January Release Announced
John Zorn: Beyond Good And Evil—Simulacrum Live [#8369]
From 2015–2017, in the midst of an historic creative high, Zorn wrote and recorded no less than six CDs of music for Simulacrum, his most powerful and intense 21st century ensemble; the music then became a project for live performance. This concert from July 2019 finds the band at their blazing best, performing compositions from four different Simulacrum releases. No one blends metal and jazz quite like Zorn (he’s been doing it since the late 1980s) and these mind-bendingly intense performances will leave you breathless. Beautifully recorded at Firehouse 12 in New Haven and lovingly mixed at Bill Laswell’s Orange Sound by James Dellatacoma this is a hyper powered stop-on-a-dime live performance by three virtuosic musical maniacs.
November Release Announced
Craig Taborn and Vadim Neselovskyi: The Book Beri'ah Vol 11—Da'at [#5111]
Craig Taborn and Vadim Neselovskyi are two of the most acclaimed and brilliant pianists working today and here they perform a select set of Masada compositions in solo, duo and trio permutations. Created as a bonus disc for the Book Beri’ah, it is a beautiful program and highlights the incredible versatility of the Masada compositions themselves as well as and the stunning virtuosity and imaginative creativity of these two keyboard masters. Featuring pieces for solo piano, two amazing piano duets and three pieces for piano, bass and drums, Da’at is a beautiful bonus CD to the Book Beriah series.
October Releases Announced
The Hermetic Organ Volume 8—For Antonin Artaud (#8368)
Accused of being a flagrant "occultist" it took many years before Zorn was able to perform an organ recital in the former Yugoslavia. Finding churches completely unavailable, Zorn performed this Office of "The Hermetic Organ" at Gallus Hall during his residency at the Ljubljana Jazz Festival and it is one of his best. Including some extended moments with Zorn playing both organ and saxophone simultaneously, the improvisation is intense and varied, with a remarkable compositional arch and wildly dramatic changes of color and timbre. The saxophone blends beautifully with the organ, standing out at times while Zorn plays the organ with his feet, hands and elbows. A beautiful new installment of "The Hermetic Organ" that draws inspiration from the work of 20th century visionary Antonin Artaud.
Secret Chiefs 3 : The Book Beri'ah Vol 10—Malkhut (#5110)
Around since the mid-1990s, Secret Chiefs 3 is one of the most popular instrumental ensembles working today, with a devoted cult following and a constantly changing lineup of stellar musicians. Featuring one of the best groupings they have ever had, in "Malkhut" they turn their hand to twelve tunes from Zorn’s "Book Beri’ah." Years in the making, SC3 mastermind Trey Spruance considers this to be one of his most ambitious and involved CDs to date. Even better than their "Masada Book of Angels" release "Xaphan", "Malkhut" is filled with spiritual depth, meticulous detail and a amazing creativity. This is music that is essential to everyone interested in the Masada legacy—instrumental music from the outer realms!
September Releases Announced
Banquet of the Spirits: The Book Beri'ah Vol 9—Yesod [#5109]
Working together since 1982, Cyro Baptista is one of Zorn's closest friends and collaborators. Banquet of the Spirits is his tight touring quartet of young lions and features Brian Marsella, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz and Tim Keiper on keyboards, bass and drums. Here they follow up their acclaimed CD of the Book of Angels Caym with a Latin Jazz-tinged interpretation featuring the rising star Brian Marsella on piano and keyboards. Breathtakingly beautiful, this is one of the most seductive installments of the Book Beri'ah. Latin Jazz at its very best.
John Zorn: The Hermetic Organ vol. 7 — St. John the Divine 2013 [#8367]
"The imagination is not a state: it is the human existence itself." — William Blake
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is a place of prayer, peace, spiritual renewal, and a temple to all who love the organ—and Zorn responds in kind with a remarkably soothing and peaceful exploration of lyricism and sonic variation. Interrupted only occasionally by a few trademark Phantom of the Opera explosions, the music is meditative, devotional, and at times achingly beautiful. Inspired by the mystical worlds of William Blake and the French organ traditions of Charles Tournemire and Olivier Messiaen, the music is an extended exploration in search of spiritual healing through sound.
