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COBRA

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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Cobra biography
Like many of John Zorn's works, ''Cobra'' (first performed in 1984) is a semi-improvisatory piece that draws its structure and substance from an elaborate set of rules rather than from a score. To direct the work, Mr. Zorn held up cards bearing symbols. Cobra is probably the most celebrated of John Zorn's 'game' pieces. Zorn guides a large and diverse improvising ensemble via cards indicating style, speed of delivery and so on, thereby getting a credit as 'prompter?. This kind of directed improvisation has its roots in the work of John Cage and Stockhausen, but Zorn's aesthetic is different. Where Cage distrusted improvisation and Stockhausen shrouded it in mysticism, Zorn seeks to have fun with it and to draw out the individuality of the players involved.

One of the most often performed compositions in new music, the Cobra phenomenon lives on into the 21st Century with continuous monthly performances in Japan, Europe, Australia and the United States. Some Cobra performances are recorded on albums.


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Buy COBRA Music


CobraCobra
Soundtrack
Sbme Special Mkts. 1999
Audio CD$2.74
$2.23 (used)
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3h 40m
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4h 11m
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Paramore/Cobra Starship/The Academy Is/Gym Class Heroes 5x 7" Box Set Sealed US $99.99 Buy It Now 5h 42m
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The Lost Years by King Cobra/King Kobra (CD, Jun-1999, Cleopatra) US $2.99 [0 bids]
6h 33m
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Sinead O'Connor - The Lion and the Cobra CD 1987 - Combined Ship Avail US $2.00 [0 bids]
7h 25m
Sinead O'Connor - The Lion And The Cobra (CD Ensign Chrysalis 1987 CCD 1612) US $3.99 [0 bids]
7h 29m
"Waking The Cobra" Vocal Meditations On The Chakras / Baird Hersey New Age Cd US $7.99 [0 bids]
7h 45m
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The Rip Chords Hey Little Cobra LP Orig. Press Mono CL2151 Ex. Condition RARE US $6.99 [0 bids]
8h 19m
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10h 31m
FACTORY Black Stamp original 1977 French hard rock lp on Cobra prog Heldon US $17.99 [0 bids]
11h 10m
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13h 27m
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15h 7m
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Cobra Skulls - Bringing The War Home CD US $11.14 Buy It Now 16h 52m
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Black Cobra - Invernal CD US $16.09 Buy It Now 16h 56m
Rocky Votolato - Suicide Medicine CD SECOND NATURE/COBRA US $14.17 Buy It Now 16h 57m
The Pills Jetpack Split 7" punk garage Cobra Sect w/ insert US $2.99 [0 bids]
17h
Thorcraft Cobra - Count It In CD US $17.80 Buy It Now 17h 5m
Cobra Skulls - Agitations Vinyl Record LP US $15.60 Buy It Now 17h 22m
SINEAD O'CONNOR The Lion & The Cobra Recycled LP Album Record Bowl (1987) US $9.99 Buy It Now 18h 25m
Cobra - Cobra - japan CDR US $40.72 Buy It Now 18h 25m
Calypso 45 LORD COBRA Y LOS PANA AFROS Crook Salesman PADISCO HEAR panama US $8.00 [0 bids]
18h 28m
12" Dance Reggae MAD COBRA Flex - Yes Or No NM EB512 US $11.99 Buy It Now 18h 39m

More places to buy COBRA music online Buy COBRA & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
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COBRA shows & tickets


  • Keep It True XVIII on 24 Apr 2015

COBRA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

COBRA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.25 | 3 ratings
Cobra
1987
2.67 | 3 ratings
Cobra (John Zorn's Game Pieces Volume 2)
2002

COBRA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
John Zorn's Cobra Live At The Knitting Factory
1995
2.50 | 2 ratings
John Zorn's Cobra: Tokyo Operations '94
1995

COBRA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

COBRA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

COBRA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

COBRA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cobra by COBRA album cover Studio Album, 1987
2.25 | 3 ratings

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Cobra
Cobra RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Apsalar

2 stars This is the last of John Zorn's 'games pieces', and just like his earlier attempts using this method, the results are less than successful. On Cobra Zorn steps back from a performing role and slips into the "prompter" persona. He has neither notated nor indicated a score, instead guiding an improvising ensemble via cards indicating style, speed of delivery, et cetera. Cobra's aleatory element leaves the results wide open for success or failure.

Released on HatHut's Hatology Cobra contains two discs, one studio, one live. Utilizing the aforementioned techniques the results of each disc is varied, with neither piece sounding alike. The freedom of interpretation leaves room for a wide variety of genres to be explored, not dissimilar to the mashing found in albums like 'Naked City', but with less coherency. Each piece spontaneously unfolds beneath a veil of dissonance, at times hint towards interesting music, but general these are just fleeting glimpses quickly petering out. The live disc is the more successful of the two interpretations. In the studio the ensemble feels weighed down by an awkward restraint, while the live disc the tension abates resulting in a semblance of harmony.

If your a fan of Zorn and wish to hear one of the games pieces I'd drop this one and pick up Archery, not fantastic but a little more successful than Cobra. For me, I sold the disc some time ago, and have not regretted it.

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