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John Zorn - The Goddess - Music for the Ancient of Days CD (album) cover

THE GODDESS - MUSIC FOR THE ANCIENT OF DAYS

John Zorn

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.03 | 12 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
4 stars John Zorn: The Goddess - Music for the Ancient of Days [2010]

Rating: 7/10

The Goddess - Music for the Ancient of Days is the third installment in a series of melodic jazz albums from American composer John Zorn. Predecessors Alhambra Love Songs and In Search of the Miraculous showed Zorn gravitating in a musical direction that could not be more different from his normal style of insane avant-garde dissonance. Instead, these albums are almost entirely pedestrian; they are quiet and melodic pieces of work that even the conventional music fan could enjoy. Zorn does not sacrifice intelligence in exchange for accessibility, however; in fact, I consider his melodic jazz albums to be some of the best work he has ever done. The Goddess is yet another addition to this fine collection. Ethereal harp, gorgeous piano, and soft guitar combine to create a wonderful collection of mellow contemporary jazz tunes.

"Enchantress" is an incredible opening track. Each musician brightly shines here, and the whole piece has an irresistible groove. "Ishtar" wonderfully combines light piano and vibes with celestial harp. "Heptameron" features an unforgettable guitar solo from the venerable Marc Ribot. "White Magick" begins slowly and softy, gradually building into a fast-paced tour-de-force. "Drawing Down the Moon" is a very light piece that borders on ambient territory at points. The 12-minute "Beyond the Infinite" is a sprawling jazz piece with multiple amazing solo sections. "Ode to Delphi" ends the album with more nice melodic instrumentation.

This is yet another excellent addition to Zorn's contemporary-jazz catalogue. All of these tracks are engaging both on a technical and a compositional level. Unfortunately, however, these 47 minutes begin to feel a bit homogenous during the latter half. The mellow atmosphere would have benefited from occasional shifts in tone. Regardless, this is still a fantastic album that almost any music fan should be able to enjoy. Zorn truly does have a well-developed melodic side.

Anthony H. | 4/5 |

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