August Releases Announced
John Zorn: Encomia [#8366]
Featuring the fabulous virtuoso pianist Stephen Gosling, Encomia is a collection of tributes to many of Zorn’s musical heroes.The first Book of Preludes consists of three impressionistic pieces in the tradition of Debussy and Ravel that pay tribute to the legendary ballet dancer Nijinsky, the author Novalis creator of the prose poem, and the Hellenistic 3rd century poet Nossis. Encomia is a suite of tributes to five of Zorn’s musical heroes that run the gamut of styles from minimalism to maximalism. Violinist Chris Otto joins Stephen Gosling for the final piece, a new composition for violin and piano inspired by the writings of Sigmund Freud. A remarkable program of some of the most beautiful music Zorn has ever written.
Zion 80: The Book Beri'ah Vol 8 -- Hod [#5108]
The brainchild of guitarist Jon Madof, Zion80 is a dynamic 10-piece ensemble that explores the Jewish tradition through the lenses of afro-beat, funk, rock and jazz. Drums and percussion drive this tight band of horns and guitars into a polyrhythmic intensity as driving grooves blend with the madness of the Downtown scene. Spiritual, grooving and endlessly exciting, this is essential Jewish music for the 21st century. With Zorn guesting on one intense track, Hod is a dynamic highpoint to the Beri’ah series! Masada meets afro-beat.
July Releases Announced
Gnostic Trio: The Book Beri’ah Vol 7--Netzach [#5107]
One of Zorn’s most beloved and unique 21st century ensembles, the Gnostic Trio features the distinctive guitar of Bill Frisell, the vibraphone of Kenny Wollesen and the ethereal harp stylings of Carol Emanuel. The sounds are soulful and heavenly and for this, their seventh cd together, they perform nine tunes from the Book Beri’ah, the last book of music completing the Masada legacy. Frisell’s magical sonorities dance around harp and vibraphone creating a heavenly improvisational counterpoint. Truly music of the angels, Netzach is a gem.
(Release date: July 2019)
John Zorn: Tractatus Musico-Philosophicus [#8365]
Drawing inspiration from philosophy, avant-garde cinema, drama and music, Tractatus brings many of Zorn’s lifelong interests together into a stunning new musical universe. Including big band cutups, saxophone fireworks, environmental soundscapes and a rip-roaring game-call-Ketjak, this is Zorn musing alone in the studio harnessing the powers of his twisted imagination and underground musical sensibility. Filled with wit, color and mystery, this bizarre suite is among the weirdest music Zorn has ever created and will appeal to only the most open-minded of listeners. Not for the faint of heart. Caveat Emptor!
(Release date: July 2019)
June Releases announced
John Zorn: Nove Cantici Per Francesco D’Assisi [#8364]
Composed for a museum residency at the Frick in New York City, Nove Cantici is a beautiful suite of music inspired by the life and thought of the beloved spiritual figure Saint Francis of Assisi. A fitting follow-up to the beautiful and moody acoustic guitar CD Midsummer Moons from 2017, here the astounding guitar duo of Julian Lage and Gyan Riley is expanded to a trio with the addition of legendary guitarist Bill Frisell. Ten lovely, spiritual compositions for meditation and contemplation performed by three of the most renown guitarists in the world. An essential release that will appeal to perhaps the widest audience Zorn has ever had.
Klezmerson: The Book Beri’ah Vol 6—Tiferet [#5106]
Based in Mexico, Klezmerson is a super creative ever changing ensemble led by violinist, composer and arranger Benjamin Schwartz. Here they do their critically acclaimed and best selling Book of Angels installment one better with wild arrangements blending a variety of Mexican musical traditions with the sound of Masada. Featuring electric and acoustic strings, keyboards, accordions, saxes and of course a huge array of Latin percussion, Tiferet is one of the most delightful and imaginative CDs in the Book Beri’ah!
May 14, 2019
Tzadik are offering a new series of limited LPs:
Bundle includes 4 vinyl:
ALAHAMBRA LOVE SONGS
THE LAST JUDGEMENT
NOVE CANTICI PER FRANCESSCO D'ASSISI
MASADA - THE BEST OF SAHNEDRIN
A new limited edition vinyl series of select releases out of the Zorn catalog!
