Considering peoples appreciation for innovations in sound, it seems unusual that this album goes brushed over as simply the works of Ornette Coleman sped up. Zorn brought a brash, violent harshness that starkly contrasted anything jazz had seen up until that time, and all without sacrificing the musical complexities that Coleman was known for. This album remains a great example of just how far in the musical spectrum hardcore's influence reached. In the words of John Zorn "F***ing hardcore rules."
One of the most chaotic albums I have ever heard. Two saxophones, two drummers, and a bassist playing Orenette Coleman tracks at blistering speeds, blurring the line between jazz and hardcore. The musicianship is stellar throughout, and I dig the boomy production style. That said, the track sequencing here is wrong: the first two-thirds of the record comprise twelve turbulent, nearly impossible to follow numbers, and the final third (comparatively) slows things down, with more accessible tunes. The flow of the album is thus compromised-- a more even distribution of accessible amongst inaccessible would render both parties more distinct; as it stands, the songs here tend to blur together, especially in the first half. Nonetheless, I recommend Spy vs. Spy as it is an extremely unique take on jazz- pushing the genre to some of its most extreme points- and I admire that tenacity and fearlessness. The origins of Naked City, an album Zorn would release soon after this, are audible in the proceedings here. 3.4