New Masada Quartet
With Julian Lage, Jorge Roeder, Kenny Wollesen & John Zorn
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.
NEW MASADA QUARTET
“John Zorn’s long-running Masada project is a Hydra-headed endeavor that allows the composer and saxophonist to adapt his voluminous musical output for multiple ensembles,” The New Yorker said. With the New Masada Quartet, Zorn has put together a pretty monster indeed: The band features his trusted collaborators, the guitarist Julian Lage, the bassist Jorge Roeder, and the drummer Kenny Wollesen. With Zorn conducting from behind the saxophone, they breathe new life into the music of Masada, which amalgamates Sephardic Jewish music with Ornette Coleman’s harmolodic philosophy and accounts for some of Zorn’s most widely admired works.