Review of The Gnostic Preludes by John Zorn, Tzadik 2012
So .. we are here again in front of another cd by John Zorn. Great news? I don’t know. Zorn has become so quick about composing, recording, mastering, design and production that is simply impossible to follow his speed of light. By now he is going with a production of of 10 cd every year. Dear Frank Zappa and Sun Ra.. your discografies, already impressive, are little things in comparison to the creative bulimia of Zorn.
The problem is that many of them are all valid records, well produced and played and with a stupendous packaging. So … Zorn is never wrong . And he is not wrong with this spectacular The Gnostic Preludes “music of splendor” performed by the trio formed by Bill Frisell at electric guitar, Carol Emanuel to the harp and from Kenny Wollesen to the vibraphone.
First of all .. welcome back Mr. Frisell, welcome back in New York downtown! How much you missed me, I had hoped for a your return almost ten years ago when you played Masada Guitars, but then you had disappeared from the “zornian” radar, and now you are here again. Dear Mr. Frisell listening to your guitar is always pure pleasure, never a yielding, never a disappointment as a Jon Zorn’s interpreter, well you have always given excellent probation of the your noteworthy abilities. Welcome back indeed.
Let’s intend us Carol Manuel and Kenny Wollesen are not certain from less, I had enjoyed them playing in the series Filmworks of Zorn (I know it, I know it, Zorn has produced a new cd of the series… I will buy it.. one of these days) and here I find again them in perfect shape. An unusual trio that harp, electric guitar and vibraphone but with the Gnostic Preludes really dates the best together. Eight passages, eight splendid preludes indeed. Forget you the noisy Zorn of Naked City or Painkiller. Here everything flows in a golden bright, the vibraphone of Wollesen succeeds in creating an aurora of sound in which it is easy to stay effortless entangled, eight very melodic preludes and apparently simple, with the three instruments that apparently repeat the same melodic phrases in between themselves, the same motives but at the same time performing personal detours that at the end join themselves again.
Fourth episode of the series of cd devoted to the mysticism.