The Squid's Ear Magazine


Zorn, John (Marsella / Medeski / Grohowski / Hollenberg): 444 (Tzadik)

The 4th release from the New York electric jazz quartet Chaos Magick of Brian Marsella on electric piano, John Medeski on organ, Kenny Grohowski on drums and Matt Hollenberg on electric guitar, playing the lyrical & passionate compositions of John Zorn, in eight tracks varying from rhythmically propulsive to contemplatively dream-like, with a little Chaos thrown in.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



John Zorn-composer

Brian Marsella-electric piano

John Medeski-organ

Kenny Grohowski-drums, percussion

Matt Hollenberg-electric guitar


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UPC: 702397839828

Label: Tzadik
Catalog ID: CD-TZA-8398
Squidco Product Code: 33019

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded at East Side Sound, in New York, New York.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"In 2020 Brian Marsella joined the heavy metal organ trio Simulacrum to spawn the astonishing fusion quartet Chaos Magick. This fourth CD in their ever-expanding legacy is a magical collection of instrumental music at its finest. Tighter and wilder than ever, Medeski, Hollenberg, Grohowski, and Marsella perform with a remarkable rapport in this provocative new direction from Downtown alchemist John Zorn, who has been exploring new musical worlds and confounding expectations since the 1970s!"-Tzadik


Artist Biographies

"John Zorn (born September 2, 1953) is an American composer, arranger, producer, saxophonist, and multi-instrumentalist with hundreds of album credits as performer, composer, and producer across a variety of genres including jazz, rock, hardcore, classical, surf, metal, klezmer, soundtrack, ambient, and improvised music. He incorporates diverse styles in his compositions which he identifies as avant-garde or experimental. Zorn was described by Down Beat as "one of our most important composers".

Zorn established himself within the New York City downtown music movement in the mid-1970s performing with musicians across the sonic spectrum and developing experimental methods of composing new music. After releasing albums on several independent US and European labels, Zorn signed with Elektra Nonesuch and received wide acclaim with the release of The Big Gundown, an album reworking the compositions of Ennio Morricone. He attracted further attention worldwide with the release of Spillane in 1987, and Naked City in 1989. After spending almost a decade travelling between Japan and the US he made New York his permanent base and established his own record label, Tzadik, in the mid-1990s.

Tzadik enabled Zorn to maintain independence from the mainstream music industry and ensured the continued availability of his growing catalog of recordings, allowing him to prolifically record and release new material, issuing several new albums each year, as well as promoting the work of many other musicians. Zorn has led the hardcore bands Naked City and Painkiller, the klezmer/free jazz-influenced quartet Masada, composed over 600 pieces as part of the Masada Songbooks that have been performed by an array of groups, composed concert music for classical ensembles and orchestras, and produced music for opera, sound installations, film and documentary. Zorn has undertaken many tours of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, often performing at festivals with many other musicians and ensembles that perform his diverse output.

Zorn's compositions cross many genres and he has stated "All the various styles are organically connected to one another. I'm an additive person-the entire storehouse of my knowledge informs everything I do. People are so obsessed with the surface that they can't see the connections, but they are there." For Zorn "Composing is more than just imagining music-it's knowing how to communicate it to musicians. And you don't give an improviser music that's completely written out, or ask a classical musician to improvise. I'm interested in speaking to musicians in their own languages, on their own terms, and in bringing out the best in what they do. To challenge them and excite them." "

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Zorn)
5/28/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Brian Marsella is an emerging artist in the improv music community. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Brian learned music by ear at age three from listening to his father, an amateur jazz musician, play the saxophone and vibraphone. His first music loves were Tchaikovsky, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Scott Joplin. At five, Brian started to study classical piano and gave his first public performance. Most of Brian's childhood was filled with the struggle of learning music and the exhilaration of performance. At age eleven, Brian had has first professional "gig." Throughout his teen years, Brian performed extensively around the Philadelphia area in a myriad of settings. A friendship at that time with Philadelphia bassist, Lance Walker, whom had worked with Patti LaBelle and Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, opened Brian to the world of R&B, blues, funk, and fusion, working with bands The Dukes of Destiny, The Elgins, and countless others. While doing club dates at night and weddings on the weekends, Brian kept up his classical career as well. At fourteen, Brian was the music director, conductor, and harpsichordist for the New Hope Performing Arts Festival's production of Mozart's opera, Bastien and Batienna, which received rave reviews. At sixteen, Brian gave his first full length concert at The James Lorah House, in Doylestown, Pa. The concert included works of D. Scarlatti, Chopin, Brahms and the world premier of Peter Cody's Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. Throughout this time, Brian was studying classical piano with master, David Ancker.

Brian went on to study composition at the Westminster Choir College, and piano performance at The Juilliard School and The Peabody Conservatory, having studied with teachers such as David Dubal and Robert MacDonald. After a year hiatus from music, Brian moved to NYC and received his BFA in jazz performance from the New School Jazz and Contemporary Music Program. There he studied with Richie Beirach, George Garzone, Reggie Workman, Junior Mance, Joanne Brackeen, and LeAnn Ledgerwood.

Since 2000, Brian has been a busy performing and recording artist, playing around the world with some of the world's finest musicians. Brian has been a member of Brazilian percussionist, Cyro Baptista's internationally acclaimed band, Beat the Donkey, since 2004. With Beat the Donkey, Brian has performed throughout the US and Europe, having played Central Park Summer Stage, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Bethel Woods Jazz Festival, and the Planet Arlington World Music Festival. This past year, Cyro and Brian have collaborated in forming the band, Vira Loucos, with bassist, Shanir Blumenkrantz and drummer, Tim Keiper. The group has played Tonic, The Jazz Standard, and MOMA, to frenzied audiences. Their debut album will be out this fall.

