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John Zorn - The Classic Guide To Strategy, Volumes One & Two CD (album) cover

THE CLASSIC GUIDE TO STRATEGY, VOLUMES ONE & TWO

John Zorn

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Anthony H.
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars John Zorn: The Classic Guide to Strategy, Volumes One & Two [1996]

Rating: 3/10

The Classic Guide to Strategy to Strategy, Volumes One & Two is a compilation of two early Zorn albums from the 80s. Like most of his early work, it consists solely of avant-garde improvisations. In this case, however, "noodling" would be a more accurate term. Unlike The Parachute Years series, which featured large lineups of musicians, these two albums feature Zorn and Zorn alone. Although he mainly sticks to the sax here, he also occasionally tackles the clarinet as well. These instrumental descriptions seem useless, though. Anybody who is even slightly familiar with this man's music knows that the saxophone wielded by Zorn is almost entirely dissimilar to the saxophone in the hands of someone else. He certainly is capable of getting melody out the instrument, but he is completely uninterested in doing so on an album like this. Instead, he uses his sax as a tool to squeak, squawk, and squeal, as well as to buzz, bleep, and blare.

The result is something full of interesting sounds, but bereft of musicality. Listening to Zorn abuse the sax is interesting - I'm mystified as to how me manages to twist the instrument into making such bizarre noises. Nevertheless, I'm unable to gleam any sort of aesthetic enjoyment from listening to these noises. I'll award this two stars out of respect, but I certainly don't plan on revisiting it any time soon.

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Posted Sunday, September 04, 2011 | Review Permalink

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