Personally chosen by Zorn for release on vinyl, the LPs are beautifully made and packaged in the original artwork.
A limited number of copies of each release, signed by John Zorn, will be made available for sale.
Collectable and rare, purchase them all before they disappear!
You can purchase them here.
April 6, 2019
The Molinari Quartet has released an album of some of John Zorn's chamber works.
"It is with great enthusiasm that we dive into the fantastic and fascinating world of John Zorn. His music is powerful, emotional, and colorful", says Olga Ranzenhofer, first violin. The ensemble has selected four of Zorn's chamber works for this recording: cat o' nine tails, the dead man, memento mori and kol nidre.
March 19th Facebook Post from John Zorn
We at Tzadik are delighted that you have received your orders and that you are all enjoying the music so much. This was a labor of love for us. It took years to put together and we spared no expense on making a package that was beautiful, elegant and special. Unfortunately we have not been paid. Not one cent.
We are hoping that Pledge will somehow bounce back and honor its commitments—but in the meantime we are initiating a new limited edition vinyl series to help Tzadik get back on track.
The manufacturers, designers and distributors are all donating their services to help us and we are hoping that you, our fans, will pitch in and support what we do by purchasing these special vinyl titles.
More information will be forthcoming. Please spread the word—and thanks as always for your continued support. With warm wishes and many thanks — John Zorn
May releases announced
John Zorn: Pellucidar -- A Dreamers Fantabula [#6006]
A beautiful vinyl pressing of Zorn’s most delightful and popular instrumental unit The Dreamers performing nine compositions inspired by the imaginary worlds of fantasy literature. Featuring some of Zorn’s catchiest hooks and plenty of fiery solos from Ribot, Saft and Wollesen, Pellucidar blends soul, surf, jazz, minimalism, rumba, tango, samba, exotica and more in classic Dreamers style. Bathed in a fabulous gatefold jacket filled with colorful original art by Tzadik’s exclusive designer Chippy, this long-awaited vinyl version of this modern exotica classic was lovingly remastered and is pressed on virgin vinyl. (Limited vinyl)
Abraxas: The Book Beri'ah Vol 5 -- Gevurah [#5105]
Blending a punk rock sensibility with Sephardic tribalism via a taste of North African Gnawa magic, Abraxas is one of the most primal and rocking ensembles in the Masada family. After extensive touring with music from the Book of Angels, they stormed into Bill Laswell’s studio to record an even more intense CD of Masada Book Three. Upheld by the pulsating sound of Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz’s gimbri and the dynamic drumming of Kenny Grohowski, Aram Bajakian and Eyal Maoz push their guitars to the limits. Hypnotic grooves and trance-inducing guitar solos with arrangements that stop on a dime create a CD of white hot intensity.
John Zorn: The Hierophant [#8363]
The Hierophant is a spectacular new suite of Zorn compositions drawing inspiration from the mystic world of the Tarot. Scored for classic jazz piano trio, the music is powerful and varied, hitting upon a wide range of styles, emotions and moods. Passionately performed by three members of Zorn’s inner circle—Brian Marsella (piano) Trevor Dunn (bass) and Kenny Wollesen (drums) these magical and moving pieces are not like any piano trio you have ever heard. Thrilling and beautiful modern chamber music featuring three new music virtuosos at the very height of their powers!
April release announced
Julian Lage and Gyan Riley: The Book Beri'ah Vol 4 -- Chesed [#5104]
The duo of Julian Lage and Gyan Riley is now legendary. Featuring a high level of virtuosity tempered by elegance, love, respect and impeccable taste, their work with Zorn has produced a variety of masterpieces—a magical set of Bagatelles, the sweet midnight music of Midsummer Moons and the rocking new band Insurrection. Here they pour their soulful mastery into ten compositions from The Book Beri’ah and their magical interplay is at its most telepathic as they work every possible variation out of these lyrical and adventurous Zorn compositions. Intimate and imaginative, this is music that will appeal to guitar fans, jazz fans, Jewish music fans and more!
