Posts Tagged ‘Masada’

Pat Metheny Meets John Zorn in Heaven On Echoes

October 16, 2013

Hear Pat Metheny talk about Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels Tonight on Echoes

Tap=cvrYou never know quite where guitarist Pat Metheny is going to land.  In just the last three years he’s recorded a album with his mechanical orchestra called The Orchestrion, released a solo guitar album of 60 pop cover tunes and now, like an elastic band stretched to one extreme, he’s snapped back to another.  In this case it’s a recording of music by iconoclastic avant-garde composer John Zorn, a denizen of New York’s downtown scene for more than three decades.  It’s called The Book of Angels.  John Zorn doesn’t do interviews, but Pat Metheny does and we talked to him about this surprisingly beautiful CD.

Here’s some of the highlights:

Pat Metheny on John Zorn: He’s also just a really good kind of you know, for lack of a better word, modern classical composer.  You know, he writes great notes.

Pat Metheny on Book of Angels: I mean it is I think a burst of inspiration that he wrote 300 pieces of music in a very short period of time.  And he’s gotten various musicians of different types to play those pieces.  And he calls it the book of angels.

Pat Metheny on the Orchestrion: I mean the Orchestrion for me is now a viable part of everything that I’ll do from now on.  And to me it’s a significant development in the set of possibilities that I think exist.  You can hear that there’s tons of Orchestion on the record. It was floor to ceiling of those kinds of instruments and deafening.

Hear more about Pat Metheny’s Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels Volume 20 tonight on Echoes.

For further reading, see a review of Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels Volume 20

Further Listening: Pat Metheny’s Mechanical Orchestra
                                   Pat Metheny on What’s It All About

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

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Pat Metheny Book of Angels Interview Podcast

May 31, 2013

Hear Pat Metheny talk about Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels in the Echoes Podcast.

Tap=cvrYou never know quite where guitarist Pat Metheny is going to land.  In just the last three years he’s recorded a album with his mechanical orchestra called The Orchestrion, released a solo guitar album of 60 pop cover tunes and now, like an elastic band stretched to one extreme, he’s snapped back to another.  In this case it’s a recording of music by iconoclastic avant-garde composer John Zorn, a denizen of New York’s downtown scene for more than three decades.  It’s called The Book of Angels.  John Zorn doesn’t do interviews, but Pat Metheny does and we talked to him about this surprisingly beautiful CD.

Here’s some of the highlights:

Pat Metheny on John Zorn: He’s also just a really good kind of you know, for lack of a better word, modern classical composer.  You know, he writes great notes.

Pat Metheny on Book of Angels: I mean it is I think a burst of inspiration that he wrote 300 pieces of music in a very short period of time.  And he’s gotten various musicians of different types to play those pieces.  And he calls it the book of angels.

Pat Metheny on the Orchestrion: I mean the Orchestrion for me is now a viable part of everything that I’ll do from now on.  And to me it’s a significant development in the set of possibilities that I think exist.  You can hear that there’s tons of Orchestion on the record. It was floor to ceiling of those kinds of instruments and deafening.

Hear more about Pat Metheny’s Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels Volume 20 in the Echoes Podcast.

For further reading, see a review of Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels Volume 20

Further Listening: Pat Metheny’s Mechanical Orchestra
                                   Pat Metheny on What’s It All About

~John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Echoes On LineStoriesSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club. With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Rhian Sheehan’s Stories from Elsewhere Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

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Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/echoes-feature-pat-metheny/id77320816?i=96031973&mt=2

An Angel Taps Pat Metheny & John Zorn.

May 13, 2013

A Review of Pat Metheny’s Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels Volume 20

Hear Pat Metheny talk about John Zorn’s Book of Angels Volume 20 on the Echoes Podcast

Tap=cvrPat Metheny and John Zorn were born within a year of each other and share many of the same musical influences.  But in their professional lives, they’ve traveled in different, barely over-lapping circles.  In fact, though they both live in New York, they’ve only recently met.

