The unique and fresh voice of John Zorn's Masada reigns triumphant once again on this third installment, Gimel. Zorn has challenged and reinvented the face of modern jazz with this quartet. Expanding on traditional Jewish music of various types and adapting it to a jazz environment seems a daunting task, but one that Zorn and company (Joey Baron, Greg Cohen and Dave Douglas) have done well. Zorn's choice of personnel is impeccable, and this is evidenced by the intricate yet powerful sound. The album spans the barrage of songs like "Ziphim," "Katzatz" and "Hekhal" to the sweet moments of "Abidan" and "Sheloshim." At times sounding like an Eastern Ornette Coleman, and sometimes playing with the rampant fury that is characteristic solely of Zorn himself, the band has incorporated and evolved the form of jazz. This album is certainly a highlight of the Masada collection as a whole, and provides a great introduction to the band. Some of the songs can be found reworked on Bar Kokhba as well. There is little more to be said of this album, as the music speaks for itself.
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AllMusic Review by Marc Gilman