Brian is also a founding member of long-time band of friends, Caveman. Caveman has played over 300 shows in the US and Canada, including performances at the 2002 Endless Mountain Music Festival, 2003 New Orleans Jazz Festival, and Camp Bisco VI. Caveman has self-released two albums, 'Before the World' (which features a track with friend, Matisyahu) and 'totem'. Brian has also toured with Tzadik recording artist, Eyal Maoz's, 'Edom'. With Edom, Brian has performed at The New York City Winter Jazz Festival, The Montreal Jazz Festival, and the oy!hoo festival in NYC. The group will be recording a new album for Tzadik this year and will be performing in Russia this fall. Brian's other touring and recording credits include work with artists: Billy Martin, G. Calvin Weston, Marshall Allen, Odean Pope, Dave Fuszinski, Anat Cohen, Byard Lancatser, Jamaladeen Tacuma, Matisyahu, Trevor Dunn, Mary Halvorson, Briggan Kraus, Romero Lubambo, D.J. Logic, Taylor McFerrin, George Garzone, Rick Iannicone, Elliot Levin, Warren Oree, Dennis Irwin, Jason Smart, Edmar Castenada, Stephen Bernstein, Jon Madof, Erik Friedlander, Ches Smith, Baye Kouyate; and groups: Mad Cow, Big Tree, Leana Song, Pharoah's Daughter, UB313, Chris Tunkle Band, Circuit Breaker, Mother of All Bombs, Brentwood Estates, Exoskeleton, and Group Therapy."

-The Flail (http://www.theflail.com/presskit/brianM_bio.pdf)
5/28/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Anthony John Medeski (born June 28, 1965) is an American jazz keyboards player and composer. Medeski is a veteran of New York's 1990s avant-garde jazz scene and is known popularly as a member of Medeski Martin & Wood. He plays the acoustic piano and an eclectic array of keyboards, including the Hammond B3 organ, melodica, mellotron, clavinet, ARP String Ensemble, Wurlitzer electric piano, Moog Voyager Synthesizer, Wurlitzer 7300 Combo Organ, Vox Continental Baroque organ, and Yamaha CS-1 Synthesizer (a "kids' toy"), among others. When playing acoustic piano, Medeski usually plays the Steinway piano and is listed as a Steinway Artist.

Medeski was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and grew up in Florida. After studying piano as a child (starting when he was five years old), he began as a teenager to perform with musicians such as Mark Murphy and Jaco Pastorius. He attended Pine Crest School. In 1983, after graduating from high school, he began studying piano at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where he performed as a sideman with Dewey Redman, Billy Higgins, Bob Mintzer, Alan Dawson and Mr. Jellybelly. Medeski attributes his early interest in playing improvised music and jazz to listening to Oscar Peterson."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Medeski)
5/28/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Brought up in a musical household in Miami, 29-year-old drummer, Kenny Grohowski has been performing since the age of 14. His rich musical background is demonstrated through the growing list of his collaborators and guest artists, including Vernon Reid, Corey Unger (of Blood Has Been Shed), Emeline Michel, Peter Cincotti, Jorge Sylvester, Bobby Sanabria, Bill T. Jones, Rory Stuart, Cassandra Wilson, Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz, Giovanni Hidalgo, John Benitez, Francis Mbappe, Domingo Quinones, and Bobby Valentin.

Grohowski has been a member of bassist Lonnie Plaxico's band since 2003, and a member of Andy Milne's Dapp Theory since 2006, having come back from a successful US/Canada tour with Dapp Theory, with Highlight shows in Vancouver opening for Jazz and Bass legend, Stanley Clarke, and performed in the 2007 Latin Grammy Awards Live from Madison Square Garden with the award winning group RBD. He has appeared on several recordings, including Plaxico's hit "So Alive" [Sony, Japan]. As of 2009, Grohowski has become a new member of acclaimed Haitian singer/cultural figure Emeline Michel's Accoustic Quintet, and has also performed at the Museum of Modern Art with the Ze Luis Quartet as part of their Live Art performances. Grohowski has also toured across the United States, South America, and Europe, as well as in Australia and China with New Classical Composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (a.k.a. DBR). Kenny has also performed regularly with acclaimed bassist Felix Pastorius and his group since 2010, performing regularly at such New York City venues as Zinc Bar and The 55 Bar. Recently, Grohowski has written and recorded for Grammy Award winning Producer and Arranger Victor "Papo" Ortiz on the album "Eres Santo".

When not working with his various affiliated ensembles, Grohowski enjoys a steady and fast paced Free lancing schedule, working with many of New York City's top Jazz, Rock, and Brazilian artists, as well as a multitude of others, and has recorded on over 40 albums. [...]"

-Kenny Grohowski Website (http://kennygrohowski.com/about/)
5/28/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Guitarist Matt Hollenberg was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is a member of iNFiNiEN, Cleric, Cetus, and has performed with John Frum. He studied Liberal arts at Community College of Philadelphia, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

-Matt Hollenberg Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/matt.hollenberg.5/about?lst=1389755694%3A815073819%3A1510010637§ion=education&pnref=about)
5/28/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Splendour Solis 4:26

2. Retort 7:36

3. In Sulphur And In Flame 3:00

4. Astral Projection 7:31

5. Civil Disobedience 3:29

6. With Blood I Summon Thee 5:49

7. Salt And Mercury 5:38

8. Tayy Al-Ard 9:12

Related Categories of Interest:


Tzadik
Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Quartet Recordings
Zorn. John
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Tzadik.


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