Guitarist Pat Metheny is still best known for his fusion records and his long running Pat Metheny Group, but you only have to listen to albums like Song X with Ornette Coleman, Zero Tolerance for Silence or The Orchestrion to get the full measure of his musical dimensions. He doesn’t get credit for being as completely far out as he really is.

Likewise, there is a consensus perception of avant-garde iconoclast John Zorn.  This view would assert that Zorn is completely far out as a downtown renegade bouncing from the Ornette-Coleman meets 50s rock sound of Naked City, the elliptical chaos of his game theory pieces and the Coltrane meets klezmer improvisations of Masada.  But those elements don’t take into account the sublimely beautiful melodies and deep sense of introspection that turn up on Zorn’s Filmworks series, The Masada String Trio or The Book of Angels.

Pat Metheny in Old Echoes Living ROom

Pat Metheny in old Echoes Living Room

The Book of Angels is a project that Zorn has been working on for about eight years now.  He wrote over 300 compositions, each one named for an angel. Artists like Uri Caine, Marc Ribot, Erik Friedlander, Medeski, Martin and Wood, and Joe Lovano, have already recorded some of these works. The latest to take on this task is Pat Metheny on Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels Volume 20.

Released on both the Nonesuch label and Zorn’s Tzadik label, I think Metheny fans would spot him right away in this work, drawing influences from across his career.  Zorn fans, however, might have a harder time picking out the saxophonists impact, especially since he doesn’t play on the album.  But it’s there with the Hebraic modes and melodic flourishes that have dominated his music for the last two decades or so.

Pat Metheny & Orchestrion

Pat Metheny & Orchestrion

The opening “Mastema” could almost be a Pat Metheny Group track with the electric sitar and insistent rhythm, but then you notice the rhythm is a little mechanized because it’s coming from Metheny’s Orchestrion, his mechanical orchestra, and the guitar is running through glitched out distortions

John Zorn

John Zorn

“Sariel” starts out like Klezmer ballad with Metheny overdubbed on several stringed instruments, like some exotic Middle Eastern oud orchestra.  Metheny solos over a percussion and oud-like groove that sounds like it could’ve wandered in off the kibbutz.  But no oud orchestra would ever whip out the snarling acid blues that Metheny brings in as the percussion drives him into solo of ecstatic arabesques of intertwined feedback.  It concludes in a sprawl of distortion, riff fragments and Antonio Sanchez’s free drumming, like a meeting of Hendrix’s “1983” and Coltrane’s Interstellar Space.

That leads into “Phanuel” the most Zorn like track, if you follow the conventional conception of Zorn, a free form work of acoustic guitar and industrial electronics with radio signals bleeding through like Stockhausen’s “Hymnen.” But as a Zorn track it morphs into something else, in this case a beautiful ballad for two acoustic guitars, bass and percussion.

“Albim” will sound familiar to Metheny fans opening with an acoustic guitar solo that could’ve been off his One Quiet Night album before segueing into a jazz suffused track that could be his recent trio, except all the backing is Orchestrion.

John Zorn's Book of Angels Volume 20 Tzadik Cover

John Zorn’s Book of Angels Volume 20 Tzadik Cover

You can hear elements of Metheny’s Orchestrion Project, the expansive writing of The Way Up, the lyricism of One Quiet Night and the flow of the Pat Metheny Group.  There’s even some Zero Tolerance for Silence ear-bleeding guitar distortion, something you might expect from Zorn, but which you may have forgotten was part of Metheny’s sonic stash as well. Metheny brings it all to bear on compositions are sometimes just sketches, a head or a chord sequence.  But instead of just jamming on these themes, Metheny has orchestrated them into expansive, electro-symphonic works.  The fact that it features some of Metheny’s most unbridled and psychedelic guitar playing in years is just a bonus.

Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels Volume 20 is an exhilarating ride. After hearing it the only real surprise is why hadn’t this happened before?

~John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Echoes On LineStoriesSign up for Echoes CD of the Month Club. With the Echoes CD of the Month Club, you get great CDs like Rhian Sheehan’s Stories from Elsewhere Follow the link to the Echoes CD of the Month Club and see what you’ve been missing.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album.


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