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John Zorn - 50th Birthday Celebration Volume 2: Milford Graves / John Zorn CD (album) cover

50TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION VOLUME 2: MILFORD GRAVES / JOHN ZORN

John Zorn

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.86 | 2 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Milford Graves/John Zorn: 50th Birthday Celebration Volume 2 [2004]

Rating: 9/10

As the title indicates, this is the second volume in John Zorn's 50th Birthday Celebration series. This series consists of twelve concerts performed over a fairly short period. Each of these shows represents different aspects of Zorn's diverse musical personality: string trio compositions, ethic jazz, jazz-fusion, grindcore, and other flat-out avant-garde madness. In the case of this second volume, Zorn has teamed up with pioneering avant-jazz drummer Milford Graves for an hour of improvisatory insanity. Graves's Wikipedia article describes how he helped to "liberate percussion from its timekeeping role." This is a perfect description of this man's drumming style. His playing is absolutely chaotic and frenzied. When combined with Zorn's equally chaotic and frenzied saxophone blaring, a delicious avant-garde concoction is created.

This album is a perfect example of good free-jazz. It's hectic, it's hyperactive, it's hysterical. It's insane. However, there is an underlying musical sense behind each of these improvised pieces. Both Zorn and Graves are using their instruments in the most unconventional ways imaginable, but they both manage to make it sound completely natural. They play off each other uncannily well, to the point where the musical style is the only thing giving away the fact that this is improv. This is a fantastic avant-garde jazz album that no fan of the genre should overlook. It is truly exciting to listen to these two musical minds come together.

Anthony H. | 5/5 |

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