John Zorn’s Masada Party @ the Vanguard This Week

John Zorn was beaming at the Newport Jazz Festival in August. The far flung ensembles of his Masada family were together for a two-and-a-half hour mix ‘n’ match confab that stretched from chamber music gentility to red-zone dissonance that he proudly declared “sick” with one of his Zornian grins. The through-line was obvious all day: each of the participating ensembles were radically tight, and the performances couldn’t have been more eloquent. It’s wise to expect something similar at the Village Vanguard this week, when many of the same participants – from Jamie Saft’s piano trio to Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits – leap into Zorn’s ‘Book Of Angels’ pieces, a collection of discrete works that flies under the flag of “mixing Ornette Coleman and Jewish scales.” The week’s ultimate mitzvah? The Saturday night arrival of the maestro’s original Masada quartet, with Dave Douglas, Greg Cohen and Joey Baron. They will destroy the place with beauty.

Village Vanguard,  178 7th Ave. South, NYC. 212-255-4037



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