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 throughline was obvious all day: Each of the participating ensembles was 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 — including Jamie Saft’s piano trio and 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.
Tue., Sept. 2, 8:30 p.m., 2014
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 27, 2014