Tuesday, September 19, 2006

John Zorn among Grant Winners

John Zorn, who emerged from the hybrid free jazz - punk no wave NYC crowd in the '80s, has won a MacArthur Award.

Mr. Zorn, whose record label is Tzadik and who runs a music venue in the East Village called the Stone, said he was extremely grateful to the community of downtown musicians who have supported him over the years. "The best thing that could happen with this award is maybe a long overdue light could be shined on that community and their work, and people would start taking it a little more seriously," he said. "Because, let's face it, we live in a world where dumbing-down is the order of the day." He said he was shocked to receive the award. "It's unbelievable: Acknowledgment in your lifetime is such a rare, precious thing."
Per his Wikipedia entry:
He is inspired by other artists and different musical styles. He has a special attraction to underground artists and musical styles that are extremely loud, wild, or creative. He is perhaps best known for his work with Masada, with Joey Baron (drums), Dave Douglas (trumpet), Greg Cohen (bass); Masada is an Ornette Coleman-influenced band playing compositions based on Jewish scales. The Masada songs are part of the songbook with several different arrangements. These include the Masada String Trio, Bar Kohkba, and Electric Masada. He has also played with Painkiller (a mix of grindcore and free jazz in which he is joined by Mick Harris of Napalm Death) and Naked City (an often aggressive mix of jazz, rock and thrash metal). He has also worked with musicians such as Bill Frisell, Gary Lucas, Wayne Horvitz, Derek Bailey, Cyro Baptista, Trevor Dunn, Mark Feldman, Fred Frith, Erik Friedlander, Keiji Haino, Bill Laswell, Arto Lindsay, Mike Patton, John Medeski, Ikue Mori, Robert Quine, Marc Ribot, Jamie Saft, Kenny Wolleson, and the Violent Femmes. He has written music for television and film, which has been collected in the ongoing Filmworks series of records on his Tzadik label. Some of these are jazz-based, others are classical.

Motel de Moka has some Naked City tracks

and an interview with Bomb Magazine

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