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John Zorn


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John Zorn Music For Children album cover
2.05 | 6 ratings | 2 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1998

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Fils Des Etoiles (2:16)
2. This Way Out (1:10)
3. Music For Children (14:17)
4. Bikini Atoll (0:46)
5. Bone Crusher (0:38)
6. Dreamer Of Dreams (5:48)
7. Cycles Du Nord (20:54)
8. Sooki's Lullaby (3:17)

Total Time: 49:11


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- David Abel / violin (3)
- Cyro Baptista / percussion, vocals (1)
- Greg Cohen / bass (6)
- Anthony Coleman / celeste (1), celeste music box (8)
- Erik Friedlander / cello (6)
- Jeff Hudgins / alto sax (2, 5)
- Dane Johnson / guitar (2, 5)
- Alex Lacamoire / keyboards (2, 5)
- Marc Ribot / guitar (6)
- Andy Sanesi / drums (2, 5)
- Julie Steinberg / piano (3)
- Mason Wendell / bass, vocals (2, 5)
- William Winant / percussion (3)
- John Zorn / alto sax (5), three wind machines and two acoustic feedback systems (7)

Releases information

CD Tzadik (TZ 7321),

Tracks 1, 6, 7, 8 recorded at Avatar, New York City in April and August 1998.
Tracks 2, 4, 5 recorded at BC Studios, Brooklyn in March 1998.
Track 3 recorded at Mills College in June 1998.

Thanks to silentman for the addition
and to Anthony H. for the last updates
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Buy JOHN ZORN Music For Children Music

Music for ChildrenMusic for Children
Tzadik 1998
Audio CD$11.08
$5.04 (used)
Music for Children by ZORN,JOHN (1998-10-20)Music for Children by ZORN,JOHN (1998-10-20)
Audio CD$41.12
Music Romance, Vol.1; Music for ChildrenMusic Romance, Vol.1; Music for Children
Audio CD$69.22
$9.99 (used)
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JOHN ZORN Music For Children ratings distribution

(6 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(17%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (17%)
Poor. Only for completionists (33%)

JOHN ZORN Music For Children reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars You don't need to have children to realize this release possibly doesn't contain music of such kind even from album's cover. It's good, because cover art doesn't lie.

There is not too much music for romance as well - John has his own sense of humour and his own deep and dark vision what is the world around us. This album is very eclectic collection of his sketches, and too often you must be brave in heart to listen it.

The opener "Fils Des Etoiles" is light soundtrack for German fairy tale from 19-s century, airy sound of celesta and percussion with some accidental voices, some Eastern tunes under the skin and deep feeling that this fairy tale wouldn't has happy end.

Second composition " This Way Out" with Jeff Hudgins (not Zorn) on sax is just slightly modernised bop piece. Good prelude to " Music For Children". This 14+ minutes long composition for piano,violin and percussion is classic example of contemporary avantgarde. Free form minimalist composition with very non-childish dark emptiness and thriller's soundtrack atmosphere.As compensation for those survived listening previous song short (o:46) " Bikini Atoll" - noisy explosion in Naked City tradition. Right after - another ,even shorter (0:36) , Naked City's song - "Bone Crusher". Both previous compositions don't work as lullabies for your children, believe me.

"Dreamer Of Dreams" is beautiful, a bit melancholic tune from old Western,played by one of the best Zorn's formed trio: Greg Cohen on bass, Erik Friedlander on cello and excellent avant-guitarist Marc Ribot . Don't relax too much though - next composition is most serious test for you on this album. John Zorn's solo song "Cycles Du Nord" - 20:54 long piece of ... sounds, played by John using three Wind Machines and Two Acoustic Feedback Systems only! If you ever heard Hemophiliac's recordings, or are fan of Ikue Mori, you can imagine what this piece is about.

Final album's composition "SooKi's Lullaby" is dark and beautiful fairy tail's melody ,similar as on opener, played by Anthony Coleman (using Celeste Music Box). Story is over and I am not sure if children fell asleep...

Far not the most accessible Zorn's album, nice one for fans, and not the best entry place for newcomers.

And - don't buy it for your children...


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Review by Anthony H.
1 stars John Zorn: Music for Children [1998]

Rating: 2/10

Keep your children away.

Music for Children is the first album in John Zorn's Music Romance series. One does not exactly have to be a John Zorn scholar to know that a Zorn album entitled Music for Children has absolutely nothing to do with the auditory entertainment of the prepubescent. In fact, an album with such a title is quite likely to repel children, as well as anybody with a delicate constitution. I knew this before I listened, but I must admit that even I was surprised at the level of unpleasantness that this album reaches. It is a very eclectic piece of work that covers various different genres such as jazzcore, exotica, contemporary classical, and ambient. It plays like a sampler of Zorn's different avant-garde styles. Thus, this album is difficult to judge because it has no stylistic constancy. I figured the most reasonable way to evaluate it would be to factor the styles given the most running time as the most important arbiters of the album's overall quality. The album dedicates about a fifth of its time to enjoyable music; the rest is devoted to utter wretchedness.

The album opens with "Fils Des Etoiles." This is a short xylophone piece. It's not terrible, but it isn't special, either. "This Way Out" is a short burst of super-speed longue jazz. It's good, but unfortunately only a minute long. The fourteen-minute title track is one of Zorn's most useless chamber-music pieces. It's nothing but haphazard strings with no musical direction whatsoever. After two brief bursts of jazzcore ("Bikini Atoll" and "Bone Crusher"), we get a complete sonic shift with "Dreamer of Dreams." This track is the definite highlight of the album. It's a slow-paced exotica piece, with plodding bass and excellent guitar. This good track is quickly dashed to hell, however, by the twenty-minute "Cycle Du Nord." This track is one of the worst things I've ever heard. It features twenty minutes of sound from wind machines and "acoustic feedback systems." I don't have any idea what an "acoustic feedback system" is, but I can assure you that the noises it makes are just as unpleasant as you can imagine. This wretched beeping is combined with horrifically shrill wind whistling. The result is one of the most absurdly intolerable musical experiences I've ever subjected myself to. I can say with almost absolute certainly that I will never listen to this piece again. The album closes with "Sooki's Lullaby." This is a short musical-box piece. It's unobjectionable, but it's also entirely unmemorable.

I was initially hesitant to give Music for Children a one-star rating. Not all the songs are bad; in fact, "Cycle Du Nord" is the only one that's absolutely terrible. However, the fact that that utterly horrendous track takes up almost half of the album's length tips my rating in favor of the extremely negative. While the other music on the album isn't nearly as bad, it's certainly not good enough to save the record from the interminable awfulness of that track. This "avant-garde for the sake of avant-garde" approach grows immensely tiresome. I find to it to be an incredibly immature way to approach musical composition. I could turn a fan on and record it for 45 minutes. Does that make it musical? No. This album is best avoided.


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