March releases announced
John Zorn: The Hermetic Organ Vol 6--For Edgar Allan Poe
In these two spectacular performances Zorn literally “pulls out all the stops” in paying tribute to one of his favorite writers, the legendary Edgar Allan Poe, whose fantastical creations continue to capture the imagination of those interested in the dark side. Calling upon the Angels in two extended improvisations inspired by the haunting and frightening imagery of one of the world’s masters of fantasy and the imagination, the music features some of the strangest sounds you have ever heard come out of the instrument. This is organ improvisation at its most outrageous and macabre. You have never heard such sounds!
Spike Orchestra: The Book Beri’ah Vol 3--Binah
Based in London, The Spike Orchestra is one of the most adventurous Big Bands working today, blending jazz, rock, klezmer, cartoon music and the avant garde into a cohesive and compelling whole. Their first Masada project Cerberus was a surprise hit and one of the most powerful and imaginative interpretations in the entire Book of Angels series. Here they top that spectacular CD with new interpretations from The Book Beri’ah. With influences ranging from Gil Evans, Frank Zappa, Zorn and the most experimental side of the Stan Kenton organization, Spike Orchestra creates an incredibly varied program of Masada music at its rocking best. Astonishing big band jazz leading us into the 21st century.
January and February releases announced
Sofía Rei And JC Maillard: The Book Beri’ah Vol 1--Keter
The fabulous voice of Sofía Rei has graced several Zorn vocal projects, from the acappella quartet Mycale to the dynamic Song Project, and here she interprets eight compositions from the Book Beri’ah—the third and last book completing the Masada legacy. Featuring the remarkable JC Maillard on saz bass, the arrangements are incredibly varied, and range from lyrical heartfelt ballads to driving grooves. Intimate and intensely personal, this is one of the most unique Masada CDs in the entire series! Unforgettable.
(Release date: January 2019)
Cleric: The Book Beri’ah Vol 2--Chokhma
At the forefront of the new rock complexity, Cleric is one of the most cutting edge bands out of the experimental Metal community. Here they put their hand to 9 compositions from Masada Book Three. Masada fans since they were in their teens, the band has put an extra measure of creativity into this project, weaving the tunes into insane arrangements of epic proportions. Outrageous, exhilarating and intense music that combines Metal with modern classical, jazz and the Jewish tradition. You have never heard such sounds in your life!
(Release date: February 2019)
John Zorn to Lead Birthday Celebration with John Medeski, Matt Hollenberg and More
John Zorn will celebrate his 65th birthday from Saturday September 1 to Tuesday September 4 at The Chapel in San Francisco.
The saxophonist will play seven shows over five days, with a variety of musicians, including John Medeski, Mark Feldman, Matt Hollenberg and more.
Single show tickets are now available, as are seven show passes, which sell for $295.
Check out the full billings below
Saturday September 1
7 p.m. Show
TRIGGER – Will Greene, guitar – Simon Hanes, bass – Aaron Edgcomb, Drums
ERIK FRIEDLANDER and MICHAEL NICOLAS – Erik Friedlander, cello – Michael Nicolas, cello
BAGATELLES QUINTET – John Zorn, saxophone – Dave Douglas, trumpet – Greg Cohen, bass – Kenny Wollesen, drums – Kenny Grohowski, drums
10 p.m. Show
MASADA STRING TRIO – Mark Feldman, violin – Erik Friedlander, cello – Greg Cohen, bass – John Zorn, conductor
SOFIA REI – Sofia Rei, voice – JC Maillard, saz bass
MASADA QUARTET – John Zorn, saxophone – Dave Douglas, trumpet – Greg Cohen, bass – Kenny Wollesen, drums
Sunday September 2
7 p.m. Show
IMPROV BENEFIT FOR THE STONE – John Zorn, saxophone – Mike Patton, voice – Dave Lombardo, drums – John Medeski, organ – Matt Hollenberg, guitar – Kenny Grohowski, drums
