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Review: Zorn’s sax improvisation little more than noise

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Many consider composer/alto saxophonist John Zorn a seminal figure on the contemporary music scene. But what he produced — it’s hard to say he simply plays — before a capacity crowd Tuesday night at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center was even more unfathomable than the music of Fausto Romitelli, which the Talea Ensemble played Saturday night at EMPAC. At least with Romitelli’s pieces, a listener can discern a mind at work. There’s organization, ...

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comments

nadajooksing
April 4, 2012
6:57 a.m.

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I thought Zorn was astounding. And the friend who came along with me, who was brand new to this side of Zorn's work, said he found it inspirational.

In any case, I've seen Zorn many times, but this was easily one of his most personal and passionate performances. And, yes, there actually was structure. Each piece had two or three themes that were returned to, and the 4th improv was actually built around a traditional ethnic standard.

rswanker
April 4, 2012
8:16 a.m.

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I also thought it was great, and did not believe it was simply "angst." Of course, I knew what to expect.

Agreeing with above commenter, the 4th piece -closest thing to a "normal sax solo- did an excellent job of providing a more familiar place for listeners to grab hold of after the "high experimentalism" of the previous pieces.

Also, I disagree with the assessment that most of the attendees were under 25. In fact, I remember not being surprised that it was an older crowd. But I know that as I get older it gets harder to judge people's age (especially younger people), so perhaps our reviewer is the same way.

rswanker
April 4, 2012
9:33 a.m.

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I should correct my comment to say that the crowd was fairly diverse, not necessarily older.

nadajooksing
April 4, 2012
2:50 p.m.

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Yes, "angst" was not what I experienced either. More like "exuberance" and "delight". In fact, I woke up this morning with a huge smile on my face that 5 hours at my job couldn't erase! KUDOS to EMPAC to living up to their name and continuing to bring truly experimental art to the Capital region. I have not been so impressed with a local theater since Proctors brought the German group Faust to our area.

RalphB
April 4, 2012
5:35 p.m.

[ Flag Post ]

Maybe the classical critic isn't the best person to review a jazz concert.

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