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John Zorn - Mount Analogue CD (album) cover


John Zorn



4.04 | 18 ratings

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4 stars I certainly feel lazy, guilty even, by adding my tiny voice to the host of others describing John Zorn's Mount Analogue as 'mysterious' ' but that's the feel the music gives me.

Setting aside the impetus of the surrealist novel of the same name, this is indeed enigmatic music. A sense of the unknown is evoked when you listen to its single track, the music pulls you along a near forty minute trip through South American jungles, rivers, mountains and caves. Or so it does when I hear it.

Once again, much has been said of the accessibility of this release, and when compared to some of Zorn's other works, it is at that. At times it's downright pleasant and soothing, beautiful. In other passages there is a sense of menace that never really gets too dark, accented by percussive thumps and at times, harsh or unsettling chanting. But there's such a lightness to the music elsewhere, whether it comes from the variety of bells or the vibes, or piano in the opening minutes, it's there. (And by 'light' I don't mean to suggest that it has no depth.)

And so what does it actually sound like? World music, definitely, jazz, certainly, the Latin and folk genres, yep and yep. Not a lot of what might be termed more traditional guitar-based prog however, but it's still progressive should you be concerned about genre. But more useful perhaps, would be to come back to that word, 'mysterious.' At times this music sounds like it would fit the discovery of a thousand-year old Temple, or maybe be played during a Shaman's dance. But just have a listen and see what you get, the music is certainly capable of suggesting other images.

On Mount Analogue John Zorn composes and has the Cyro Baptista Banquet of the Spirits quartet perform the work. Kenny Wollesen's vibes in particular play a vital role in establishing and changing mood with suddenness or subtlety as required, deserving of much credit. Perhaps the other standout for me in terms of performance, which was more of a personal favourite, was the organ. Throughout, Marsella does exactly what's needed (as he does on piano too for that matter) and I found myself seeking it out probably more often than any number of interesting percussive instruments or the strings of the oud.

In short, I loved it.

dreadpirateroberts | 4/5 |


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