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COBRA

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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Cobra picture
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
Remastered
Rock Candy 2008
$11.76
$11.75 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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Black President by Black President (CD, Nov-2008, Cobra Music) Brand New!! USD $7.25 Buy It Now 4h 51m
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Various Artists, Monty Python - Space Cobra [New CD] Japan - Import USD $12.93 Buy It Now 6h 44m
MOVIOLA/COBRA VERDE "EMPTY FORD/BLOOD ON THE MOON" ORE 02 w/INSERT 1995 7" SPLIT USD $3.97 Buy It Now 6h 59m
STEVE DOUGLAS "KING COBRA" F-9632 (1984) 12" LP EX COND * i combine shipping * USD $3.95 Buy It Now 7h 5m
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Sinead O'Connor The Lion and the Cobra 1987 LP VG++ USD $12.99 [0 bids]
10h 13m
DJ Cobra presents Snoop Dogg - It's A Doggs Life *** BRAND NEW CD *** USD $16.98 Buy It Now 10h 13m
MAGIC SAM All Night Long COBRA 5025 Chicago Blues 1958 45rpm USD $14.00 [3 bids]
10h 45m
HAROLD BURRAGE Messed Up COBRA 5012 Chicago R&B 1957 45rpm USD $15.00 [1 bids]
10h 45m
OTIS RUSH Double Trouble COBRA 5030 Chicago Blues 1958 45rpm USD $10.00 [1 bids]
10h 46m
John Zorn's Cobra_Tokyo Operations 94_Makigami Koichi_CD_Avant USD $29.99 [0 bids]
10h 57m
Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night by Stereolab USD $2.39 Buy It Now 11h 34m
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MERCILESS Mr War War / SIMPLETON Mr Old Nail / MAD COBRA Them A Bad Man ~ 12" USD $5.40 Buy It Now 13h 28m
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Cobra RUDE BOY SKILL 7" REGGAE DIGITAL-B 1993 USD $7.99 Buy It Now 14h 25m
Call Sign Cobra~Self Titled LP~RARE 2005 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal~Insert~FAST SHIP USD $39.96 Buy It Now 17h 7m
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MAD COBRA ~ Big Long John ~ 12" Single USA PRESS PROMO USD $5.40 Buy It Now 17h 49m
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John Zorn Cobra (Studio & Live) 2 × CD Album Limited ED hat ART CD 2-6040 JAZZ USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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HAROLD BURRAGE w/Willie Dixon - Cobra 5022 - She Knocks Me Out - 1958 R USD $94.50 Buy It Now 1 day
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1976 "Woody Herman And The Thundering Herd" King Cobra LP Vinyl (Fantasy F-9499) USD $10.00 [0 bids]
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1 day

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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)

2.29 | 5 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
2.29 | 5 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.

Thanks to snobb for the artist addition.

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