The Gift

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sean Westergaard
Shattering expectations has been a hallmark of John Zorn's career, but The Gift might surprise even longtime fans. It's basically Zorn's exotica record; a tribute to the sound made popular by the likes of Martin Denny and Les Baxter. A core band of Downtown heavyweights provide you with an easy-listening sound that conjures images of sand and surf, and warm summer nights. Of course, as conductor and arranger, Zorn is ultimately responsible for the sound, but what you hear is primarily the guitar of Marc Ribot, and the keyboards mostly Wurlitzer and Farfisa of Jamie Saft. Trevor Dunn, Joey Baron, and Cyro Baptista are the rhythm section, with Ned Rothenberg joining in ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sean Westergaard
Shattering expectations has been a hallmark of John Zorn's career, but The Gift might surprise even longtime fans. It's basically Zorn's exotica record; a tribute to the sound made popular by the likes of Martin Denny and Les Baxter. A core band of Downtown heavyweights provide you with an easy-listening sound that conjures images of sand and surf, and warm summer nights. Of course, as conductor and arranger, Zorn is ultimately responsible for the sound, but what you hear is primarily the guitar of Marc Ribot, and the keyboards mostly Wurlitzer and Farfisa of Jamie Saft. Trevor Dunn, Joey Baron, and Cyro Baptista are the rhythm section, with Ned Rothenberg joining in on shakuhachi on one track, and another augmented by a string section and the trumpet of Dave Douglas. Zorn has been able to draw from an incredible talent pool for many years now, and always knows how to get fabulous performances out of them, no matter what the context. Although the New York scene is notorious for its noisemaking ability, people should stop being surprised at their ability to turn in beautiful, understated performances; and this recording is a prime example. The tunes have a laid-back beach vibe that cries out for cold beverages in the twilight. They succeed perfectly in creating the feel of classic exotica à la Denny or Baxter, but still maintain their individual identities as players. Towards the end of the recording, the music takes a slightly spooky Morricone-esque turn on "Bridge to the Beyond," the only track on which Zorn performs, on theremin and piano, but the reprise of "Makahaa" brings you right back to the islands. The Gift shows another more accessible side to John Zorn see also Bar Kokhba and The Circle Maker. It might be said that he's mellowing with age, but expect the unexpected from Mr. Zorn. Despite the undeniable beauty of the music, underneath the pretty pink wrapping and bows of the outer slipcase, Zorn has included several paintings of young girls in the cover art that some people might find slightly disturbing, as if to underscore the idea that beauty itself is highly subjective.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/27/2001
  • Label: Tzadik
  • UPC: 702397733225
  • Catalog Number: 7332
  • Sales rank: 46,624

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Makaahaa (5:20)
  2. 2 The Quiet Surf (3:14)
  3. 3 Samarkan (6:41)
  4. 4 Train to Thiensan (3:51)
  5. 5 Snake Catcher (6:32)
  6. 6 Mao's Moon (5:19)
  7. 7 Cutting Stone (7:10)
  8. 8 La Flor del Barrio (3:10)
  9. 9 Bridge to the Beyond (5:33)
  10. 10 Makaahaa (Reprise) (4:34)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Zorn Primary Artist, Piano, Theremin
Ned Rothenberg Shakuhachi
Joey Baron Drums
Cyro Baptista Percussion
Greg Cohen Bass
Dave Douglas Trumpet
Trevor Dunn Bass
Mike Patton Voices
Jamie Saft Organ, Piano, Keyboards, Wurlitzer
Raman Ramakrishnan Cello
Technical Credits
Kazunori Sugiyama Producer
Allan Tucker Mastering
John Zorn Arranger, Producer
Jamie Saft Engineer
Heung-Heung "Chippy" Chin Illustrations
Trevor Brown Paintings
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Good Place to Start

    This is a good place for people just getting into John's amazing work to start. Beautiful album.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    real exotica, but...

    well... it's a peacefull, quiet and relaxing album... especially now, when i'm in love... but... sorry to say, all these beautiful melodies are without a saxophone, perfect saxophone of John... anyway, you will enjoy all the titles, which are very romantic...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews