DIW : 1994
John Zorn, alto; Dave Douglas, trumpet; Greg Cohen, bass; Joey Baron; drums.
The opening salvo in what would turn out to be a tremendous creative outlet for Zorn: the Masada songbook. Here, on the occasion of the Jewish new year, are a couple of tunes from that very first Masada record.
The album was recorded at a marathon session on Februrary 20, 1994 — an intensely productive day that generated songs for the first four Masada albums, Alef, Bet, Gimel, Daled. While most of Zorn’s impressively sprawling catalog is available through Tzadik, these early Masada albums remain stubbornly hard to find.
Even from the start, both “Jair” and “Tahah” showcase the superlative interplay between these musicians. Likened to, in Zorn’s oft-quoted phrase, putting “Ornette Coleman and the Jewish scales together,” the songs do share some of the sonic fingerprints of Ornette’s classic quartet, but are even more sing-song-y and traditionally structured then those of the O.G. OC.
We share them here with warm wishes for a sweet, happy, and healthy 5772 to all our readers.