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Album Review
mike


John Zorn: The Dreamers
2008
Tzadik
Composed, Arranged, and Conducted by John Zorn
Recorded and Mixed by Marc Urselli at Eastside Sound
Produced by John Zorn
Mastered by Scott Hull

5 out of 5 mics

Another AMAZING album from John Zorn.

I was tempted to leave the review at just that first sentence. But that might not be enough to pique everyone's interest. As it says on the album insert, The Dreamers is a follow-up of sorts to Zorn's The Gift. He employs most of the same brilliant musicians here, most noticeably Marc Ribot on guitar, Jamie Saft on keyboards, and Kenny Wolleson on vibes.

The Dreamers portrays a sense of, well, dreaming. Ribot's guitar and Saft's keyboard combine for lush textures and beautiful melodies. The compositions tend toward world music, jazz-fusion, and surf-rock, but don't fall neatly into any of these categories. Forcing these songs into genres isn't possible, but it gives you a sense of the feeling of the album. There is a complexity and subtlety in the arrangement of melody and harmony which pushes these songs beyond classification.

Fans of John Zorn's Electric Masada may recognize that this is the group performing The Dreamers. Along with Marc Ribot, Jamie Saft, and Kenny Wolleson, there is Trevor Dunn on bass, Joey Baron playing drums, and crowd favorite Cyro Baptista on persussion. Zorn himself joins in on alto sax.

Marc Urselli once again does an impeccable job of capturing the nuance of Zorn's detailed compositions and the performances of these exciting players. Scott Hull, as well, once again does a superb job of mastering so as to give this collection of vastly different songs and sounds a cohesive feeling and shine.

This album is a lot of fun to listen to. It's not an "easy" album per se, but it is a fun and rewarding listen.