Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Masada Live In Jerusalem 1994
Genres: Folk, World Music, Jazz, Pop, Classical
The blueprint behind John Zorn's Masada is simple enough: take the instrumentation of Ornette Coleman's quartet at their prime (no, not Prime Time), add Zorn's soul-filled touches of klezmer, and allow each player to impro... more »
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The blueprint behind John Zorn's Masada is simple enough: take the instrumentation of Ornette Coleman's quartet at their prime (no, not Prime Time), add Zorn's soul-filled touches of klezmer, and allow each player to improvise as he sees fit. It's a fearsome recipe that has delivered a dozen or so great recordings, most of which were recorded over a few days in 1994. And it's the perfect vehicle for Masada's four virtuosos: saxophonist Zorn, trumpeter Dave Douglas, bass player Greg Cohen, and drummer Joey Baron. Live in Jerusalem catches the lineup at the Jerusalem Festival (also back in '94), and it's perhaps the best documentation of the group's magical, swinging, yet always wild chemistry. Tunes such as "Idalah-Abal" begin as funeral marches and launch into power blowing; others, such as "Ravayah," never slow down. Masada on disc can be a curse of overabundance (how do you pick between the numerous studio recordings and string ensemble discs Zorn has released?); Masada live can be a magical thing. Thankfully, this disc combines the best of both worlds, with great sonics and a strong setlist. --Jason Verlinde
jake | u.s. | 12/05/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Zorn's playing is the most sublime thing here-- he really plays his patookus off. I've never heard him solo with such restraint and yet so much passion! The song list is great, too... all the catchiest masada tunes. Be forewarned though... the audio is kinda squirrely. Although mixed by the same guy who did all the other Masada albums, the overall sound is REALLY bright and dynamic. It doesn't have the "brown sound" of the other recordings. Still, this difference kind of adds to the charm of it. The audience, by the way, is clearly loving this performance and seem to applaud constantly. It's a little bizarre but, again, nicely quirky. If you've never heard Masada before, this isn't perhaps the place to start, but it's definitely the most Masada for your buck, and if you love their other albums and want to hear what they'd sound like in a live setting with an adoring crowd, this is your golden egg. Personally, I'd rather listen to Masada in the studio, where you can hear every nuance of what they're playing. Aside from that, this is really cool and different. Four stars."
ptitchitza | Leiden, Netherlands | 03/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When Tzadik started releasing Masada live recordings, I thought there's no particular rush to get them. I know most of the material, and -- after all -- how different can all these concerts be? Well... they can and they are.I was fortunate to see Masada in concert relatively early, in October 1995, in Ljubljana, Slovenia. They dashed out on stage -- no 'Good evening', no 'Hello', nothing -- grabbed their instruments and.... BANG! they've hit us with a couple of fast ones, instantly grabbing our attention and not letting go until the end. Zorn was wearing some washed out, out of shape T-shirt and camouflage trousers, they all appeared like some jazz guerrilla, elite assault jazz unit! Their breathtaking command of instruments, music heavily saturated in the folk motives of the Middle East... I remember being dazed, almost like in a trance of a kind, throughout the concert. Afterwards, I felt like I could walk on water.Live in Jerusalem 1994 presents Masada's first concert in Israel. No doubt, this must have been a very special occasion. 1994 was when they just started, having recorded material for the first four Masada studio CDs (Alef, Beit, Gimel and Dalet). Perhaps because of the awareness of the venue and the occasion (and the audience, of course), the music played on this concert "grabs" you in a different, dare I say: more subtle, way. If the tracks appear on the two CDs in order they were played (as they appear to be), it shows quite a different dynamic of the concert. Having different experiences myself, I appreciate this even more. This too, was a very memorable concert. It's impressive to hear (again) how well they hear and inspire each other, always finding some new and unexpected turn in their improvisations, constantly taking music higher and higher.Every time I listen to these CDs I seem to find another song to "lock" on. I've just hit and on the player to play Hekhal repeatedly, the last song of the first CD, upbeat, fast and oriental song with Joey Baron playing like a pair of castanets. I am sure you will do the same with some of the 18 tracks providing almost two hours of music."
A good showcase for early Masada.
Douglas T Martin | Alpharetta, GA USA | 12/05/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have all ten Masada CDs (from "Alef" to "Yod") on the DIW label and had the good fortune to see them in concert twice - when they'd only been together a few weeks and after they had recorded their seventh DIW CD. All of the DIW CDs are great but a little expensive. For a solid compilation of earlier Masada performances "Live in Jerusalem" is a good buy. This CD contains material from the first 3 CDs - maybe more, I haven't compared track listings. The first time I saw Masada they were still coming to grips with the material; this recording proves their mastery of it. The band stretches out on the material and everyone plays well; the recording captures the sound of four exceptional musicians having a really good night."