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John Zorn


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John Zorn Nova Express album cover
3.19 | 7 ratings | 1 reviews | 29% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2011

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Chemical Garden
2. Port of Saints
3. Rain Flowers
4. The Outer Half
5. Dead Fingers Talk
6. The Ticket that Exploded
7. Blue Veil
8. IC 2118
9. Lost Words
10. Between Two Worlds

Total Time 46:20

Line-up / Musicians

Joey Baron: Drums
Trevor Dunn: Bass
John Medeski: Piano
Kenny Wollesen: Vibes

Releases information

Cat. # 7389

Thanks to mezzanotte for the addition
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JOHN ZORN Nova Express ratings distribution

(7 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JOHN ZORN Nova Express reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars With every new John Zorn release you never know what to expect from it. Last year (2010) was extremely productive for John with more than 10 albums released by him or related projects.Covering wide range of genres, Zorn's some last year's works almost all are of great quality.

First some months of 2011 weren't so fruitful for Zorn, so I really waited for this album trying to expect what kind of music will be presented on his new release.

So - here it is,new Zorn's album with 10 Zorn's composed almost neo-classical compositions on it played by excellent modern jazz quartet. As often Zorn doesn't play on the album himself, but all musicians are his old collaborators and highest class NY downtown artists,including pianist John Medeski (of MM & W), bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr.Bungle, Secret Chiefs 3 and Fantômas between others), Kenny Wollesen on vibes (John Patton, Rickie Lee Jones,Bill Frisell, Bar Kokhba,etc)and drummer Joey Baron ( Bill Frisell, Stan Getz, Steve Kuhn,etc).

Musically Zorn returns to modern composition, combining well structured pre-composed complex neo-classical avant-garde pieces with crafty but limited jazzy improvisation. Rhythm section is excellent but piano and vibes both are obviously leading instruments. Quite unusually for Zorn's compositions in general music there on this album isn't noisy or chaotic at all,but reminds the sound of cleverly engineered and perfectly assembled expensive German car's engine. Or Frankfurt airport's sterile huge half-empty waiting halls with lot of lights. Fortunately, there are some warmer tunes and some improvs here and there,and these small attributes make the music much more attractive. Everyone familiar with Zorn's music knows he is far not only great musician and composer, he is great manager and constructor and he perfectly knows how to mix his every next new brew.

Possibly not the album for fans of Zorn's noisy free-jazz madness or melancholic and almost dance-able klezmer-jazz's beauty, but really good work for modern avant-garde flavored third stream.

My rating is 3+

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