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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
$8.30 (used)
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2m 15s
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45 Rip Chords "Hey, Little Cobra" 1964 Columbia 42921 VG+/VG++ USD $5.00 Buy It Now 18m 37s
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Sweet Cobra: Mercy CD 2010 BlackMarket Activities / Metal Blade BMA039-2 Digipak USD $8.95 Buy It Now 49m 29s
Haven't Slept All Year Cobra Verde Audio CD USD $18.17 Buy It Now 53m
Hard to Wet, Easy to Dry by Mad Cobra (Cassette, Aug-1992, Columbia (USA)) USD $25.00 Buy It Now 1h 21m
MADD COBRA Hard To Wet Easy To Dry CASSETTE 12 Track Promo With Company Sleeve ( USD $6.53 Buy It Now 1h 31m
SINEAD O'CONNOR Lion And The Cobra CASSETTE 9 Track (zchen7) UK Chrysalis 1987 USD $6.53 Buy It Now 1h 31m
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2h 37m
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SA Samurai Attack Japanese Punk Rock "The Show Must Go On" CD Cobra USD $14.89 Buy It Now 2h 59m
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3h 11m
AUTONOMADIC - Cobra Commander (CD, 2006) Seattle Punk Rock USD $3.49 Buy It Now 3h 20m
Fueled By Ramen DECAYDANCE 5x7" BOX SET Sealed Paramore Gym Class Heros Cobra USD $20.00 Buy It Now 3h 25m
Cobra "Got It Going On" 1997 Shocking Vibes Records Dancehall/Reggae NM USD $5.99 Buy It Now 3h 34m
SINEAD O'CONNOR 10,000 Maniacs (3-LP LOT) In My Tribe The Lion And Cobra Record USD $8.00 [1 bids]
3h 35m
SINEAD O'CONNOR + Texas 10,000 Maniacs (3-LP LOT) The Lion And Cobra Record 1987 USD $8.00 [0 bids]
USD $12.00 Buy It Now
3h 42m
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FREE US SH (int'l sh=$0-$3) NEW CD Cobra: Your Wish USD $10.68 Buy It Now 4h 10m
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Woody Herman-The Thundering Hero-King Cobra-LP-Fantasy-Vinyl Record USD $4.00 Buy It Now 5h 30m
Cobra New CD USD $6.43 Buy It Now 6h 48m
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cd-album, Cobra Starship - While The City Sleeps, We Rule The Streets USD $2.34 Buy It Now 11h 24m
Mad Cobra / Mad House ?- Foundation / Comanche ORIG UK 12" NEAR MINT HAWKEYE USD $6.53 Buy It Now 12h 59m
Real Rude Boy 7" Mad Cobra USD $9.15 Buy It Now 13h 56m
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Big Long John [Single] by Mad Cobra (CD, Jul-1996, EMI Music Distribution) USD $5.99 Buy It Now 18h 27m
STALLONE COBRA Soundtrack LP 33RPM SCT 70297 Vinyl Record - 1986 CBS Inc. USD $19.90 Buy It Now 18h 33m
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19h 2m
Cobra Fakir - Miriodor Explicit Version (CD Used Very Good) Explicit Version USD $12.82 Buy It Now 19h 43m
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21h 29m
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Stereolab Cobra And Phases Group Play Voltage In The Mi... UK CD USD $10.45 Buy It Now 22h 20m
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22h 57m
Apollo Cobra - Dance To This CD Digipak USD $12.00 Buy It Now 23h 3m
RIP CHORDS Hey Little Cobra & Hot Rod Hits LP Vinyl 1964 CS 8951 R-1706 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 23h 11m
SAN ANTONIO 45 DANNY SEGOVIA & SESSIONS orig COBRA NM '60s USD $140.00 Buy It Now 23h 32m
Matt Goss - Living For The City - INCREDIBLY RARE CD - Cobra / Luke / Bros USD $78.50 Buy It Now 23h 36m
COBRA STARSHIP While The City Sleeps We Rule The Streets (CD 2006) FREE SHIPPING USD $8.09 Buy It Now 23h 38m
Stereolab - Cobra and Phases Group Play Voltage..(1999) CD. As new USD $2.60 [0 bids]
1 day
MAD COBRA, It's So Good, Computer Paul, ANNEX 7" DANCEHALL USD $2.94 Buy It Now 1 day
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COBRA War(Radio Edit)/Instrumental(Version) 45 RPM USD $9.00 Buy It Now 1 day
COBRA STARSHIP: NIGHTSHADES (CD, 10 TRACKS, 2011) USD $2.98 Buy It Now 1 day
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John Zorn Cobra (Dbl CD, Sep-2002, Hatology) Bill Frisell Wayne Horvitz sealed USD $18.98 Buy It Now 1 day
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EVERY TIME I DIE - Cobra T-shirt - NEW - LARGE ONLY USD $22.33 Buy It Now 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)

2.31 | 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.

Thanks to snobb for the artist addition.

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