build a strange, unusual, but very close to everyone musical "movie world" of Zorn, which he will develop in many more his later works.

Not masterpiece, but interesting and strong Zorn's album.

snobb | 4/5 |

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