John Zorn
Ipsissimus


3.5
great

Review

by Excretakano USER (7 Reviews)
January 12th, 2011 | 9 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Crowleyana for ages 2 to 92

My five-year-old son loves “Book of Los,” the second track off Tzadik’s latest Moonchild collaboration. I could lie and say it was for Marc Ribot’s lush guitar lead, the mid-song choral touches, Zorn’s cautious piano contributions, or even the blazing instrumental virtuoso second half. It’s not. My boy lights up when Mike Patton’s Fudd-in-an-electric-chair gibbering rips across the song’s ritual jazz-rock landscape. It’s perhaps not the best reason to be excited about occult improv, but it could be worse. He could prefer Bieber.

After four other recordings with similar focus, one might expect further work to be a stale retread, but on Ipsissimus, Zorn and company are still finding new ways to evolve their sound. Patton has injected lighter whispers and tonal singing into his performance, and Zorn’s sax rage in opener “Seven Sigils” also yields to smoother granddad-pleasing runs. Trevor Dunn’s bass growls in places, bubbles in others, sometimes laying foundation but just as often scratching out Masada-like melodies (as in “The Changeling”) that have been creeping into this music since Moonchild’s last outing, The Crucible. Joey Baron, likewise, is more than rhythm keeper; his drums sketch impish patterns around the others’ equally cheeky efforts. Further sonic surprises can be found in the chiming intro and tropical beach-to-beast transformations of “Warlock,” and in the guitar solos exhumed from some alternate universe’s Southern rock tradition in “Supplicant.”

Maybe it’s not so strange that, amidst all the bold magickal questing undertaken by these brave musicians, it’s Patton’s human voice, screwball utterances and all, that I find most memorable. Maybe there’s a giggling five-year-old in all of us.



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user ratings (20)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
thebhoy
Emeritus
January 13th 2011


4463 Comments


what I didn't know this existed! Acquiring now. Nice review, have you heard Ribot's Silent Movies from slightly earlier in 2010? That's really nice too.

liledman
January 13th 2011


3828 Comments


yeah didnt even know about this release. sounds interesting (well duh, its zorn)

lobby
January 17th 2011


1251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album is really good. I don't think everyone would enjoy this though. The vocals are pretty out there

Edwin
January 17th 2011


1399 Comments


Didn't know this existed either. Getting on it right away.

JustJoe.
January 17th 2011


6951 Comments


John Zorn. Must acquire.

Digging: Boards of Canada - Trans Canada Highway

lobby
January 17th 2011


1251 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i listened to three of his 2010 albums, all of which i liked, the goddess was best, then this, then dictee

L03T4U9U3K4N
April 13th 2017


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Moonchild's best album

Veldin
April 13th 2017


3890 Comments


Didn't know this was Moonchild, will definitely have to check out. Zorn's last several albums since 2015 have all been so good

Zig
February 21st 2019


1894 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Not better than Six Litanies, but still great.



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