I wasn't clear what this show was, but I knew it was one of those special Zorn things with stellar artists. I didn't know until I looked up the listing that it was Zorn's birthday.
It was as fantastic as it could possibly be. I went to both sets, and I still felt it was a bargain at $20 a set. It is also awesome the proceeds all go to The Stone. I think it was awesome he wanted to have his birthday gig there. That show at Abrons would have likely packed them in.
I'm not familiar with the Alhambra ensemble. The music is so wonderful. Full of beauty and as great as all Zorn music seems to be.
The 2nd set was 8 new pieces the musicians saw for the first time that evening. I know because he told us. I assumed the 1st set with , Shanir Blumenkranz, and Rob Berger was all new also. But, it may have just been new to me.
The 2nd set was the same lineup with the addition of Kenny Wollensen on vibes.
The music in both sets had a similar feeling. It was reminiscent of The Dreamers with some Masada undertones. Its really hard for me to try to describe. Its completely different than anything out there, other than some familiar feel to some other Zorn work. I didn't think it was "out there" at all. It would appeal to a wide range of listeners.
Zorn conducted for each set. It was too great. Yet another thing I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of.
9/2 Wednesday (JM)
John Zorn Birthday Concert—Alhambra Love Songs
Rob Burger (piano) Shanir Blumenkranz (bass) Ben Perowsky (drums)
The fabulous Alhambra trio comes in to perform the music from one of Zorn's most recent and most beautiful CDs. TWENTY DOLLARS.
John Zorn Birthday Concert—Hymns, Prayers and Sacred Dances
Rob Burger (piano) Kenny Wollesen (vibraphone) Shanir Blumenkranz (bass) Ben Perowsky (drums)
The world premiere of Zorn's newest compositions written for the fabulous Alhambra trio, with Kenny Wollesen on vibes! TWENTY DOLLARS.