Heaven & Earth Magick
with Stephen Gosling, Sae Hashimoto, Jorge Roeder & Ches Smith
The saxophonist John Zorn is “the most prolific and polarizing figure in New York’s downtown scene” and “a major American composer whose work crosses just about every stylistic boundary imaginable” (The New York Times). In four decades, Zorn has released dozens of albums on his own label, Tzadik; their contents are famously varied, ranging from riotous jazz interpretations of Ennio Morricone and hardcore punk versions of Ornette Coleman to orchestral and choral music. As the uncontested icon of the American avant-garde, Zorn’s only conventions are collaboration, curiosity, and an unquenchable conviction that the story of music is still unfolding. An all-star cast performs eight different programs of his work at Big Ears.
HEAVEN & EARTH MAGICK
The brilliant classical pianist Stephen Gosling, who will play the composer’s solo piano fantasy on the art of J.M.W. Turner in another program, joins vibraphonist Sae Hashimoto, bassist Jorge Roeder, and percussionist Ches Smith to perform an even-newer Zorn work, Heaven & Earth Magick. Released in 2021, it galvanizes thoroughly notated piano-and-vibes compositions with an improvised rhythm section to destabilize perceptions of classical and jazz. Hashimoto, the principal timpanist of New Jersey’s Symphony in C, has performed with the New York Philharmonic and in prior Zorn works. Roeder is a Grammy nominee with the Julian Lage Group, while Smith is a percussion sage whose We All Break ensemble has its own Big Ears concert.