Thurston Moore and John Paul Jones
Sometimes the sun, the moon, and the stars align in unexpected ways.
Bassist, keyboard and mandolin player, composer, and arranger John Paul Jones – once in a little band called Led Zeppelin that made waves back in the day – already has two special Big Ears performances scheduled: a solo concert on Friday, March 22, and the North American debut of Sons of Chipotle, his duo with cello virtuoso Anssi Kartunnen, the following day, Saturday, March 23.
Guitarist and Sonic Youth founder Thurston Moore is, of course, a legend himself. His recently published memoir, Sonic Life, chronicles the wild, potent musical melting pot of downtown New York in the 1980s, ‘90s, and beyond, where he emerged as a vital creative musical force. Somehow, Thurston has never managed to make it to Big Ears. Until now.
Just a few weeks ago he and Mr. Jones proposed a collaboration, a musical meeting of the minds. Guess what? We said “YES!”
Expect the unexpected.
Thurston Moore started Sonic Youth in 1980. With Sonic Youth, Moore turned on an entire generation to the value of experimentation in rock n roll – from its inspiration on a nascent Nirvana, to Sonic Youth’s own Daydream Nation album being chosen by the US Library of Congress for historical preservation in the National Recording Registry in 2006. Since then, he has been at the forefront of the alternative rock scene since that particular sobriquet was first used to signify any music that challenged and defied the mainstream standard. Moore records and performs in a cavalcade of disciplines ranging from free improvisation to acoustic composition to black/white metal/noise disruption. He has worked with Yoko Ono, John Zorn, Bobby Gillespie, David Toop, Cecil Taylor, Faust, Glenn Branca and many others. His latest recordings have been described as “Mesmerizing” (Rolling Stone) and “Righteous” (The Independent).
John Paul Jones is one of the most accomplished and respected musicians in the world of music today. As a prolific session musician in the 1960’s he played on or arranged innumerable recordings for artists such as Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, and Cat Stevens. He was a founder member of Led Zeppelin. Following his unparalleled career with Led Zeppelin, John began to work as a performer, arranger and producer with a diverse range of artists such as Diamanda Galas, REM, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, and La Fura dels Baus. His debut solo album, Zooma, was released in September 1999, followed by The Thunderthief in 2001. Since 2004 his sonic explorations have also led him to perform as part of John Cage’s Music Circus, touring with bluegrass trio Nickel Creek, and working as co-composer and performer for Merce Cunningham’s Nearly Ninety which was performed with Sonic Youth and Takehisa Kosugi in New York, London and Madrid.
More recently, John’s wide and varied career in music continued as he formed a group called Them Crooked Vultures with Dave Grohl and Joshua Homme, appeared and performed in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s opera ‘Anna Nicole,’ toured the USA with Dave Rawlings and Gillian Welch , and released the debut Minibus Pimps album Cloud to GroundJohn has also made several guest appearances with the acclaimed Norwegian avant-garde group Supersilent in various parts of the world.
Photo: Thurston Moore by Barry Brecheisen / John Paul Jones by Robert Marquardt