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John Zorn (Composer): Music Romance, Vol. 1: Music for Children

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

There has never been a CD quite like 'Music For Children'. The first installment of Zorn's challenging and controversial Music Romance trilogy (that includes 'Taboo and Exile' and 'The Gift') it is easily one of the most eclectic CDs ever made. The music includes three short Torture Garden compositions performed by Zorn with the scorching hardcore band Prelapse; a soulful piece of Masada exotica; a virtuosic classical chamber piece for violin, piano and percussion; a polyrhythmic etude for voice and percussion and a charming nostalgic lullaby for music box. The highlight of this re-release is a revised version of Zorn's infamously epic ear-bender 'Cycles du Nord', which takes on new intensity through overdubbed bass drums and a newly recorded noise guitar track by none other than the master of feedback himself - Lou Reed! Intensely intriguing, 'Music For Children' is an unbelievable musical roller coast ride that takes you from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again in sixty jam-packed minutes.

Album Notes

This selection was re-mastered for its 10th anniversary in 2009, with a revised version of "Cycles du Nord" that includes bass drums and guitar noise.

Personnel: John Zorn (alto saxophone); Cyro Baptista (vocals, percussion); David Abel (violin); Julie Steinberg (piano); Anthony Coleman (celesta); William Winant (percussion).

Audio Remasterer: Scott Hull .

Unknown Contributor Roles: Erik Friedlander; Prelapse; Greg Cohen ; John Zorn ; Julie Steinberg; Marc Ribot; Mark Feldman ; Anthony Coleman ; David Abel ; Cyro Baptista; William Winant .

Originally released in 1998 as the first in the MUSIC ROMANCE series, John Zorn's MUSIC FOR CHILDREN is something of a misnomer in that its contents, apart from a certain wide-ranging playfulness, have little to do with children (or romance for that matter). Rather, this is a highly eclectic entry from a composer-musician much noted for his eclecticism. True, the opening "Fils Des Etoiles" features a charming music box-and-percussion duo from Anthony Coleman and Cyro Baptista, but we are quickly led into abrasive Naked City cut-and-paste territory with "This Way Out." Following this is "Music For Children" itself, an accomplished chamber piece featuring percussionist Willian Winant's trio with pianist Julie Steinberg and violinist David Abel. And so it goes. The 10th Anniversary edition of MUSIC FOR CHILDREN features a revised version of the lengthy Edgar Varese-inspired sound installation "Cycles Du Nord," wherein special guest Lou Reed's feedback guitar has been grafted onto Zorn's original (and noisy) wind machine-generated track.


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