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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


First StrikeFirst Strike
Import · Remastered
Rock Candy 2008
Audio CD$10.49
$10.47 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Cobra And Phases Group Stereolab Japanese 2 CD album (Double CD) promo USD $55.05 Buy It Now 1h 20m
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Gilbert Artman Urban Sax 2 Original 1st Press Vinyl Record LP NM Cobra CO 37017 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 3h 2m
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Big Long John [Single] by Mad Cobra (CD, Jul-1996, EMI Music Distribution) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 4h 34m
Richard Pinhaus-Rhizosphere-Heldon-1977 COBRA 37005 FRANCE IMPORT-Electronic-NM USD $33.99 Buy It Now 4h 44m
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5h 26m
BRENDA & THE TABULATIONS THE SIXTEENS SPLIT 45 COBRA 9800 RARE TEEN ROCK POP USD $9.99 [0 bids]
5h 53m
Cobra Starship - Hot Mess (CD 2010) - 24HR POST!! USD $10.26 Buy It Now 6h 16m
Cobra Verde One Step Away From 7" Sub Pop Gary Panter USD $2.66 Buy It Now 6h 28m
Cobra Hits Rare More LP BLUE WAX NEW Japan Hardcore Gism KBD Execute Punk Oi! USD $12.99 Buy It Now 7h 12m
The Rip Chords "Hey Little Cobra" COLUMBIA MONO LP #CL-2151 SURF ROCK HOT ROD USD $12.88 Buy It Now 7h 12m
INVERNAL BY BLACK COBRA (CD) USD $19.75 Buy It Now 7h 14m
The Lion and the Cobra by Sin‚ad O'Connor, Sinead O'Connor (CD, Jul-1989,... USD $0.99 [0 bids]
7h 18m
Stereolab Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Mi... UK CD USD $11.73 Buy It Now 8h 27m
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MAD COBRA, It's So Good, Computer Paul, ANNEX 7" DANCEHALL USD $3.30 Buy It Now 10h 18m
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12h 26m
Cobra - Playaz In Paradise * 1997 * Oakland * RARE * OOP USD $50.00 Buy It Now 12h 53m
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COBRA STARSHIP While The City Sleeps, We Rule The Streets CD (2006) USD $1.25 Buy It Now 13h 43m
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15h 28m
John Zorn Cobra (Dbl CD, Sep-2002, Hatology) Bill Frisell Wayne Horvitz sealed USD $18.98 Buy It Now 16h
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cobra 12" : PAT KELLY & KING SIGHTA-little boy blue (hear) USD $22.00 Buy It Now 19h 55m
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Sinead O'Connor - The Lion and the Cobra (1987 CD Folk Pop Rock 90s 80s) USD $3.61 Buy It Now 21h 45m
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The Rip Chords-Hey little cobra 7" Single 1963 Surf/Beat CBS AAG 181 USD $22.00 [0 bids]
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REGGAE HITS.VOL.10.COBRA/CHAKA DEMUS/SLUGGY/PINCHERS. JET STAR.33 RPM LP USD $1.83 [0 bids]
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COBRA Don't do it like I do RARE 7" 1972 progr rock /hardrock /blues PS GERMANY USD $20.00 [0 bids]
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Mad Cobra Big Long John (promo) CD Single EMI 7243-8-58573-2-4 1996 USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night by Stereolab (CD,... USD $2.99 [0 bids]
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1976 WOODY HERMAN LP - KING COBRA F-9499 USD $14.66 [0 bids]
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SINEAD O'CONNER THE LION AND THE COBRA ON CHRYSALIS BFV 41612 NM 1987 PROMO USD $9.95 [0 bids]
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Confuse NUCLEAR ADDICTS EP Japanese Punk Hardcore 1983 Stalin Cobra Execute USD $8.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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SINEAD O'CONNOR LION & THE COBRA W/INNER EXYUGOSLAV LP USD $20.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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COBRA shows & tickets


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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)

2.31 | 4 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)

2.50 | 2 ratings
John Zorn's Cobra Live At The Knitting Factory
1995
2.33 | 3 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
2.31 | 4 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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