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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$11.81
$11.80 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Men Without Hats - Love In The Age Of War CD COBRA USD $12.09 Buy It Now 32m 18s
Miriodor - Cobra Fakir CD USD $20.19 Buy It Now 34m 56s
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Black Moth Super Rainbow - Cobra Juicy CD USD $16.79 Buy It Now 38m 19s
Cobra Starship - While The City Sleeps We Rule The Streets CD USD $15.09 Buy It Now 38m 23s
Zorn John - Cobra CD Pop Jazz USD $18.89 Buy It Now 40m 57s
Cobra Skulls - Sitting Army (CD 2009). Excellent + condition USD $0.02 [0 bids]
1h 18m
MADD COBRA Hard To Wet Easy To Dry CASSETTE 12 Track Promo With Company Sleeve ( USD $6.23 Buy It Now 1h 41m
SINEAD O'CONNOR Lion And The Cobra CASSETTE 9 Track (zchen7) UK Chrysalis 1987 USD $6.23 Buy It Now 1h 41m
J. S. Bach-orchestral Suite No. 3 Bwv 1068 - Cobra,Maximianno New USD $28.37 Buy It Now 2h 26m
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El Mezcal Y La Cobra - Catupecu Machu 5099972967423 (CD Used Very Good) USD $23.44 Buy It Now 3h 23m
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Dancehall Kings (1995, CD New) Silk/Madd Cobra/Ranks/Sanchez USD $14.32 Buy It Now 8h 8m
Cobra Starship Snakes On A Plane CD Single 2 Mixes Gym Class Heores Juan Maclean USD $3.10 Buy It Now 8h 25m
King Cobra Ready To Strike DJ Promo LP Near Mint vinyl USD $7.50 Buy It Now 8h 38m
Black Moth Super Rainbow Cassette Cobra Juicy 1/500 SEALED USD $17.99 [0 bids]
USD $50.00 Buy It Now
9h 28m
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Cobra - First Strike ORIGINAL CD Jimi Jamison / Survivor / Gotthard USD $12.47 [0 bids]
10h 41m
Cobra Smoke Dance 1997 by Stirling, Michael 764483015226 USD $4.48 Buy It Now 11h 7m
Sky High and the Mau Mau - Cobra - Zimbabwe Press Press- Step Asid USD $19.99 [0 bids]
11h 17m
Tex-Mex ,Latino,Tejano 45 - Conjunto Sabinal De Lupe Saenz -Cobra # 1129 USD $9.99 [0 bids]
11h 39m
Survivors Zero - CMXCIX (CD, Oct-2009, Cobra Music) NEW USD $9.89 Buy It Now 11h 42m
Widespread Panic - Uber Cobra NEW CD USD $18.83 Buy It Now 11h 44m
JIMI JAMISON'S SURVIVOR EMPIRES EX++ RARE CD 1999 COBRA BAYWATCH AOR ROCKY IV USD $15.59 [0 bids]
12h 23m
Popol Vuh - Cobra Verde (soundtrack) NEW CD USD $18.83 Buy It Now 12h 44m
El Mezcal Y La Cobra - Machu,Catupecu New & Sealed CD-JEWEL CASE Free Shipping USD $25.61 Buy It Now 12h 50m
Hey little cobra - The Rip cords - 1964 USD $15.60 Buy It Now 13h 11m
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Beethoven-Symphony No. 3 Op. 55 - Maximianno Cobra (CD Used Very Good) USD $20.12 Buy It Now 13h 22m
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14h 24m
Cobra Skulls - Eagle Eyes NEW 7" USD $9.02 Buy It Now 15h 12m
Mad Cobra - Milkman - 1996 - NEW - Resealed USD $7.64 Buy It Now 15h 17m
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COBRA SKULLS Bringing the War Home 12" EP SEALED Fat Records punk-rock USD $9.99 Buy It Now 15h 54m
COBRA 'FIRST STRIKE' REMASTERED CLASSIC AOR 2008 NEW! USD $17.15 [0 bids]
15h 55m
RIP CHORDS * 45 * Hey Little Cobra * 1963 #4 * USA ORIGINAL * Terry Melcher PROD USD $7.00 Buy It Now 16h 18m