SIMULACRUM – John Medeski, organ – Matt Hollenberg, guitar – Kenny Grohowski, drums
10 p.m . Show
CLERIC PLAY MASADA – Matt Hollenberg, guitar – Nick Shellenberger, voice, keys – Dan Kennedy, bass – Larry Kwartowitz, drums
SECRET CHIEFS 3 PLAY MASADA – Trey Spruance, guitar – Jason Schimmel, guitar – Matt Lebofsky, keyboards – Eyvind Kang, violin – Shanir Blumenkranz, bass – Ches Smith, percussion – Kenny Grohowski, drums
Monday September 3
5 p.m. Show
Live Trio Performance
John Zorn, saxophone
Laurie Anderson, vocals/violin
Terry Riley, piano
7 p.m. Show
Interpretation of Dreams (new chamber music) – Chris Otto, violin – Michael Nicolas, cello – Steve Gosling, piano – Sae Hashimoto, vibes – Shanir Blumenkranz, bass – Ches Smith, drums
Tuesday, September 4
7 p.m. Show
BRIAN MARSELLA TRIO play MASADA – Brian Marsella, piano – Jason Fraticelli, bass – Kenny Wollesen, drums
BRIAN SOLO BAGATELLES – Brian Marsella, solo piano
BANQUET OF THE SPIRITS play MASADA – Cyro Baptista, percussion – Brian Marsella, piano – Shanir Blumenkranz ,bass – Kenny Wollesen, drums
November 2018 release announced
John Zorn: Salem, 1692
The second studio CD by Zorn’s incendiary new instrumental quartet presents a remarkable suite inspired by the tragic reign of terror in the Early American settlement of the Massachusetts Bay Colony commonly known as The Salem Witch Trials. The music is intense and hauntingly beautiful, touching upon aspects of Possession, Magic, Witchcraft, Hysteria and Transformation. Tighter than ever, the quartet performs brilliantly in this spellbinding followup to their eponymous first release Insurrection. An evocative collection of shredding guitar fireworks and bizarre magical spells, Salem 1692 is truly a musical reign of terror.
June 2018 release announced
John Zorn: In A Convex Mirror
In a Convex Mirror features Zorn's unique saxophone playing and keyboard stylings in an extended foray into the nexus of voudun and downtown improvisation. An intense student of Haitian drumming and a regular at ceremonies from NYC to Port-au-Prince Haiti, Ches Smith weaves a hypnotic tapestry of polyrhythms that are constantly in flux. The result is an exciting new context for Zorn the performer. With special guest Ikue Mori creating moody electronic soundscapes, the music is as hypnotic as it is exhilarating. Three pieces of sonic voodoo for the 21st century!
April 2018 release announced:
John Zorn: Insurrection
Insurrection is an intense new instrumental project featuring guitar wizards Julian Lage and Matt Hollenberg with the incredible rhythm section of Trevor Dunn and Kenny Grohowski. Inspired by some of the greatest experimental novels of the 20th century the music is incredibly varied, combining rock, funk, blues, jazz, classical and more—often in the same song! Gnarly atonal melodies, bizarre harmonies, astonishing guitar fireworks and telepathic group interaction make this one of Zorn’s most scintillating and adventurous new projects. Everyone is playing at their best here, and you have never heard such sounds! As always Zorn pulls the very best out of the musicians and they play some of the most outrageous solos you have ever heard. Essential!
February 15, 2018:
John Zorn has launched a Pledge Music campaign for a new box set: The Book Beriah. It features the final 92 compositions that complete the 25-year Masada legacy. The contents are:
CD1 Keter – crown SOFIA REI
CD2 Chokhma – wisdom CLERIC
CD3 Binah – understanding SPIKE ORCHESTRA
CD4 Chesed – loving kindness JULIAN LAGE-GYAN RILEY
CD5 Gevurah – severity ABRAXAS
CD6 Tiferet – beauty KLEZMERSON
CD7 Netzach – eternity GNOSTIC TRIO
CD8 Hod – splendor ZION80
CD9 Yesod – foundation BANQUET OF THE SPIRITS
CD10 Malkhut – kingship SECRET CHIEFS 3
BONUS CD —
CD11 Da’at – knowledge CRAIG TABORN-VADIM NESELOVSKYI
There are various purchasing options which can be found on the campaign page here. Updated release date is August 24th.
January 2018 release announced:
John Zorn: The Urmuz Epigrams
With The Urmuz Epigrams Zorn returns to his roots, using the recording studio as instrument to create an intensely personal suite of compositions in the style of his legendary File Card compositions and Zoetropes. Dedicated to the visionary Romanian writer Urmuz whose small, scattered body of work predated Dadaism by decades, The Urmuz Epigrams is a suite of surrealistic miniatures more akin to philosophical aphorisms than actual music. The pieces are presented here in two iterations, as a set of “rare 78rpm records” complete with surface scratches and limited dynamic range, and as a modern reconstruction of same with the full blown studio sound presented in all its perplexing glory. Some of the craziest music in the Zorn catalog!
November 2017 release announced:
John Zorn: The Hermetic Organ - Philharmonie De Paris
John Zorn returns to his original instrument with a new volume of organ improvisations recorded at his infamous Weekend in Paris in April 2017. The organ at the Grand Salle Pierre Boulez is one of the most powerful and versatile in France, and Zorn approaches it with great sensitivity and wild abandon. Includes both the full 40 minute concert recording, and over 30 additional minutes of Zorn alone at the manuals in rehearsal the same day.
Arcana VIII - Musicians On Music - 10th Anniversary Edition
Initiated in 1997 and now in its eighth installment, John Zorn’s acclaimed Arcana series is a major source of new music theory and practice in the 21st century. To date over 250 musicians (spanning three generations) have contributed, addressing the inner workings of composing, improvising, teaching, living, touring and thinking about music via essays, manifestoes, interviews, notes, critical papers and more. This special anniversary edition presents writings spanning classical music, jazz, rock, improvisation, world music, film soundtracks and more by exciting young artists, established masters and visionary mavericks.
September 2017 release announced:
John Zorn: The Interpretation Of Dreams
This powerful collection of new work inspired by the surrealism of Luis Buñuel and the psychotropic dream world of William Burroughs comprises three remarkable compositions—two stream-of-consciousness tours de force for vibraphone and rhythm section and the sensual piano quintet Obscure Objects of Desire, one of Zorn’s most evocative new works. Performing is the powerful young vibraphonist Sae Hashimoto, along with JACK quartet, Steve Gosling, Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz and Tyshawn Sorey from Zorn’s devoted inner circle. A colorful and varied program of breathtakingly transcendent compositions conjuring dreams and obsessions both real and imaginary!
June 2017 release announced:
John Zorn: Midsummer Moons
For millennia the moon has been a subject of deep fascination—a symbol of love, lust, madness and dreams. More than a passive observer, it is a powerful force whose brilliant luminosity exerts an intoxicating effect upon the winds, the tides, our emotions and more. This dark and moody CD of music inspired by Shakespearian Lunar imagery features ten lyrical compositions evoking the magic of Sister Moon. Stunningly performed by two of the most fabulous new guitarists working today— ulian Lage and Gyan Riley, this is a beautiful and heartfelt program of music for late night contemplation on a romantic midsummer evening.
April 2017 release announced
Brian Marsella: Buer: The Book Of Angels Volume 31
16 Masada compositions performed by a dynamic piano trio featuring Brian Marsella, the astonishing and passionate pianist from Banquet of the Spirits, Zion80 and The Flail. Joined here by the classic Masada rhythm section of Trevor Dunn and Kenny Wollesen, the performances are powerful, focused and incredibly varied. Each piece presents a different musical world, referencing McCoy Tyner, Don Pullen, Erik Satie, Conlon Nancarrow, Horace Silver, Lennie Tristano, Bill Evans, Bach, Bud Powell, Richard Twardzik, Debussy and many others.
March 2017 release announced
John Zorn: There Is No More Firmament
There is No More Firmament is a remarkable collection of recent compositions from 2013–2016 that showcase the range, variety and continued creativity of Zorn as he enters his sixties. Connected together with a thread of intensity, magic and madness, the music tells a twisted and complex story of a magical descent into madness. The compositions include two works for brass ensembles, a woodwind quintet, jazz piano trio, string trio and two solo pieces for clarinet and trumpet, with the outrageous trumpet solo Merlin appearing in two realizations—one by jazz master Peter Evans and another by the European classical virtuoso Marco Blaauw.