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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


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snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One strong release between many coming from John Zorn in 2010. Zorn's music for contemporary jazz band (same acoustic trio,led by excellent pianist Rob Burger, as on Nobleprize Winner, supported by drummer, Harp player and great electric guitarist Marc Ribot).

Music is very modern and classical at the same time - sentimental, melodic and very soulful mix of modern jazz, some classic roots (not too much) and usual Zorn's old films's soundtrack themes.

Comparing with same year's release, Nobleprize Winner recorded by Burger's led trio, this album has stronger jazz-rock element (mostly because of drummer and electric guitar). Some nostalgic vintage jazzy themes are played on more modern manner , framed by fusion drums and even some electric guitars soloing.

Melodies are beautiful,nostalgic,rooted in some Eastern European soul and sadness at the same time, with light touches of usual Zorn's klezmer (but very deep under the skin).

Album, quite similar musically to Nobleprize Winner - if you like one of them, you will obviously will be happy with the other. The Goddess is better choice for for fans of fusion and more rock-oriented sound though. Not very often easy accessible release from John Zorn, and I afraid some could be slightly disappointed by its easy listening moments.

Not the best, but still strong Zorn-related release of 2010. The one for contemporary jazz and pleasant listening lovers. No even traces of avant/experimentation could be found though.

My rating is 3,5 rounded to 4.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#305528)
Posted Tuesday, October 19, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars My first exposure to JOHN ZORN! Beautiful, hypnotic music which, at times, slides a bit into more of a background/easy listening experience (especially "Heptameron" and "Ode to Delphi"). I don't begrudge the musicians or composer the the sophistication of the music; I find myself feeling as I do while listening to LALLE LARSSON's "Infinity of Worlds" or DAVID MINASIAN's "Random Acts of Beauty:" lulled into a beautiful, peaceful state of enjoyment. Favorite songs include "Enchantress" for its FRED FRITH feel/sound, "Ishtar" for its changes in pace and chord progressions, and "White Magick" for its MAGMA/COLTRANE feel. Overall this album is not quite fresh, challenging, or complicated enough to garner my high praise, but it is a nice album to have in one's collection--especially in that nothing on it is jading or offensive; all of it is pleasant. 3.5 stars marked up for the composer's prolificity.

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Send comments to BrufordFreak (BETA) | Report this review (#383335)
Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2011 | Review Permalink
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.

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Send comments to Anthony H. (BETA) | Report this review (#596425)
Posted Monday, December 26, 2011 | Review Permalink

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