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?Chicago Blues Bands Cobra Records LP Buddy Guy Otis Rush Fishin' In My Pond USD $12.00 [0 bids]
18h 12m
RARE R&B Soul 45 The Originals on Cobra ^ Baby, I'm For Real ^ The Bells USD $22.56 Buy It Now 18h 35m
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R&B/BLUES REPRO: DUKE JENKINS-Shake It/The Duke Walks COBRA USD $10.95 Buy It Now 18h 52m
KING COBRA King's Cobra III 1988 LP Album Record Vinyl NRR 26 CA US ROCKER USD $14.99 Buy It Now 19h 9m
MAGIC SAM-OUT OF BAD LUCK THE COBRA, CHIEF&CRASH SESSIONS 1957 1966-JAPAN CD F04 USD $22.99 Buy It Now 19h 46m
I Was a Teenage Hitchhiker by Luke Duke (CD, Dec-2000, Hey Little Cobra... USD $5.74 Buy It Now 20h 15m
Gold Cobra Limp Bizkit Audio CD USD $10.06 Buy It Now 20h 29m
Beethoven-Symphony No. 9 Op. 125 Ode To Joy - Maximianno Cobra (2010, CD New) USD $28.95 Buy It Now 21h 39m
Dale Jacobs: Cobra LP VG++/NM Canada Epic PEC 80008 USD $7.49 Buy It Now 22h 7m
Dance of the Cobra Jaipur Kawa Brass Band Audio CD USD $18.66 Buy It Now 22h 28m
COBRA STARSHIP "HOT MESS" CD 11 TRACKS NEW+ USD $7.56 Buy It Now 22h 50m
PILEDRIVER ~ Stay Ugly *orig 1986 Cobra private press Metal SEALED USD $74.99 Buy It Now 23h 6m
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RIP CHORDS HEY LITTLE COBRA 1964 JAPAN CD w/obi USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Cobra Juicy Black Moth Super Rainbow Audio CD USD $20.67 Buy It Now 1 day
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EXORCIST Nightmare Theatre LP on Cobra USD $16.50 [11 bids]
1 day
HYPE TIME - Ride The Riddim CD (NEW Dancehall) Elephant Man/Capleton/Mad Cobra USD $6.23 Buy It Now 1 day
Dana 12" Single My Name Is Not Saida(Club and Instrumental Mix)1992 Cobra Record USD $9.99 Buy It Now 1 day
COBRA HIGH Sunset In Eye Of The Hurricane CD Prog-Art / Post Rock 2003 Brand New USD $4.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Shabba Ranks "As Raw As Ever" LP OOP Mad Cobra Super Cat KRS-One 1 NM USD $14.99 Buy It Now 1 day
Maximianno Cobra - Beethoven-Symphony No. 9 Op. 125 Ode To Joy [CD New] USD $33.95 Buy It Now 1 day
COBRA STARSHIP While The City Sleeps We Rule The Streets NEW Factory Sealed CD USD $6.92 Buy It Now 1 day
Cobra & Phases Group Play Volt - Stereolab (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.67 Buy It Now 1 day
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Cobra Starship - While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets (2007) USD $1.54 [0 bids]
1 day
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COBRA JUICY BY BLACK MOTH SUPER RAI (CD) USD $19.84 Buy It Now 1 day
Waking The Cobra Vocal Meditations On The Chakras - Baird Hersey (2008, CD New) USD $16.64 Buy It Now 1 day
Sinéad O'connor The Lion And The Cobra Vinyl Record USD $15.00 Buy It Now 1 day
FIRST STAR - MY GRIP IS LIKE A COBRA CD USD $2.98 Buy It Now 1 day
Woody Herman "King Cobra" Fantasy # F-9499 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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COBRA shows & tickets


  • Xtreme Fest 2015 on 17 Jul 2015
  • Iron Reagan + Cobra + Sticky Boys at Petit Bain, Paris on 19 Jul 2015
  • "6º KANEKAS METAL FEST" on 1 Aug 2015
  • Brujas Festival 2015 on 22 Aug 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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