by John Zorn


$14.05 $16.99 Save 17% Current price is $14.05, Original price is $16.99. You Save 17%.
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Tuesday, October 22


"Godard" and "Spillane" were the two first (and purest) examples of the "file card" composition technique developed by John Zorn and inspired by theater director Richard Foreman. The compositions were constructed from independent scraps of music inscribed on file cards; the two principal works here called for assembly of the cards ("Spillane" used 60 cards within roughly 25 minutes) to create compositions within the conceptual frame of work by Mickey Spillane and Jean-Luc Godard. The goal was to translate imagery from Godard's films and Spillane's crime novels (and probably the films based on those novels) into unified compositions. Bits of text weave through musical fragments including gentle lounge piano, spacy electronic music, violent sonic crashes, and dive-bar jazz. Ironically, "Godard" and "Spillane" both work as unified compositions because they are made of fragments. The ideas of the filmmaker and the writer would have been too complex to be tackled by an overblown, operatic score; such a work could only scratch the surface of a few of their ideas without seeming disjointed. But Zorn's file card snippets bounce around like thoughts, overlapping and intruding on each other, reversing direction like a changed mind. Careful selection and arrangement make all the snippets seem essential and irreplaceable, despite their remarkable diversity. This album's execution is aided by a truly impressive cast of supporting musicians, whose close relationships with Zorn made it possible for the musical nuances to be communicated through interpersonal interaction. As a result, every piece sounds like a pure fragment of its genre instead of mere imitation. Perhaps most impressive were the contributions of Anthony Coleman and Bill Frisell, both of whom wrenched an amazing variety of sounds from their instruments. This collection, issued by Tzadik in 1999, also contains a delightful Christmas song, "Blues Noël," which applies the file card method in a much shorter, but charming, piece.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/20/1999
Label: Tzadik
UPC: 0702397732426
catalogNumber: 7324
Rank: 108991

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Zorn   Primary Artist,Clarinet,Reeds,Alto Saxophone,Narrator
Jim Staley   Trombone
Robert Quine   Electric Guitar,Vocals,Voices
Anthony Coleman   Organ,Piano,Celeste,Harpsichord,Keyboards
Christian Marclay   Turntables
Michael Blair   Percussion,Vocals
Fred Frith   Bass,Guitar
Bill Frisell   Banjo,Guitar,Electric Guitar
Dave Hofstra   Bass,Tuba
John Lurie   Vocals,Voices
Ikue Mori   Vocals
Bobby Previte   Percussion,Drums,Timpani
Luli Shioi   Vocals,Narrator
Carol Emanuel   Harp
David Weinstein   Keyboards,Sampling,Sampled Keyboards
Wu Shao-Ying   Narrator
Richard Foreman   Narrator

Technical Credits

Anthony Coleman   Liner Notes
Bill Frisell   Liner Notes
Don Hunerberg   Engineer
Hilary James   Cover Design
Ikue Mori   drum machine
Bobby Previte   Liner Notes
Kazunori Sugiyama   Executive Producer
John Zorn   Producer
Heung-Heung "Chippy" Chin   Cover Design

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews