the bribe (1998)

Track Listing 


Part 1 : Sliding On The Ice 

Gill's Theme  2:07 
Hydrant Of The Vogue  0:41 
The Big Freeze  1:01 
Meters  2:24 
The Bridge / Cocktails  4:06 
The Willies  1:01 
The Taxman Cometh  1:16 
Night Walk  1:09 
Skit Rhesus  2:43 
The Boxer  0:59 
Trick Or Treat  3:22 
The Latin Trip / Gill's Theme  3:30 

Part 2 The Arrest 

A Taste Of Voodoo  3:20 
Inhaling The Image  1:49 
City Chase  3:27 
Dreams Of The Red Chamber  11:38 
Rash Acts  1:30 
Chippewa  1:24 
The Hour Of Thirteen  0:47 
Radio Mouth / Gill's Theme  2:57 

Part 3 The Art Bar 

Midnight Streets  3:58 
Victoria Lake  3:12 
Strip Central  5:26 
Pink Limousine  9:18 
Skyline  3:19 
Ordinary Lies / Gill's Theme  2:04


Marty Ehrlich: Reeds  
John Zorn: Alto Sax  
Jim Staley: Trombone
Robert Quine: Guitar
Anthony Coleman: Piano 
Wayne Horvitz: Organ   
Christian Marclay: Turntables
David Hofstra: Bass
Bobby Previte: Percussion
Reck: Rhythm Guitar
Carol Emmanuel: Harp
Ikue Mori: Drum Machines


All music composed, arranged and conduted by John Zorn    
Produced by John Zorn    
Associate Producers - Kazunori Sugiyama and Terry O'Reilly
Recorded by Dan Hunerberg at Radio City Studio 1986 
Mastered by Allan Tucker at Foothill Digital, NYC
Photographs by Dona McAdams,  Guga Melgar, Weegee
Design - Ikue Mori 


Written a few months after the session that created one of Zorn's most influential compositional masterpieces "Spillane," The Bribe is a major new discovery in the Zorn oeuvre. Recorded in the same style as "Spillane," with the same engineer, and very close to the same ensemble, these cues are not unlike an extended version of that classic piece. Created originally for three thirty minutes radio plays produced by Mabou Mines theater company back in 1986, this exciting music features lush moody orchestrations, swinging jazz, hard rock, groovy funk, noise, improvisations, exotic ambience and much, much more. With all the music squeezed onto one extended CD (over 76 minutes), The Bribe is one of Zorn's most eclectic and stimulating releases.

Series:  Archival Series 

Catalogue Number:  TZ7320

Release Date:  September 1998

John Zorn Notes:

  There is an interesting relation between the music here and my extended composition Spillane.  Originally created for three 30-minute radio plays produced by Mabou Mines, The Bribe was recorded in the same studio bybthe same engineer, and utilized a very similar group of musicians.  What we have here is not unlike an extended variation on the earlier piece, with a brooding ambience, moments of lush orchestration, violence, beauty and of course a sly sense of humor.  There are even some compositional fragments fleshed out here that were left unused during the final version of Spillane:  pieces like The Bridge, The Hour of Thirteen, Midnight Streets, Skyline and Victoria Lake (which I think was originally written as a portrait of Mike Hammer's personal secretary Velda), have a moody fil noir feel that seemed to fit in perfectly with what Terry was envisioning as the atmosphere of The Bribe.
  In Spillane, moments of music are compressed into blocks that, as separate scenes, take us on a kaleidoscopic rollercoaster ride through an imaginary narrative.  The overall arc is kept intact precisely because of the momentum built up by the speed of the successive moments.  The pacing is critical in pieces of this sort and it was clear to me at the time that people who seemed frustrated about these often complex polyphoinc and beautifully sculpted moments passing so quickly were missing the point of the overall compositional innovation.  Why didn't I let those sections last longer ?  Because, the piece was Spillane, and any traditional sense of development was being deliberately avoided, did not belong.  The Bribe is quite a different story.  For the most part the music here functions behind dialogue, more like actual soundtrack music.  The musical cues are allowed to develop in a variety of ways, and the players get much more of a chance to stretch out.  In a sense what we are left with is a sprawling extended file card piece, much looser than the meticulously crafted perfection of an 'aural movie', like Spillane.  Interspersed with passages of 'runner downbeats' (from Cobra), to help the energy and momentum, the drama and narrative is still in evidence, although twisted and stretched almost beyond recognition.
  All of my obsessions of the time are here: cartoon music, jazz, Morricone ostinatos, Herrmann-esque orchestrations, noise, world music, improvisiation, funk, Latin grooves, hard rock, etc.  The players are impeccable, masters one and all.  Today, over a decade later it seems almost normal for musicians to be aware of so many musical styles and to be able to play convincingly in them all.  But bacxk then it was quite a different story.  This is a very special group of musicians and their contributions and talent cannot be overstated.  The proof is in the hearing.         John Zorn, NYC 1998