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John Zorn Madness, Love And Mysticism album cover
3.56 | 8 ratings | 3 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Le Mômo (16:21)
2. Untitled (15:27)
3. Amour Fou (20:14)

Total Time 52:02


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Jennifer Choi / violin
Erik Friedlander / cello
Stephen Drury / piano

Releases information

Tzadik # 7065

Track 1 recorded 10th December 2000 at The Studio, Boston. Track 2 recorded 9th February 2001 at Avatar, NYC. Track 3 recorded 27th November 2000 at Avatar, NYC. Edited and mastered at Foothill Digital, NYC.

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Madness, Love and MysticismMadness, Love and Mysticism
Tzadik 2001
Audio CD$10.50
$10.65 (used)

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JOHN ZORN Madness, Love And Mysticism ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(62%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (25%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JOHN ZORN Madness, Love And Mysticism reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars There always exists the same problem with any John Zorn album as it existed few decades ago with Frank Zappa works (at least, for me). You just never know, what will you find on it. Some people hate it, but I like this feeling of unpredictability. What doesn't mean you will always win. You just must be always ready for surprise (bad or good).

Madness, Love and Mysticism could be a big surprise for unprepared listener. And, trying to be as correct as possible, I am not sure it will be a pleasant surprise in all cases.

Than, looking from the position of listener, bored to death with myriads of metal clones, neo-clones, post-rock clones, etc all around, I can say this album is great! No, it is not kind of music you are listening laying under the sun during Mediterranean holiday, and not your brutal dose of adrenalin, making a street fighter (or Che Guevara) from naturally pleasant and clever person.

The music there is chamber acoustic trio (without John Zorn as musician) , playing neo- classical music with touches of avant-garde and usual Zorn's ability to make very complex things more accessible.

Only three long (15-20 minutes long) compositions, with excellent acoustic sound of piano, cello and violin. If you want to love this music, you must try. But if you will try, this work will help you to love it! Very free-form, rhythm less and without any accessories, which could attract listener, all three compositions sound surprisingly attractive.

Great album for music lovers, searching for clever and different works (and without fear to classical music). All others possibly should avoid this album for miles.


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Review by Anthony H.
3 stars John Zorn: Madness, Love, and Mysticism [2001]

Rating: 6/10

Madness, Love, and Mysticism is yet another album of contemporary chamber music by the illustrious John Zorn. During the late 90s, Zorn had been adding increasing amounts of pomp and bombast to his classical releases. Most of his earlier work was focused within the realm of subtle small-scale chamber music, but those years showed him gradually gravitating towards full-blown orchestral arrangements. This could have been a result of increased financial independence, or it could have been a purely artistic choice; I don't know. What I do know, however, is that Zorn's music doesn't work as well within the context of large orchestral ensembles. Thus, I immediately had high hopes for Madness, Love, and Mysticism due to the fact that it features only three musicians. My hopes were not misplaced, because this has been one of the most satisfying classical Zorn albums that I've come across so far. It features of some his greatest chamber music. However, it also features some sub-par material that brings the album down.

"Le Momo" is one of Zorn's strongest classical compositions. It's a duet with absolutely insane musicianship from pianist Steven Drury and violinist Jennifer Choi. This has to be some of the best piano playing I've ever heard. Although this is a very chaotic piece, there is a sense of continuity that ties the two instrumental parts together. The untitled second piece is a bit of a step down, but not by too much. This is a solo cello piece performed by Zorn veteran Erik Friedlander. It's a good track, but it's a bit inconsistent; I feel like a few minutes could have been trimmed off of its 15-minute run-time. The 20-minute "Amour Fou" is the piece that really brings the album down. This piano/cello/violin trio composition falls victim to the overzealous avant-grade tendencies that so often plague Zorn's classical works. This is upsetting, because there are moments here that are quite enjoyable. Unfortunately, they are bogged down by needlessly directionless passages.

I was intensely debating with myself about giving Madness, Love, and Mysticism a rating of a 6 or a 7. I went with a 6 in the end because I feel that this album could have been so much better. There is a distinct atmosphere to all of these pieces, and the musicianship is nothing short of incredible (especially from Steven Drury). However, these 52 minutes contain too many unnecessary bits of flotsam to allow for all-out excellence. This is a very good slab of avant-garde classical music, but it could have been so much more. Regardless, I would still recommend it to fans of avant-garde music, as well as to piano aficionados. Tread lightly, however.


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Latest members reviews

4 stars Rating: A- John Zorn has done it all, from surf rock to klezmer to metal to free jazz to classical to noise. In every area, he has excelled, producing a litany of amazing CDs over his long career. While critics often accuse him of merely "dabbling" in classical music, Madness, Love, and Mysti ... (read more)

Report this review (#163481) | Posted by Pnoom! | Saturday, March 08, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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