John Zorn

FilmWorks VIII: 1997

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Film Works 8 contains the scores for two films. First is music for The Port of Last Resort, a documentary about the Jewish refugees who fled to Shanghai from 1930s Nazi Germany. The music is a continuation of the Masada Chamber project, elegant klezmer jazz of as high a worth as Bar Kokhba or Circle Maker (the other two releases drawing from the Masada songbook that are not performed by the quartet). The Masada String Trio -- violinist Mark Feldman, cellist Erik Friedlander, and bassist Greg Cohen -- is joined by guitarist Marc Ribot, pianist Anthony Coleman, and pipa virtuoso Min Xiao Fen. The second half of this release is film music for Latin Boys Go to Hell, whose final edit, incidentally, barely used the music heard here. The low-key music of this score, with wind chime trances and pieces with a subtle tribal low-end, is performed entirely by the excellent percussionists Cyro Baptista and Kenny Wolleson. The sophisticated music of Film Works 8 stands apart for its cosmopolitan assuredness, high level of musicianship, and beauty.

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